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Black Theology Unit

Call for Proposals

The Black Theology Unit invites individual papers and panel submissions on the topics identified below and proposals on additional topics of interest that advance the discipline of Black theology. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first systematic articulation of liberation theology in North America. In A Black Theology of Liberation, James Cone puts forth the sources and norms of black liberation theology and articulates its contents in doctrinal form. In this call for papers, we invite submissions that explore the contemporary meaning of liberation in black theological discourse through topics such as:

Black Theology and decolonial (anti-colonial) methods
Black Theology, reparations and settler colonialism
Black Theology, Black Socialism and Anti-colonial movements
Black Theology and the Palestinian struggle
Black Theology and mass incarceration
Black Theology and Indigenous Healing
Black Theology as Ecotheology
Black Theology, electoral politics and public life
Race, bioethics and reproductive technologies

We also invite papers that address:
1. Howard Thurman and contemplative practices
2. The Nation of Islam and Malcolm X’s influence on the formation of Black Theology
3. The Future of Black Theology: Where do we go from here?
A) What direction should black theology go in a post-Conian world?
B) On what grounds does black theology stand?
4. What are the methodological differences between black theology, black religious studies and black church studies?

Recalling that when Martin Luther King Jr. was a doctoral student at Boston University, Howard Thurman was Dean of Marsh Chapel at BU, as the AAR returns to Boston in 2020, we finally invite papers, for a co-sponsored session with the Black Theology Unit, that explore the life and thought of Martin Luther King Jr and Howard Thurman around the themes of spirituality and social transformation; the contributions of Coretta Scott King; as well as consideration of women and the Black Social Gospel.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit seeks to further develop Black theology as an academic enterprise. In part, this is accomplished by providing opportunities for exchanges related to basic issues of Black theology’s content and form. In addition, the Unit seeks to broaden conversation by bringing Black theology into dialogue with other disciplines and perspectives on various aspects of African diasporic religious thought and life.


Steering Committee Members




Proposals have a much greater chance of acceptance if they make clear the central thesis and main line(s) of argument of the proposed paper.

Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members

Review Process Comments