This Unit seeks to study class as a relational concept that needs to be explored in its complex manifestations, which will yield more complex understandings of religion and theology in turn. Avoiding reductionist definitions that occur when studying each class in itself or viewing class only according to stratified income levels or particular historical and sociological markers, this Unit will investigate how classes shape up in relation and tension with each other and with religion and theology. This Unit’s investigations of class, religion, and theology also include intersections with gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and ecology.
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Class, Religion, and Theology Unit
Call for Proposals
Proposals in response to the calls below should clearly indicate how consideration of class inequalities and dynamics shapes the paper's analysis or conclusions and/or how the paper foregrounds issues of class, labor, or workers (while recognizing their intersections with other dimensions of inequality).
- General Call We invite paper or panel proposals that explore the role of class, labor, and/or worker issues in religious communities and traditions or the significance of class, labor, and worker issues in the study of religion and theology or address major questions in the study of class, labor, or workers.
- Particular Emphases While open to any proposals relevant to the general call, this year we especially welcome paper or panel proposals addressing the following: • Teaching against the grain of capitalism or contesting capitalist imperatives in the classroom. • How capitalism/worker exploitation and White supremacy/anti-Blackness reinforce and sustain each other. (Or, more generally, the intersection of class with race, gender, sexuality, nationality, or other apparatus of inequality.) • Coops, cooperative movements (contemporary and/or historical), or cooperative economy. • Links between the exploitation of paid workers and the destruction of ecosystems or/and the exploitation of unpaid caregivers.
- Co-Sponsored Session with the Liberation Theologies unit, Religion and Economy unit, and Class, Religion, and Theology unit call for proposals regarding labor issues and worker organizing in general, in San Antonio or Texas, and/or in the hotel/convention center/hospitality industry. We hope to organize both a pre-conference workshop and a panel on these topics, so we encourage submissions from labor organizers, activists, and scholars. We note that for a number of years it was a priority of the AAR to take into account the labor situation on the ground in its host cities. This session and possible pre-conference workshop, therefore, offer an opportunity to reflect on that commitment, understand the labor situation in our host city, and hopefully re-energize the AAR's commitment to solidarity with all those the labor of whose hands makes the annual meeting possible at all.
- Co-Sponsored Session with Disability Studies & Religion and Religion & Healing: Care and healing as "the work of our hands": How might caregiving, care work, and healing be best represented in religious studies scholarship? What current pitfalls or potential surround care and healing as both concrete practices and academic subjects? How has care been politicized or depoliticized in academic discourse pertaining to disability specifically? Who does care labor (paid and unpaid), who pays for its paid forms? How does this economic organization of care labor affect both the receivers and the providers of care labor — and how does this all relate to religious practices or thought, especially in regards to disability and/or healing?
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Kerry Danner, Georgetown University1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Ken Estey, Brooklyn College1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Joerg Rieger, Vanderbilt University1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
Joseph Strife, Fordham University1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025