Comparative (interreligious) theology tries to be seriously theological, interreligious, and consciously comparative — all at the same time. It is, like other forms of theology as familiarly understood, primarily a matter of “faith seeking understanding” (or, more broadly, perhaps “the practice of reflective meditative perception” or “insight”) and reflection on this faith as it has been enacted in doctrine, argument, meditation, ritual, and ethical behavior. Like other forms of theology, it is an academic discipline, but may also be about and for the sake of knowledge of God or, more broadly, the ultimate mystery toward which life points. In comparative theology, faith and practice are explored and transformed by attention to parallel theological dimensions of one or more religious or theological traditions, examined historically or in the contemporary context. As a discipline within the academy, this communal and intercommunal faith and practice are open to the analyses, comments, and questions of insiders to the involved traditions, and to scholars not necessarily defined by any such commitments who are nonetheless able and willing to explore the full range of dynamics of faith seeking understanding in a comparative perspective. Please contact any Steering Committee Member for further information on the Unit, including the most recent self-study and statement of purpose, or to be added to the Unit.
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Comparative Theology Unit
Call for Proposals
The Comparative Theology Unit of the AAR seeks proposals on the following topics for its session at the 2023 Annual Meeting.
We encourage panel or paper proposals on the following themes that were offered at the business meeting. Interested scholars should feel free to avail themselves of the contact person when provided below, if needed:
- Comparative theology from a Muslim perspective, contact: Pim Valkenberg, Valkenberg@cua.edu
- Contextual theology and comparative theology, contact: Catherine Cornille, email@example.com
- Comparative theology at the borders: a theology of immigration, contact: Axel Marc Oaks Takacs, Takacsax@shu.edu
- Method: What does “comparison” mean? Helmut Zander, firstname.lastname@example.org
- A comparative theology of oral traditions
- Hybridity and comparative theology, James Farwell, Jfarwell@vts.edu
- Civic engagement and comparative theology, contact Alexander Massad, email@example.com
These are proposed themes, but one need not feel restricted by them, so long as the proposal concerns comparative theology. Proposal descriptions must be written in such a way as to allow for anonymity during the selection process.
Panel proposals consisting of three to five presenters treating a single theme are preferable to individual papers. Panel proposals must include a diversity statement wherein the conveyor explains in what ways the panel is diverse or the rationale for a lack of diversity.
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible prior to final acceptance or rejection.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
James Farwell, Virginia Theological Seminary1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Akshay Gupta, Independent Scholar1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Won Jae Hur, Xavier University1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Katie Mahowski Mylroie, Boston College1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Martha L. Moore-Keish, Columbia Theological Seminary1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Joshua Ralston, University of Edinburgh1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028