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Comparative Theology Unit

Call for Proposals

After a number of years in which we have expanded the outreach of our Comparative Theology Unit by collaborating with a number of different Units in the AAR, this year's call for papers will focus somewhat more strongly on the identity of comparative theology, and on different approaches by practitioners of comparative theology.

However, we will still accept panel proposals for one collaboration:
- Co-sponsored session (Liberation Theologies Unit/Comparative Theologies Unit/Religions in the Latina/o Americas Unit/Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Unit)
Possible title: “Land, Revolutions, and the Religious Being: in Search of Political Theologies of Liberation
We invite proposals for a co-sponsored session that consider the setting of the 2020 meeting in Boston by examining the relationship between revolutions and land in different ways. Possible areas include the post-colonial critique of comparative theology and theologies of peace and conflict resolution; theological intersections at geographic, theological, and confessional borders; learning and activism across those same borders; comparative theologies as praxis/therapy for overcoming the impact of mere tolerance, hate, and conflict; political theologies of liberation in relation to conflict, land, ecologies, and climate.

Furthermore, we encourage panel or paper proposals on the following themes that were proposed in the business meeting:
60th anniversary of the Center for the study of World Religions
Jewish-Christian Comparative Theology
Muslim-Christian Comparative Theology
Teaching Comparative Theology
Political Implications of Comparative Theology
Comparative Theology, Theologies of Religions exploring a single topic
Comparative Theology and Chaplaincy Working at the Borders
Comparative Theology and Art, e.g. music
Comparative Theology from the Prison
The prophetic in Abrahamic religions
Comparative approaches to non-dualism
Responses to the edited volume: Theology without Walls; specifically comparative theologians responding to Theology without Walls (proposed by Peter Feldmeier)
Responses to Method and Meaning in Comparative Theology (proposed by Christian Krokus)
Comparative approaches to ecclesial structure in collaboration with Ecclesial Investigations Unit
Poverty in Comparative Theology, perhaps with Liberation Theology
Comparative Theology and Scriptural Reasoning
Divine Presence and mediations of the divine

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.

Statement of Purpose

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.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection

Review Process Comments

We had one or two issues about diversity in the proposals this year and therefore decided that proposals will be visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection this year.