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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 2022 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: 

  • 2022 is the 60th anniversary of the death of the famed French orientalist Louis Massignon and the 100th anniversary of the publication of his monumental work, The Passion of al-Hallaj and the 1100th anniversary of the death of Hallaj himself. Contact: Jason Welle, OFM, jason.welle@pisai.it

  • 2022 is the 100th anniversary of Martin Buber’s I and Thou. We invite papers investigating Buber’s influence on comparative theology. 

  • Comparative Theology from a Hindu perspective. We hope that this will be the first in a series of panels that invites scholars to practice comparative theology in their own religious position. Contact: Francis X. Clooney, SJ, fclooney@hds.harvard.edu 

  • Collaboration on method with Theology Without Walls. Contact: Catherine Cornille, cornille@bc.edu 

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 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.

Chairs

Steering Committee Members

Method

PAPERS

Review Process

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