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Ecclesiological Investigations Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

In light of this year's presidential theme of "Violence, Nonviolence, and the Margin," we invite papers for a joint session with the Quaker Studies Unit that consider how particular church communities (especially, but my no means exclusively, the historical "peace churches" of Friends, Mennonites, and Brethren) concretely enact their philosophies of nonviolence and principles of peacemaking in situations of violent conflict. In particular, we hope to consider how the varieties of Christian commitments to peace come to render lived or practical ecclesiologies that equip individuals and communities for civil resistance, intercommunal solidarity, or indeed martyrdom.

Additionally, the Ecclesiological Investigations Unit invites papers that explore practices of violence and nonviolence in relation to borders and global migration. Borders are spaces of death and life. Established identities are stretched, at times inciting conflict and at other times transformation. New identities emerge. How do communities of faith engage with the precarity of borders, be they physical borders or the borders we carry in our bodies? Possible topics may include: the ecclesiologies of migrants and/or refugees, church as migrant advocate or opponent, borders and indigenous identities of church members, the church’s response to national identity and nationalism tied to exclusion of ‘others’, and the ministry of faith communities at or near borders.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit is a part of the Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Network, which seeks to serve as a hub for national and international collaboration in ecclesiology, drawing together other groups and networks, initiating research ventures, providing administrative support, as well as acting as a facilitator to support conversations, research, and education in this field. Hence the Network exists to promote collaborative ecclesiology. The Network’s five fundamental aims are as follows: • The establishment of partnerships between scholars, research projects, and research centers across the world • The development of virtual, textual, and actual conversation between the many persons and groups involved in research and debate about ecclesiology • Organizing and sharing in colloquia, symposia, and conferences • Encouraging joint teaching and exchanges of postgraduate students and faculty • The Unit seeks to publish the best fruits of all such collaboration in our new Palgrave Series, Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue, as well as in the journal Ecclesiology (Brill), published in association with the Network. The Network is a “network of networks” serving a “church of churches.” See for more information.


Steering Committee Members

  • Sandra Arenas, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
    1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
  • Britta Meiers Carlson, Boston University
    1/1/2024 - 12/31/2029
  • Aaron Hollander, Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute
    1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
  • Scott MacDougall, Church Divinity School of the Pacific
    1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
  • Jason Welle, Boston College
    1/1/2024 - 12/31/2029



Review Process

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