The mission of this Unit is to deepen and broaden the study of the Christian past by presenting innovative and engaging research on the history, culture, and development of Christianity from its origins to the present, while at the same time promoting interdisciplinary dialogue among the fields of history, religious studies, ritual studies, art history, anthropology, and historical theology. We have a strong commitment to providing a showcase for the work of both younger and established scholars in the field.
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History of Christianity Unit
Call for Proposals
The History of Christianity Unit invites papers that offer new interpretations of and findings in Christian history. We especially welcome chronological diversity with a special call to pre-modern issues. We stay open to full panel proposals on new approaches (e.g., material culture) and locations for pre-modern Christianities. While we are open to other panel proposals and roundtable sessions, we are especially interested in the following:
Roe v. Wade: On the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and in light of the landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization to overturn it, we invite proposals that contextualize abortion within the History of Christianity. We especially welcome proposals that complicate reductionist partisan framings of abortion within historical Christian tradition and teachings.
Early Christianity in Africa: We invite proposals that examine early African contributions to formative Christianity (1st-10th centuries C.E.). We particularly welcome proposals that consider ways in which ancient African expressions of Christianity can help decolonize monolithic eurocentric historical understandings of the history of Christianity. [potential format: 3 papers each for 15 minutes followed by discussion]. This panel may result in a co-sponsored session with the African Religions Unit
African Church in Global Dialogue: We invite proposals that examine important historical intersections (including conflict) between African and other expressions of global Christianity. We welcome proposals that consider ways in which African expressions of Christianity have historically and continue to shape the face of global Christianity. In acknowledgment of Africa’s continuous historic voice in the History of Christianity, we envision this panel including topics from a range of time periods, from ancient to contemporary times. [Potential format: a roundtable taking up 4-5 key historical examples (8-10 mins max for each) at the intersection of
African Christianity and Global Christianity
Christianity and its Monsters: We invite proposals for a roundtable discussion of the role of monsters in Christian discourse. We particularly welcome a mix of proposals that illuminate the diverse role monsters and the monstrous have played in the history of Christianity (the good, the bad, the other).
Christianity and animals (for a possible co-sponsorship with the Animals and Religion Unit) On the 800th anniversary of St. Francis and the first nativity scene to include live animals (1223 C.E.), we invite proposals that explore the various roles accorded to animals in imagining the Christian story. We particularly welcome proposals that complicate and challenge the ways in which the term ‘animal’ is understood, both in nonhuman and human incarnations.
100 Years of Disney and Warner: On the centennial of the founding of Disney and Warner Bros, we invite proposals that examine the telling or narration of Christian history through film and popular culture. This panel may result in a co-sponsored session with the Religion, Film, and Visual Cultures Unit
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Tara Baldrick-Morrone, Brown University1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
Amy Fallas, University of California, Santa Barbara1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Petra Kuivala, University of Helsinki1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Minji Lee, Montclair State University1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025