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Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit

Call for Proposals

The Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit welcomes any paper, panel, or roundtable proposals engaging scholarship on Martin Luther, Lutheran Theology and Ethics, and Global Lutheran Perspectives and Traditions.

For the 2023 American Academy of Religion Meeting in San Antonio Texas, our Unit especially welcomes paper, panel, and roundtable proposals engaging any of the following themes:


Embodied Justice

AAR’s 2023 Presidential Theme “La Labor de Nuestras Manos”, the “Work of our Hands,” asks members to consider embodied dimensions in the work of scholars of religion and theology.  That work is sometimes made explicit in our scholarly arguments, sometimes done as labor for teaching or ecclesial institutions, sometimes engaged in the labor of justice, and sometimes is seen and unseen in a host of ordinary ways. Where many theologies have cleaved binaries and divisions between body and spirit, spiritual and material, work and divine calling, scholarship inspired by Luther has more frequently refused.  As Elisabeth Gerle notes in her book, Passionate Embrace, “The sharp boundaries between spiritual and material are dissolved in Luther’s writings because he sees God’s care and love in the material.”

How can we think of the embodiment of scholarship engaged with Luther and Lutheran themes theology in the present? How does Lutheran theology challenge the oft-made binaries of theory versus praxis, faith versus ethics, work and Spirit?  How can Lutheran approaches be better at self-criticism for the sake of embodied justice?  And how can these embodied approaches engage thinking about the work of global justice in relation to: racial justice, reproductive justice and abortion rights, decolonial justice, workers’ rights, and a just planetary future?  What does 'embodied justice' look like from a Lutheran angle in theology, ethics, and historical scholarship?


Gender, Sexuality, and Context

Feminist, Womanist, and Mujerista scholars in Lutheran theology have produced significant recent work that both explores Global Lutheran perspectives and reconstructs Lutheran themes for the present.  This call seeks to expand upon recent scholarship in gender, sexuality, and Lutheran theology and ethics. How does Lutheran theological language engage themes of gender and sexuality justice in diverse global contexts? How might Lutheran  themes be challenged or transformed by perspectives from diverse and intersectional global gender constructions?  How do Lutheran traditions engage thinking about reproductive labor, abortion access, or reproductive justice?  How does Lutheran theology and ethics respond to gender- or sexuality-based violence? How does Lutheran  How do Queer and Trans* perspectives challenge, reshape or reconstruct Lutheran theology? How might queer and Trans* theory offer new perspectives?  How might Lutheran theology challenge transphobia?  Any proposals that wrestle with gender, sexuality, and theology, ethics, and history in context are welcome.


Sisters in the Wilderness – Honoring the life and scholarly legacy of womanist theologian Delores Williams and the 30th Anniversary of Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist Godtalk (Orbis, 1993)

Our unit is arranging a co-sponsored panel with the Black Theology unit and Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions, honoring the scholarly legacy of the late Delores Williams, a trailblazing womanist theologian. We recognize the significance of Williams’ works and particularly highlight the 30th Anniversary of the publication of Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist Godtalk. This is an invited panel with closed submissions.


Any number of themes relating to Global Lutheran Traditions in Contemporary Theology:

  • Luther, Lutheranism and Islam
  • Luther, Lutheranism, Judaism, and Anti-Semitism
  • Empire and Decolonial Lutheranisms
  • Reproductive Justice
  • Lutheranism, Indigenous Traditions, and Settler Colonialism
  • Alternative and marginalized themes in Lutheran theology
  • Scholarship on the historical Luther and Luther’s biographers
  • Scandinavian Creation Theology
  • Luther, Emotion, and Affect Theory
  • Etc.


Open Call

The Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit considers any papers or panel proposals related to the research interests of this Unit. We welcome proposals from scholars who wish to share their current research. In panel or roundtable proposals, the Unit strongly encourages organizers be attentive to gender and racial diversity.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit seeks to provide an avenue for a comprehensive conversation on both Lutheran history and thought in the global context. In so doing, it is able to draw on an immensely rich tradition that goes far beyond Lutheran parochial interests as it includes the relationship to other Christian traditions as well as cultures in the global South.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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