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Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit

Call for Proposals

The Global and Alternative Luther and His Relevance for Today
The early 21st century has witnessed a surge of titles indicating an interest in reframing Luther and Lutheranism for the contemporary world. Examples include: The Alternative Luther, Liberating Lutheran Theology, Lutherrenaissance Past and Present, Transformative Lutheran Theologies, The Global Luther, Reformation Theology for a Post-Secular Age, The Forgotten Luther (I and II), etc.
We invite papers that address the question of Martin Luther's relevance for the global world today. How has this focus on a Luther fit for the 21st century shaped apprehensions of a 16th century former Augustinian monk? What in Luther's life and thought has shaped reflection and engagement in the world today? Should we be apprehensive about making use of a 16th century thinker for 21st century challenges? We are especially interested in submissions for those who have contributed to such volumes, and/or use them in classrooms, or beyond. We also welcome proposals engaging these questions from multiple disciplinary approaches.

Joint CFP with the Religious Conversions Unit
Conversion and Deconversion across the Globe
The growth of Christianity in the Global South raises questions concerning the nature of conversion: How has global migration impacted the phenomenon of conversion itself, both individually and socially? Is conversion re-construed when a religion’s adherents migrate? Does conversion then admit, for example, the possibility of Multiple Religious Participation? How does conversion en masse affect the social fabric of communities? The Religious Conversions Program Unit and Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Theologies Program Unit invite proposals focusing on the phenomenon of conversion in light of globalization and migration. We especially welcome proposals engaging multiple disciplinary approaches.

Roundtable Session
Book Panel, John D. Caputo’s Cross and Cosmos: A Theology of Difficult Glory (Indiana University Press, 2019)
In his recent book, the hybrid philosopher/theologian John D. Caputo turns his creative work to none other than Martin Luther’s theology—from Luther’s reflections on the life of a theologian of the cross to God’s hiddenness, Deus absconditus. Pointing towards the Heidelberg Disputation (1519), Caputo expresses a desire: “My hope is to let this revolutionary text speak to us anew.” In that way, Cross and Cosmos offers a rich reflection on Luther’s theology but also presses into places where Luther might not have imagined: a radical theology of the cross, were the “passion of the cross is the figure of compassion” that extends out to, in fact, a theology of creation. Thinking about the complexities of reconciliation, cosmology and the poetics of the cross alongside the Apostle Paul, Martin Luther, Jacques Derrida, James Cone, Delores Williams, Catherine Keller and others, Caputo’s book produces a theology of “difficult glory” that enhances his earlier writing in The Weakness of God (2006) and The Insistence of God (2013). This book review panel involves John D. Caputo responding to a the following global panel of Luther scholars and theologians: Jake Erickson, Sigridur Gudmarsdottir, Anthony Bateza, and Marit Trelstad.

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




the normal online system for submitting proposal

Review Process

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

Review Process Comments

This system worked well. Decision making was fair and smooth. The numeric evaluations and comments sections allow for good communication among steering committee members and chairs. as well as with the cosponsoring program unit's team. Having the chairs see the names and institutions of proposers was important in facilitating decision-making to secure a balanced composition of the presenters, to include senior scholars as well as graduate students.