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.
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Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit
Call for Proposals
- Accelerations, Disruptions and Catastrophes: Global Lutheran Responses
Accelerate. Ramp up. Market frenzy. Screeching halt. Biotic collapse. Stock market crash. Extreme weather. Global shut down. On the brink. Whether it’s the “great acceleration” leading to catastrophic extinction events, the exponential increase of fossil fuel use and intensifying global warming, the rapid rise in extremist, authoritarian, and hate groups, or the rapid mutation and exponential spread of pandemic inducing viruses, catastrophe is often accompanied by narratives with implicit temporalities, temporal disruptions, and long-lasting effects.
Responding to the 2022 AAR Presidential Theme, this call invites reflection on global Lutheran heritages, responses, and resistance to accelerating events, impending or ongoing catastrophe. We ask how Luther’s writing or Lutheran traditions might frame or respond to a theology of catastrophe? How are contemporary Global Lutheran Traditions responding to accelerations, disruptions, or catastrophes? And what might Lutheran ethics offer? Papers or panel presentations could include reflection on the Lutheran tradition and economics, environmental theologies, responses to racism, genocide and colonialism, and climate change.
- Public Theologies in Global Contexts
The Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit also welcomes papers and panel proposals on Lutheran public theologies in global contexts. How might Lutheran perspectives on church, state, neighbor love, freedom and more contribute to contemporary political imagination. Although Martin Luther is not known as a political philosopher, his teachings and writings carried political implications for various publics and bear complex political legacies. From his two kingdoms theory to suggestions to improve the state of the German nation, from an understanding of Christians as engaged participants in the public sphere to his interpretation of Mary’s song, the Magnificat, as the guideline for all people in public office, Martin Luther understood the role of theology both as instrumental and transformative of the public realm.
Papers and panel proposals considered will use Martin Luther’s theology and establish dialogue with current social and political issues, draw from grassroot initiatives, propose transformative engagements, or identify modalities of resistance and advocacy in light of disruption. The invitation is to reflect on how Martin Luther’s thought and Global Lutheran Traditions can furnish knowledge to global and public theologies.
- 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
Steering Committee Members
Evangeline Anderson Rajkumar,1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Wanda Deifelt, Luther College1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
Kayko Driedger Hesslein, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Arnfridur Gudmundsdottir, University of Iceland1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Terra Schwerin Rowe, University of North Texas1/1/2017 - 12/31/2022