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Nineteenth Century Theology Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

In 2024, we will have three sessions:


A co-sponsored session with the Schleiermacher Unit: An invited roundtable discussion

This roundtable discussion will consider the themes and approaches of the recent volume, The Oxford History of Modern German Theology, Volume 1: 1781–1848, edited by Grant Kaplan and Kevin M. Vander Schel. This volume is the first in a three-volume critical history of modern German theology from 1781 to 2000, edited by Johannes Zachhuber, David Lincicum, and Judith Wolfe. It provides the most comprehensive English language overview to date of the central debates, intellectual movements, and historical events that have shaped modern German theology from the late 1700s to the 1848 revolutions. Additionally, it pays attention to topics often neglected in earlier overviews of this period, such as the position of Judaism in modern German society, the intersection of race and religion, and the influence of social history on nineteenth-century theological debates.

This session will feature invited panelists who will critically discuss the methodologies, themes, and contributions of the volume.


Kant and Nineteenth-Century Theology

2024 will mark the 300th anniversary of Immanuel Kant's birth. To commemorate this anniversary, the Nineteenth Century Theology Unit is organizing a session that explores Immanuel Kant's legacy and influence on modern theology in the long 19th century. Kant was a ground-breaking figure whose critique of rationalist metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics and the quest for a new foundation of “science” (Wissenschaft) bridged the gap between the 18th and 19th centuries. His reflections were enthusiastically adopted but also fiercely rejected by nineteenth-century theologians. The work of Kant still inspires debates worldwide to this day, for example, in relation to recent research on the intersection of philosophy and theology and its role in the emergence of modern theology in the early 19th century. The proposed session aims to take the research of nineteenth-century academic theology to the next level by exploring the intersection between Kant's work as well as post-Kantian idealism and the theologies it influenced. We welcome proposals for papers that examine this area of study and explore the intriguing influence of Kant on nineteenth-century theology, broadly understood, by offering fresh perspectives. They can cover theologians from different confessional backgrounds and theological schools or traditions. They can also touch upon current debates in theology and philosophy.

This session will showcase a panel of invited experts, who will engage in a scholarly discourse around the influence of Kant's philosophy on 19th-century modern theology.

For our other session, we are looking for paper proposals on the following theme:


Political Theology and the Nineteenth Century

Interest in the area of political theology has grown enormously over the past several decades, spanning fields ranging from theology and religious studies to philosophy, political theory, and intellectual history. While some work in this area has followed Carl Schmitt in understanding key political concepts as secularized theological concepts, other work has instead sought to think theologically about politics and to draw on theological resources for contemporary political reflection. In these discussions, central concerns have included the conceptualization of categories such as sovereignty, democracy, and equality, often in connection with concerns about social location (especially race, gender, and class), as well the role of categories often associated with religion, including ritual and the miraculous.

This session invites papers that either draw on nineteenth century thinkers and movements to shed light on these recent debates, or to offer new perspectives on how questions now associated with political theology were being formulated in the nineteenth century.

Call for Proposals for Online June Meeting

Nineteenth-Century Dutch Theology and Modernity

The last two decades have witnessed a renaissance of 19th-century Dutch theology studies, with growing interest in the ideas and works of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck and the recent publication of Arie L. Molendij’s Protestant Theology and Modernity in the Nineteenth-Century Netherlands (OUP 2022). Dutch theology, particularly that associated with Kuyper and Bavinck, engaged with contemporary theological and philosophical perspectives and modern society at large.This session examines how this strand of Dutch theology has engaged with German idealism and Schleiermacher's theology, as well as its engagement with social issues such as the Jews and political topics.

An invited panel of experts will share their knowledge on this topic.

Statement of Purpose

Our Unit focuses on major themes, thinkers, and movements in nineteenth century religious thought and theology — from the French Revolution to World War I — and on the relation of religious thought to its historical, political, and cultural contexts. Each year the Unit selects two or three focused topics and predistributes papers before the AAR sessions.


  • Annette G. Aubert, Westminster Theological Seminary
    1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
  • Sheila Briggs, University of Southern California
    1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024

Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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