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.
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Nineteenth Century Theology Unit
Call for Proposals
In 2022 we will have three sessions (one co-sponsored with the Schleiermacher Unit). One of these sessions is an invited panel on Robert Norton’s recent book, The Crucible of German Democracy: Ernst Troeltsch and the First World War. For our other two sessions we are looking for paper proposals on the following themes.
Theodicy in Nineteenth-Century Religious Thought
As more areas of life came under human control, uncontrollability became a more acute problem. Human suffering, natural and human disasters evoked renewed interest in theodicy. Papers may address either the more theoretical discussions of theology and philosophy or the cultural manifestations of these concerns. They may, if they wish (but are not required to), take up the AAR presidential theme “Religion and Catastrophe.”
Theological System-Building: Doctrine, Method, and Context (co-sponsored with the Schleiermacher Unit)
Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Glaubenslehre, first published in 1821/22, was a turning point that ushered in the modern development of theological system-building, even among theologians who disagreed with his approach. As part of their efforts to expand on and engage with Schleiermacher’s method and work, theologians wrote systematic works on both sides of the Atlantic. Those texts also reflected the role of religious consciousness for scientific theology.
Papers may cover any topic related to the theme of theological system-building in a global context from 1800 to 1914. We welcome submissions representing philosophical, theological, and historical approaches. For example, proposals might examine comparisons of thought systems or theology as a system or analyze specific issues such as theology as science, philosophical influences, the social contexts of theological systems, and syntheses of system-building processes.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Annette G. Aubert, Westminster Theological Seminary1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
Emily Dumler-Winckler, Saint Louis University1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
Matthias Gockel, University of Basel1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
Charles Lockwood, Australian Catholic University1/1/2019 - 12/31/2024
Hans Schwarz, University of Regensburg1/1/2017 - 12/31/2022