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Reformed Theology and History Unit

Call for Proposals

The Reformed Theology and History Unit seeks paper proposals on the following topics:


  • Paul, the Law, and Reformed Theology

Over the last four decades, biblical scholarship on the Pauline epistles have challenged dominant Reformation readings of Paul’s understanding of the law and its role in salvation. Longstanding Reformed and Lutheran theologies of the law and its three uses are critiqued by biblical scholars as being overly individualistic, too one sided in its focus on soteriology, and failing to account for the law’s communal formation in the context of second temple Judaism. Biblical scholarship on Paul, then, offers an invitation for theologians to return afresh to scripture to rethink traditional theological claims about the law.


  • We invite papers from biblical scholars and theologians alike that explore the relationship between Pauline accounts of the law and constructive and systematic theology. While theologians have engaged with some of the earlier major figures in the new perspective on Paul movement, other scholarship in Pauline studies have been understudied by theologians. In particular, we encourage paper proposals that engage biblical scholarship on Paul within Judaism and/ or the apocalyptic turn in Pauline studies and how Reformed theology might engage with this scholarship for theologies of the law, soteriology, and Jewish-Christian Relations. We especially encourage papers that move beyond description to offer constructive theological and/or biblical reflection on Paul and the law. The Confession of Belhar, past and present


  • In 1982, the Confession of Belhar insisted that theological commitment to reconciliation in Christ demanded opposition to apartheid, segregation, and racialized injustice. Drawing on Karl Barth’s Christocentric theology and the Barmen Declaration’s stance against nationalist socialism, it marked a decidedly Reformed emphasis on considering ethical issues and public life as inherent parts of the witness of the church to the gospel. As such, it became a watershed moment not only contextually but within the wider ecumenical church. The confession has since been adopted by many churches worldwide, as well as inspired other moments and processes of confession.


  • On the 40th anniversary of the Belhar confession, the Reformed Theology and History unit and the Karl Barth Society of North America invite contributions that reflect on the Confession of Belhar, its theology and history, its reception and its legacy, its local and global significance as well as its limitations, and relate it to needs for confessional processes today. We are particularly interested in constructive engagements that relate Belhar to contemporary discussions about racial and economic injustice, and questions of the church’s engagement in the public and political sphere.


We are interested in papers that explore Reformed history and theology alongside discursive and institutional secularism. Possible areas of focus could include (but are not limited to): law and sovereignty; reassessing the sociology of predestination; socio-political-biblical narrative; and the influence of Calvinism on thinkers impacted by Calvinism, but who rejected or were not directly associated with Calvinism.

Statement of Purpose


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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