The purpose of this Seminar is to provide a broad forum in which the important but under-studied relationship of friendship can be studied, discussed, challenged, and ultimately enriched – from a variety of religious perspectives. Friendship is a relationship that is essential for flourishing. In times ripe with division and conflict, we assert that the study of friendship contributes towards furthering religious understanding and dialogue. Friendship as a religious topic, broadly and creatively defined, touches on matters of faith, ecclesiology, anthropology, history, politics, philosophy, ethics, race, gender, sex, class, and economics among others. We welcome papers that explore friendship from different disciplines and theological/religious perspectives, and are open to a variety of methodological approaches.
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Religious Reflections on Friendship Seminar
Call for Proposals
The Religious Reflections on Friendship Seminar invites proposals for papers and panel presentations that address the intersection of religion/s and friendship from any scholarly perspective and religious tradition. We welcome papers that broaden contemporary perspectives on friendship and challenge dominant perspectives on friendship, as they bring friendship and religion into dialogue with contemporary issues, needs, and challenges. Our focus in 2022 will be most specifically on the study of friendship from inter-religious/inter-faith perspectives. The following themes, amongst others, may be engaged from the perspective of two or more religious traditions:
• Friendship within religious texts and/or historic time periods
• Theological and/or mystical perspectives on friendship
• Friendship and religious/theological ethics
• Civic friendship and the common good
• Friendship-informed pedagogies for the teaching of inter-religious/inter-faith studies
Echoing 2022’s presidential theme “Religion and Catastrophe” we also invite papers that consider the role of friendship practices and inter-faith dialogue in times of crisis, and in the envisioning of alternative ways of life in the face of climate change.
The seminar seeks collaborative and multidisciplinary research, including through historical, ethnographic, theological, political, psychological, and ethical frameworks. Typically, seminar participants pre-circulate papers and come to the seminar’s Annual Meeting session ready to discuss the substance of each paper and the thematic connections and tensions that emerge between them. This allows for more conversation and deeper reflection at the conference. For this purpose, papers should be submitted to co-chairs for pre-circulation by October 15.
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Sarah Bixler, Princeton Theological Seminary1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Dorothy Dean, Hastings College1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Laura Duhan-Kaplan, Vancouver School of Theology1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
Margaret Gower, Saint Mary's College1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026
Janis Lowry, AdventHealth University1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
Mugdha Yeolekar, California State University, Fullerton1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026