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Schleiermacher Unit

Call for Proposals

Re-engaging Schleiermacher Today

Friedrich Schleiermacher's place in the history of modern theology is well-established, but what resources does his thought offer for contemporary scholarship, and what new avenues exist for exploring his thought? This session considers the state of discussions of Schleiermacher's thought today and invites paper or panel proposals that offer fresh studies or perspectives for accessing, interpreting, and/or drawing upon his writings. We especially encourage proposals that are constructive or critical, advance a new interpretation of some aspect of Schleiermacher's thought, treat areas of Schleiermacher's work that are understudied in anglophone scholarship, or offer an entry into a present debate within Schleiermacher scholarship on a given topic.


Theology and Patristic Scholarship in the Nineteenth Century (co-sponsored with the Nineteenth Century Theology Unit)

The nineteenth century witnessed the emergence of self-consciously modern forms of theology, with many of these theologies also underpinned by sophisticated historical narratives dating back to the Patristic period. The broad outlines of doctrinal history that major nineteenth-century theologians from Schleiermacher to Baur, Dorner, Ritschl, and Harnack constructed, have continued to inform historical theology even where their underlying dogmatic judgments were emphatically rejected. The goal of this panel is to take stock of this fascinating but under-researched aspect of nineteenth-century theology. For this session we invite paper and panel proposals that examine how historical and systematic theology worked hand in hand throughout the century, papers that analyze individual figures as well as broader, diachronic trends. 


Jewish Enlightenment, National Identity, and Modern Christian Thought (co-sponsored with the Political Theology Unit and the Religion in Europe Unit)

Modern Jewish and modern Christian thought have developed in close interaction, mutually influencing one another's understandings not only of ethics, revelation, and religious community, but also emerging conceptions of national identity. With an eye toward the AAR's 2023 theme of La Labor de Nuestras Manos and the need for revisiting public understandings of religion, this session invites paper or panel proposals reflecting on points of ongoing dialogue, divergence, and debate regarding the Jewish and Protestant Enlightenments and emerging notions of nationalism in modern Jewish and Christian thought, pertaining not only to the U.S. but also to European contexts. Such proposals might consider: 

  • Jewish and Christian conceptions of national identity and the modern state, especially within or in comparison to European contexts
  • The Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) and national identity
  • The mutual influence between the Haskalah and modern Christian thought (including the thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher)
  • The persistence of antisemitism in contemporary politics, in overt and implicit forms
  • The relevance of modern Jewish and Christian thought for understanding white nationalism today


The Schleiermacher Unit is committed to diversity and inclusivity. Pre-arranged sessions or panel proposals should reflect diversity of gender and/or race and ethnicity. Diversities of rank, method, and sub-discipline are also highly encouraged.

Statement of Purpose

The unit promotes scholarship – from specialists and non-specialists alike – that critically engage the thought and influence of Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834). We encourage constructive, historical, and textual analyses that open new lines of inquiry into Schleiermacher’s oeuvre and contribution to contemporary discussions in theology, religious studies, philosophy, ethics, and hermeneutics.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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