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Schleiermacher Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

Schleiermacher’s Speeches and the modern study of religion

Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Speeches on religion is a classic text within the academic study of religion and theology. It also stands as one of the most debated texts in the field, generating contested understandings of religious feeling and intuition, the character of religious experience, the modern concept of religion, and the relation of religious piety to critical reflection and the public sphere. This session invites papers providing fresh engagements with this text, especially those that align with the 2024 AAR theme of Violence, Nonviolence, and the Margin. Successful proposals might explore themes such as, but not limited to, the role of feeling and intuition in communicating religious experience, how affectivity both shapes and arises from spiritual and religious communities, the relationship of religion to metaphysics and ethics, instances of affective misalignment within and across communities, religious reflection and art, or religion in the public sphere.


(Co-sponsored with the Nineteenth Century Theology Unit, and possibly the Systematic Theology Unit)

Roundtable Discussion: The Oxford History of Modern German Theology, vol. I: 1781-1848

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.


(Co-sponsored with the Comparative Religious Ethics Unit)

Religious Nationalism

What kinds of contributions might Comparative Religious Ethics and contemporary theological scholarship make to discussions of religious nationalism? Specifically, how have religious traditions constructed militarism, violence, and the state in relation to nationalism? Contemporary or historical analyses are welcome.


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.

Call for Proposals for Online June Meeting

Art and Religion in Schleiermacher’s Thought 

While Friedrich Schleiermacher’s place in early German Romanticism is well-established, his original contributions to aesthetics, and the close interconnections of art with religion in his writings, have received significantly less attention in English-language scholarship. Following upon the recent critical edition of Schleiermacher’s writings on aesthetics (De Gruyter, 2021), this session invites papers reflecting on Schleiermacher’s distinctive understanding of art and aesthetics, and the various points of connection between his reflections on aesthetics and his broader thinking. Suitable proposal topics may cover a wide range, and might include themes such as the following: Schleiermacher’s theory of art, as developed in lectures on aesthetics; “religion as art” (Kunstreligion); reflections on the role of artistic expression in the Speeches, Christmas Eve Dialogue, and Christian Faith; Schleiermacher’s understanding of art in the context of early German Romanticism; the relation of aesthetics and anthropology; the role of artistic forms in worship or preaching; or artistic expression and affectivity.

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