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Theology and Religious Reflection Unit

Call for Proposals

The Theology and Religious Reflection Unit invites proposals for individual papers and panels considering (but not limited to) the following themes. We are especially interested in papers that take innovative approaches to what counts as ‘theology and religious reflection,’ papers and panels focusing on religions and practices other than Christianity, and roundtables exploring different presentation formats.


‘The theological’ beyond theology: as ‘the theological’ circulates in a variety of contexts and discourses outside theology in the university or the academic study of religion, what do we make of this development? What is ‘the theological’ beyond theology offering, opening up, or occluding?


On a related note, what is the future of theology? Here, we are especially interested in papers and panels focusing on the end of theology, from a variety of different directions. Those directions might include

  • Theology and failure
  • Theology and silence
  • The eschatological or different forms of pessimism and futurism
  • Thinking with art and the imagination and/or with literature and science fiction, especially but not only with regard to ecological themes
  • Secular theology or the religious ‘nones’
  • Questions of theology and language, looking beyond ‘formal’ or academic theology to the limits of language and representation


We are also interested in papers examining religious and/or theological scholarship on the power of delusion and denial, especially with regard to climate change, as well as on papers exploring religion and climate grief. What does the study of religion have to offer regarding these catastrophic effects and evasions?


Papers exploring the relations between mysticism and the secular. Is mysticism a category of the secular? What does mysticism offer the secular that religion does not? How does the mystical within the secular operate?


Panel proposals or papers focusing on recent work in religious reflection and disability studies, including Mary Dunn’s Where Paralytics Walk and the Blind See(Princeton, 2022)


Thinking with Azuza: the revival of interest in Azuza Street in a number of works, including especially Keri Day’s Azuza Reimagined (Stanford, 2022) suggests the continuing richness of Azuza Street as a historical, ethical, and philosophical site of encounter and entanglement in American religious and racial history. What does thinking with Azuza mean today?


Entanglement has emerged as a constant theme in the humanities in recent years. What do we hope entanglement might do for us? Does using entanglement as an analytic lens bring limitations with it, or have the potentials of entanglement for expanding the horizons of our scholarship not yet been realized? How does entanglement mobilize visions, narratives, and relationships within our scholarly work?


Papers for a possible panel celebrating the work of Michael Serres, in honor of his book Religions (Stanford, 2022) and his death in 2019


Papers for a possible panel on Biko Mandela Gray’s Black Life Matter (Duke, 2022)

A possible pre-arranged panel on Lucia Hulsether’s Capitalist Humanitarianism (Duke, 2023)

In relation to next year’s presidential theme, La Labor de Nuestras Manos, we are especially interested in proposals that arise or are informed by labor perspectives, especially perspectives related to migrant labor and borders, as well as proposals that experiment with multilingual (Spanish-English) delivery.

    Statement of Purpose

    The Theology and Religious Reflection Unit is committed to fostering broad, interdisciplinary conversations in the study of religion and theology. We aim to cultivate a site of intersection and engagement for scholars working in various religious contexts who also have interests in the wider aspects of mutual interest in our field (theological, theoretical, methodological, political, ethical). Our Unit promotes constructive work that typically includes an emphasis on critical engagement as well as conceptual and social transformation.


    Steering Committee Members



    Review Process

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