The work of this Unit is focused on creating conversations around the unique contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. to the Christian theological tradition in the twentieth century and to the religious, cultural, political, and economic consequences of his work. We are particularly interested in the many facets of the Civil Rights Movement, of which King was a significant part. These explorations have included a focus on the role of women in the movement, the economic dimensions of King’s work, and his use of both the theological traditions and rhetoric of the Black Church. In all of our sessions we are interested in fostering inter- and multidisciplinary approaches to this project.
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Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Unit
Call for Proposals
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Environmental Justice
The Theology of Martin Luther King, Jr. unit invites papers that explore the theme of environmental justice. We are interested in papers that meaningfully emphasize and engage King’s theological and philosophical thought to address the following:
- Conceptions of justice and human responsibility that enhance understanding of and commitments to environmental justice.
- Analyses of the current dangers facing the environment.
- Analyses of the impact of environmental injustice on race, gender, and/or class.
- Theological and philosophical frameworks for dealing with modern US and transnational environmental problems
- Intersections between environmental concerns and human catastrophes, slavery and colonialism, poverty, and homelessness.
Martin & Malcolm & America: 30 years later
The Theology of Martin Luther King, Jr. unit invites papers that reflect on James Cone’s Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare. Published in 1991, Martin & Malcolm & America places King and X in conversation, making it clear that reading these two American prophets alongside each other offers an otherwise missing understanding of their contributions to the American Civil Rights movement. Claiming that “Malcolm and Martin symbolize two necessary ingredients” in justice work and that “we need them together,” Cone’s work leaves us with a significant well to draw from in light of current questions and pursuits of justice. The King unit solicits papers or panel proposals that critically reflect on this important text while offering a constructive analysis on Cone’s argument and insightful visions on how Martin King and Malcolm X offer resources for addressing modern Civil Rights concerns. We also look to engage papers that critique potential limits of Martin & Malcolm & America as well as those that offer nuanced approaches toward reading Martin and Malcolm today. We are especially interested in papers that engage questions regarding race, queer theory, gender, and reproductive rights in relation to the scope of Cone’s Martin & Malcolm & America.