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Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture Unit

Call for Proposals

The Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture Unit seeks papers or a panel proposal on the following themes:


Paul Tillich and Delores Williams in Dialogue

The Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture, Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society, and Black Theology Units, in recognition of the 2022 passing of the prominent Womanist theologian Delores Williams, invites paper proposals that consider the extent of her contribution to the academy in both her scholarship and teaching vis-à-vis the work of Paul Tillich, which she engaged with very heavily during her career at Union Theological Seminary. We invite paper proposals exploring the intersections of and/or tensions between Williams’ Womanist theology and the thought of Tillich in terms of any of the following: culture and correlation; theology and aesthetics; the nature of sin and evil; survival and courage; salvation; Christology; the Black radical tradition and the Jewish prophetic tradition; the ministerial vision and the Jewish prophetic tradition; the nature and work of the church; racial narcissism and estrangement. We especially welcome papers considering Williams’ teaching on the aforementioned topics, as there has never been a formal conversation on her pedagogy.


Tillichian Cartographies and Hip-Hop Aesthetics 

The Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture and the Critical Approaches to Hip-Hop and Religion Unit seeks paper proposals for a cosponsored panel on the contemporary cultural and artistic scene's disclosure of intersections between Paul Tillich and religious sensibilities expressed within Hip-hop. The music of Kendrick Lamar would be a case in point. We invite papers exploring new cartographies in Tillichian thought that center a scholarly use of Hip-hop as a cultural resource for thinking and rethinking through Tillichian theological and methodological approaches in the study of religion. We are especially interested in papers that address the following issues: Hip-hop, culture, and correlation; theology of culture and embodiment; theology and aesthetics; complex subjectivity, estrangement, and the “New Being”; Christian existentialism and the Black radical tradition; racial narcissism and Black existentialism.

Statement of Purpose

This Unit fosters scholarship and scholarly exchanges which analyze, criticize, and interpret the thought and impact of Paul Tillich (1886–1965), engaging his thought — including revisions of and reactions against his thought — to deal with contemporary issues in theology, religion, and ethics, or the political, social, psychotherapeutic, scientific, and/or artistic spheres of human culture. We cooperate with the North American Paul Tillich Society (a Related Scholarly Organization of the AAR), which is linked with the German, French, and other Tillich societies. Papers at our sessions may be published in the Society’s quarterly Bulletin without prejudice to their concurrent publication.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

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