PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

AAR Sessions (PDF)

Additional Meeting Sessions (PDF)

Session Index (PDF)

Participant Index (PDF)

Session Locations (PDF)

Exhibitor Index and Exhibit Hall Maps (PDF)

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Ecclesial Practices Group

Statement of Purpose: 

Ecclesial Practices provides a collaborative space at the intersection of ethnographic and other qualitative approaches and theological approaches to the study of ecclesial practices. This might include churches, other (new, emerging, para-church, and virtual) communities, and lived faith in daily life. International in scope, the group encourages research contributing to a deeper understanding of 'church in practice' in a global context, including decolonization and postcolonial theologies.

The group encourages ongoing research in the following areas:

• Empirical and theological approaches to the study of ecclesial communities (churches, congregations, and emerging communities), especially as interdisciplinary efforts to understand lived faith and practice extending from them;
• Studies of specific ecclesial activities, e.g. music, liturgy, arts, social justice, youth work, preaching, pastoral care, rites of passage, community organizing;
• Studies of global contexts of lived faith in relation to ecclesial communities, for example, decolonizing and postcolonial theory and theology;
• Discussions of congregational growth and decline, new church movements, and ecclesial experiments connected to shared practices in a worldly church;
• Explorations of Christian doctrine in relation to the potential implications of empirical and qualitative research on ecclesial communities and lived faith for discerning, defining, and challenging standard theological genres such as systematics and doctrine, as well as inviting new ways to understand normative logics;
• Discussions of methodological issues with regard to qualitative research on theological topics, especially related to ecclesial communities and lived faith;
• Discussions (both substantive and methodological) of the implications of new technologies and digital cultures for ecclesial communities and lived faith.

Call for Papers: 

This year we are co-sponsoring a session with The Society for the Study of Anglicanism. We encourage submissions that use ethnographic or qualitative methods for their theological reflection in a variety of ecclesial traditions. We particularly invite papers that focus on conflict and reconciliation. We welcome papers that consider both the socio-political and personal-communal dimensions of conflict and reconciliation as they impact World Anglicanism and other ecclesial communities. Papers may focus on (but are not limited to) such topics as race and police violence, issues of inclusion (e.g., conflicts around sexuality), ecclesial relations with first peoples/indigenous peoples, clergy sexual abuse, as well as issues of local ecclesial conflicts of various sorts (e.g., "worship wars").

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