PAPERS Resources

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

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Liberation Theologies Group

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group asks “what does liberation theology mean in and for the twenty-first century?” We encourage crossover dialogue — between contexts and between disciplines — and reflection on the implications of liberationist discourse for the transformation of theology as a whole, both methodologically and theologically.

Call for Papers: 

1: Liberation & Charlatanry in Academia

The Liberation Theologies Group invites proposals that engage knowledge, its production, institutions of knowledge, and the role of education in the 21st century. We encourage broad interpretation of the terms of the call and creative, constructive proposals for liberation theologies in the 21st century. Papers could engage topics such as the following: (This list is far from exhaustive. Please be fearless in proposing what needs to be said!)

The Current Situation

  • · Neoliberalization and corporatization of universities
  • · “The Adjunct Crisis”
  • · Student debt; Tuition hikes
  • · Faculty complicity
  • · Academic charlatanry
  • · Dominant modes of scholarship
  • · Seminaries and today’s challenges
  • · Non-dominant, resistant, or experimental models of education (e.g. Open University, University of the Poor, School Occupations)
  • · Where is God in the modern university? Where is God _not_ in the modern university?
  • · Student movements
  • · “Crisis of the Humanities”
  • · Accreditation and tenure benefits, demands, and dangers
  • · US scholarly arrogance
  • · ….. and many other important topics ….

Thinking about Knowledge, Scholarship, and Education

  • · Power and knowledge; Power and pedagogy; Power and scholarship
  • · Social position and the possibilities of knowledge
  • · Knowledge of God; Knowledge of world; Knowledge of self
  • · Radical archives or other futures for liberative libraries
  • · Critical pedagogies; social education; pedagogies from the margins
  • · Rethinking economies and currencies of knowledge
  • · Recognizing and resisting manifestations of oppression
  • · Theological perspectives role of scholarship and education
  • · Ethics of scholarly methods and knowledge production
  • · Universities and empire; Universities and war
  • · Roles, purposes, and forms of liberative education and/or theological education
  • · Intersectional, womanist or mujerista approaches to institutional formation and/or pedagogy
  • · Academic work versus academic praxis
  • · ….. and many other important topics ….

Looking Forward

  • · Life-giving models of academic community
  • · (Non-capitalist) economies of knowledge
  • · Educating for change
  • · Examples, practices, or proposals for academic solidarity rather than complicity
  • · Connecting technology, knowledge, and liberation (e.g. postcolonial digital humanities)
  • · Creating liberative and liberated spaces in the academy
  • · Ideas for how to manifest other forms of education within the neo-liberal market
  • · Prophetic calls for educational justice
  • · ….. and many other important topics ….

The group encourages crossover dialogue — between contexts, between disciplines, and between religions — and reflection on the implications of liberationist discourse for the transformation of theology as a whole, both its methods and substance. We welcome any theological approach (e.g. constructive, theoretical, activist, sociological, historical, etc.). Likewise, we welcome proposals arising out of or engaging all religious or ritual traditions including, but certainly not limited to: indigenous religions, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, traditional African religions and Buddhism.

2: Class, Theology, Place, and the Academy

We are pleased to extend a complementary call for papers in collaboration with Class, Religion, and Theology; Religion and Cities, and Theology and Religious Reflection Groups that focuses on the intersections of class, theology, place, and academic production. Proposals that fit within this rubric should be submitted to the joint call.

Quad-sponsored Session with the Class, Religion, and Theology Group; the Liberation Theologies Group; the Religion and Cities Group; the Theology and Religious Reflection Section

For a quad-sponsored session with the Religion and Cities Group, the Theology and Religious Reflection Section, and the Class, Religion, and Theology Group, we are inviting papers that address the relevance of issues of class, religion, and theology to the academy and academics, including issues of academic labor and how class affects academic production more broadly conceived (in particular teaching and writing). In these papers we also encourage reflections on place. How do issues of class, religion, and theology shape up in the academy in relation to the various locations of academic production in large cities, towns, and rural areas?

3: Prophetic Pulpits: the influence and legacies of MLK Jr. among Latina/o activists

Co-sponsored Session with Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Group; the Theology of Martin Luther King, Jr. Group; the North American Religions Section

Proposals for a quad-sponsored panel with the North American Religions Section; the Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Group; the Theology of Martin Luther King, Jr. Group on “Prophetic Pulpits: The Influence and Legacies of MLK Jr. among Latina/o Activists.”

Recognizing Atlanta as a major center in the civil rights movement, we invite papers focused on the interplay between MLK Jr.'s religiously grounded civic activism as a model/partner/influence to Latina/o social engagement. Essentially we seek papers that will connect black and brown approaches to civic activism which are rooted in religious convictions. Potential themes for papers include: MLK's friendship and political/religious solidarity with César Chávez; historical sketches of Latina/o activists en la lucha for racial equality, workers' rights, immigration reform, etc.; critical comparison/contrast of National Latina/o Evangelical leaders advancing social reform through pulpit ministry (Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, NHCLC; Rev. Gabriel Salguero, NaLEC); current hot topics on black/brown race issues in the media (Ferguson, Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman); activism in the barrio/hood and in the prison systems (Young Lords and Black Panthers connections).

4: New Books Session (Pre-arranged)

Collaborative Session with Latina/o Critical and Comparative Studies Consultation, Religion in Latin American and the Caribbean Group, and Liberation Theologies

The panel will discuss the following books: Luis Leon's The Political Spirituality of Cesar Chavez (UC Press, 2014), Chris Tirres' The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith (Oxford UP, 2014), and Michelle Gonzalez's A Critical Introduction to Religion in the Americas (NYU Press, 2014).

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
We believe that the diversity of our panels is supported by having chosen this option for the review process.
ChairSteering Committee