PAPERS Resources

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

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Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Group

Statement of Purpose: 

The work of this Group 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.

Call for Papers: 

The Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Group invites proposals that identify new functional narratives of the Civil Rights Movement in the current moment of social activism.

For our 2015 meeting, we are especially interested in proposals that address the following:

Theological praxis for the Church and the role of clergy in social protest

The relevance of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the twenty-first century

Artistic expressions (graphic arts, music, spoken word, etc.) as transmission vehicles for nonviolent principles

Martin Luther King Jr. and militarism

Bridging the current generational divide among civil rights scholars and activists

The Civil Rights movement and new iterations of public protest, with special attention to reconsiderations of the Montgomery Bus Boycott on the occasion of its 60th anniversary (for a possible co-sponsored session with the Afro-American Religious History Group).

Proposals for a quad-sponsored panel with the North American Religions Section; the Liberation Theologies Group; the Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Group: 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).

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee