Looking to AAR

Some sessions at this coming AAR that really caught my eyes (and doesn’t include the “additional meetings” — the list just started getting too long):

SATURDAY MORNING, 9:00 am-11:30 am

Arts, Literature, and Religion Section
Theme: Milton Matters: A Quadricentennial Consideration of His Reception

Theology and Continental Philosophy Group
Theme: Theology and Materialism

Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Group
Marla J. Selvidge, University of Central Missouri, Presiding
Theme: Teaching Peace
Drop by our session for reports on how people around the globe are integrating peace strategies into their curricula. There will be case studies from seminaries in Chicago about how they are using transforming strategies to teach peace. Netpeace is an organization that brings together non-religious and religious individuals with hopes of making peace. Others will help us to understand how to communicate in a non-violent way or to integrate peace topics into the academic study of religions.

Le Anne Clausen, Chicago Theological Seminary Unauthorized Peacemaking: Transforming Seminaries and Healing the World (Influences and Early Lessons from the Center for Faith and Peacemaking)

Anna Halafoff, Monash University Netpeace: Multifaith and Secular-religious Networks for Common Security

Elizabeth N. Agnew, Ball State University Needs and “Nonviolent Communication”: Peacemaking and the Religious Studies Curriculum

Atalia Omer, Harvard University Religious Studies and the Study of Religion and Peacebuilding

Heidi Tauscher, Emory University Atlanta World Pilgrims: An Interfaith Pedagogy for Peacemaking, Interreligious Cooperation, and Social Activism

Business Meeting:
Jon Pahl, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia and Marla J. Selvidge, University of Central Missouri, Presiding

Liberation Theologies Consultation
Thia Cooper, Gustavus Adolphus College, Presiding
Theme: Liberation Theologies for the Twenty-first Century
What does liberation theology mean in and for the twenty-first century? This panel of liberationists will engage their particular contexts (economics, politics, sex, gender, ethnicity, race, environment, etc.) with the themes of cross-over 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.

Rosemary R. Ruether, Claremont Graduate University
George E. Tinker, Denver, CO

Ivan Petrella, University of Miami
Benjamin Valentin, Andover Newton Theological School
Ada María Isasi-Díaz, Drew University
Emilie M. Townes, Yale University

Business Meeting:
Thia Cooper, Gustavus Adolphus College , Presiding

Space, Place, and Religious Meaning Consultation
Joanne Punzo Waghorne, Syracuse University, Presiding
Theme: The Physical, the Material, and the Aural in US Religious Spaces
The study of religion has been expanding to consider not only texts and oral sources gathered through fieldwork, but the role of space and place for understanding the meaning and significance of religion for historical and living communities. This consultation makes use this year of historical and contemporary ethnography to locate religion physically, materially, and aurally in both urban and rural environments in North America. We present visual and tactile expressions marking religious space and place in the form of material culture, folk art, architecture, pilgrimage, public and private display events, as well as the significance of situating religious space in the ever-present, but often over-looked and under-studied, world of human-produced sound.

Thomas E. Frank, Emory University Historic Houses of Worship in Community Memory and Imagination

Brian C. R. Zugay, Texas Tech University “You’re Trying to Make Episcopalians of Us”: Using Organizational Analysis to Understand Architectural Change in the Disciples of Christ, 1922-1946

Airen Hall, Syracuse University Religious World-Making: Pilgrimage and Scriptural
Narrative in the Construction of Latter-Day Saint Sacred Space

Joseph Sciorra, Queens College Built with Faith: Place Making and the Religious
Imagination in Italian New York City

Business Meeting:
Jeanne Halgren Kilde, University of Minnesota, Presiding

SATURDAY AFTERNOON, 1:00 pm-3:30 pm

Wildcard Session
Creston Davis, University of Virginia, Presiding
Theme: On the Relation between A/Theism and the Political; or, The Political Theology of the Void, Parmenides, and St. Paul

Alain Badiou, University of Paris St. Paul and the Politics of the Void

Ernesto Laclau, Northwestern University The Multiple and Hegemony: Badiou’s “Void” and the Via Negativa

Kenneth Reinhard, University of California, Los Angeles There is Something of One (God): Lacan and Political Theology

Mark C. Taylor, Columbia University Holy Terror: A Political Ontology

Slavoj Žižek, University of Ljubljana
Kenneth Surin, Duke University


Bonhoeffer: Theology and Social Analysis Group and Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. Consultation
Willis Jenkins, Yale University, Presiding
Jennifer McBride, University of Virginia, Presiding
Theme: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King: Receiving Their Legacies for Christian Social Thought
This panel considers the legacies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr. for Christian social thought, and discusses the promise and perils of interpreting the two together. Recognizing the contested claims on each figure, panelists reflect on whether and how to interpret their legacies together. Perhaps the analogous controversies open lines of mutual interpretation, or at least pedagogically useful tensions. Papers and responses from five scholars of Christian social thought describe angles of mutual interpretation that may precipitate new understandings of both King and Bonhoeffer, and that engage the social issues that construct their enduring American importance.

Josiah U. Young, Wesley Theological Seminary
Larry Rasmussen, Union Theological Seminary, New York
Jean Bethke Elshtain, University of Chicago
Traci C. West, Drew University
J. Kameron Carter, Duke University

Theology and the Political Consultation
Jeffrey W. Robbins, Lebanon Valley College, Presiding
Theme: The Politics of Theology, the Theology of Politics
The Theology and the Political Consultation provides a forum for religious studies scholars, philosophers, and theologians to critically reflect on different conceptions of the political and draw out the theoretical and practical significance for the tasks of theology. The theme for this year’s meeting is “The Politics of Theology, the Theology of Politics.” Our session will engage the cultural, economic, social, and theoretical politics that in/form the discourse of theology as well as the “theology” that underwrites historic and contemporary forms of politics and political theory. Papers will also engage the question: “How and in what ways do contemporary forms of political theology support, undermine, and/or transform the justifications and practices of war?”

Elizabeth Ann Pritchard, Bowdoin College Liberalism’s Theology of Consent

K. Christine Pae, Union Theological Seminary, New York Political Theology and Theology of Sex in the Context of Globalized Militarism: US Overseas Militarism and Military Prostitution in a Time of War

Todd D. Whitmore, University of Notre Dame Whose War? Which Genocide? Theology, Politics, and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda

SATURDAY NIGHT, 8:00 pm-9:00 pm

Presidential Plenary Address
Mark Juergensmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara, Presiding
Theme: Walking on the Rimbones of Nothingness: Scholarship and Activism
Emilie M. Townes, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale University, has been instrumental in constructing womanist theology. Her books, Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope; In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness; Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health Care, and A Womanist Ethic of Care are considered ground-breaking texts in the field. An ordained American Baptist clergywoman, Townes served as an interim minister at the Christ the Redeemer Metropolitan Community Church in Evanston, Illinois and held teaching positions at theological schools and seminaries, including Union Theological Seminary. She holds three degrees from the University of Chicago: a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts from the Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry. She earned a Ph.D. from the Joint Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary/Northwestern University Program in Religious and Theological Studies.

Emilie M. Townes, Yale University

SUNDAY MORNING, 9:00-11:30am

Christian Systematic Theology Section and Scriptural Reasoning Group
Samuel Wells, Duke University, Presiding
Theme: Liturgy, Eucharist, and Transfiguration
This session explores the relationship between Christian doctrine and Judaism with special attention to sacramental and liturgical practice. Topics include eucharist and passover; transfiguration, religious identity, and eschatological peace; church as Israel in liturgy and ritual; eucharist, land, and liturgical gift exchange.

Matthew Myer Boulton, Harvard University A New Passover? Christian Eucharistic Doctrine
and the Jewish Passover Meal

Kevin L. Hughes, Villanova University Transfigurations: Scriptural Reasoning upon Mount Tabor

H. Peter Kang, University of Virginia Viewing the Church as Israel through Liturgy and Ritual

Thomas Burke, Boston College Breaking Open Gift-Exchange: A Dialogue with Louis-Marie Chauvet on the Liturgical Formation of Jewish and Christian Identities


Wildcard Session
Anne Murphy, University of British Columbia, Presiding
Theme: Remembering and Forgetting in the Formation of Religious Subjectivities
This wildcard panel anticipates the resubmission of an application for a related new consultation entitled Narrative, Memory, History, which will be dedicated to the consideration of the uses of narrative and the construction of memory and history in religious practices, texts, and contexts. This panel represents the kind of session that the consultation is meant to promote: cross- religious and cross-cultural inquiry around a related thematic, methodological, or theoretical concern. Here, we address the theme of memory in relation to its negation to explore the contours of memory and its limits in the formation of religious subjectivity. In keeping with the investigative nature of our session, it is designed as a hybrid of the panel and paper session formats. It is designed to promote methodological and cultural breadth, and as a result the paired themes of remembering and forgetting are explored in multiple dimensions and across religious traditions and periods.

Eliza Slavet, University of California, San Diego Remembering, Repeating, and Working-through Moses the Egyptian and the Psychoanalytic Model of Cultural Discourse

Amy Holmes, Australian National University Depicting Miracles as an Art of Memory: A Case Study of the Himalayan Buddhist Biography of Togden Shakya Shri (1853- 1919)

Jeffrey M Brackett, Ball State University The Rhetorical Guru: Remembering Samartha Ramdas Swami

Cameron David Warner, Harvard University, Middlebury College Remembering and Forgetting the Significance of Princess Wencheng: Micro-historical Challenges to the Master Narrative of Tibetan Buddhist Historiography

Kristen Rudisill, Bowling Green State University Pre-emptive Nostalgia and Displaced Tradition: A Tamil Brahmin Marriage in Washington DC

David Reinhart, DePaul University Memory and a Prayer from Ravensbrück

Albert J. Raboteau, Princeton University

Christian Systematic Theology Section
Theme: Beyond Supersessionism


Religion and Politics Section
Theme: Religion and National Identity

MONDAY MORNING, 9:00-11:30pm

Ethics Section
Theme: Criminal Injustice and Christian Responsibility: Christianity and the Criminal Justice Systems

Religion and Politics Section and Religion and the Social Sciences Section
Mark Chaves, Duke University, Presiding
Theme: Religion, Politics, and Civic Engagement: Separating Fact from Fiction
Religion continues to shape American political and civic life. In this session, two prominent political scientists will present the latest research on the complex connections between religion and politics, and, more broadly, between religion and civic engagement. John Green is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Akron and Senior Fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. David Campbell is the John Cardinal O’Hara Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and co-author with Robert Putnam of a forthcoming book on the changing role of religion in America. Green will focus on religion and electoral politics, including the nature of this relationship in the 2008 elections. Campbell will focus on religion and civic engagement, describing both the current situation and significant trends. There will be ample time for open discussion of these important and timely subjects.

John Green, University of Akron Religion and American Elections

David H. Campbell, Phoenix Seminary Religion and American Civic Life

Business Meeting:
Barbara A. McGraw, Saint Mary’s College of California, and Andrew Murphy, Valparaiso University, Presiding


Special Topics Forum
Sponsored by the Theological Education Steering Committee
Glen Stassen, Fuller Theological Seminary, Presiding
Theme: Theology of Hope and Healing for a Divided Nation
The United States is ailing from a history of racial division, experiencing religious tensions in the wake of September 11, worried about strained international relations, and polarized by internal struggles. In the presidential campaign, we have seen indications of this hurt, but we have also seen possibilities of healing. As in previous presidential elections, religious rhetoric has played a prominent role during the primary season and in the general election. While religion scholars stand ready to offer critical analyses of public religious discourse, can engaged scholars and learned religious leaders offer constructive proposals that can offer hope for the public life of this pluralistic nation? Can we understand such offerings as contributions to the public understanding of religion? How might reflective religious leaders and scholars offer theologies of healing for an ailing nation? We invite our distinguished speakers to offer just such theologies on the eve of the election.

Glen Stassen, Fuller Theological Seminary
Michael Lerner, Tikkun Magazine; Rabbi, Beyt Tikkun Synagogue
Obery M. Hendricks, New York Theological Seminary

Bonhoeffer: Theology and Social Analysis Group
Theme: Race, Power, and Prayer: US Influences on Bonhoeffer’s Theology


Theology and Religious Reflection Section
Theme: Theology, Economics, and the Person

Theology and Continental Philosophy Group
Theme: Theology, Practice, and the Political

Death, Dying, and Beyond Consultation
Theme: Death, Popular Culture, and Technology


4 thoughts on “Looking to AAR

  1. Yeah, but it would’ve been an interesting gong show, and the first time to see/hear Zizek’s accent in action. I was looking forward to it for both the intellectual possibilities and the entertainment value.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s