January 29 2020

Mid-Atlantic Region

Map of the AAR Mid-Atlantic Region

2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting

February 28–March 1, 2019
Hyatt Regency
2 Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

2019 Call for Papers

Conference Theme: Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without

Proposal Deadline: December 1, 2018

Within nations and among them, recent years have been fraught with conflict. MAR-AAR responded the last two years by first asking how scholars in our disciplines should contribute and what specifically they should speak to in attempting to publicly address anthropogenic tragedy, whether it affected  fellow humans or our shared oikos in its entirety. This year’s theme asks its questions more specifically in pairs that speak to the great global shifts politics, economics, and culture have undergone and which still keep populations in turmoil. The objects of our mutual study, religions, unfortunately can and have often worsened these clashes that so seriously threaten us; yet the polarities expressed in the conference title are not divisions to which the religions and wisdom traditions that we explore aspire. Rather they often imagine a world in which relationships among individuals, families, nations, and with the earth itself manifest justice and harmony.

MAR-AAR invites for submission to any of the several program units meeting this year those proposals that speak to the way religious, theological, philosophical, or biblical traditions have provided ideas for healing these rifts or, on the other hand, fostered or exacerbated them. These submissions may approach the conference theme from multiple directions and engage multidisciplinary approaches as well as the intersections that arise from the various contexts in which we work. As we continue the tasks not only of examining our roles as public intellectuals, but also executing our responsibilities as such, we look forward to another stimulating regional meeting.

Plenary Speaker

Bethany Welch, Ph.D., Executive Director, Aquinas Center, Philadelphia, PA.

Bethany J. Welch, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Aquinas Center. Her research on the Catholic Church and urban revitalization prompted Philadelphia’s St. Thomas Aquinas parish to invite her to help them repurpose a former convent to create a space that builds unity in diversity, supports learning, and inspires thoughtful action. In 2014, Dr. Welch was recognized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with the Cardinal Bernardin  New Leadership Award for how her work addresses poverty and injustice.

Welch, a VISTA volunteer from 2003-2004, also received a Spirit of Service  Award in 2006 from the Corporation for National and Community Service for advancing transformational change in urban communities through research, planning, and capacity building. She has earned a PhD from the University of Delaware, an MS from the University of Rochester, and a BS from Roberts Wesleyan College. Dr. Welch recently co-authored a book on the unique collaborative research undertaken by the Aquinas community and students at the University of Pennsylvania. Partnering with Immigrant Communities was published in 2016 by Teachers College Press. Bethany is an adjunct faculty member in the Religious Studies department at Cabrini University.

Proposal Submission

Submissions, unless otherwise stated in a modified section’s Call for Papersbelow, should include the following information:

  • Name
  • Institutional Affiliation
  • E-mail Address
  • 150-word Abstract
  • 500-word Proposal

Please review the various sections accepting proposal guidelines below. Submit by e-mail attachment to the Chair and Co-Chairs identified in the section to which you are submitting. Members may only submit one proposal to a section and two proposals overall. The submission deadline is December 1, 2018. You will receive notification regarding the status of your proposal by January 15, 2019. If you have questions about which section to submit to or need additional information about submitting a proposal, please contact the MAR-AAR Vice President/President- Elect, Alicia A. Panganiban, aliciabp@gmail.com.

Asian Religions

This section invites proposals on the pioneering, creative, and often revolutionary role of religion in dealing with, and offering solutions to, various global challenges, including migrant crisis, post-truth, political polarization, neo-nationalism, and environmental crisis. We are interested in presentations that address, particularly through Asian religious perspectives, a variety of issues and questions concerning the role of religion, including hermeneutics and religious figures, as a positive, innovative force for social change in both public discourse and socio-political process. We are interested in how Asian religious perspectives could help us better respond to the breakdown of traditional political and administrative systems, both domestically and internationally, and the loss of a strong sense of community. Discussions on the utilization of religious narrative or philosophy as ideological drive can be good examples: Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha, the ssial philosophy of Ham, Seok-Heon, a leading religious thinker and political activist of modern Korea, and the humanistic Buddhism of Taixu, a prominent Buddhist modernist in China, etc. We also consider proposal ideas that extend beyond these themes, if they are under the general focus of this section.

Submit proposals to:

Christian History and Theology

This Section invites proposals relating to this year’s regional conference theme: Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without. The Call for Papers invites many different applications in the study of Christian history and theology. Proposals may address the conference theme in a variety of ways. We welcome a variety of approaches—including focused historical study, critical textual analysis, and constructive theology. Interdisciplinary projects drawing on anthropology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, or other fields are encouraged. Paper proposals on other topics relating to Christian history and theology are also encouraged.

Submit proposals to

Comparative Religion and Ecology

The Comparative Religion and Ecology section constructively explores contemporary ecological and Earth-focused issues from the perspectives of different religious traditions through a postcolonial interreligious lens.

Comparing spiritual and religious views of the ecosystem, its meaning, and its relation to human beings, this section is self-consciously interreligious as well as interdisciplinary.

This year's theme also compels us to call for submissions which specifically explore the civilizational crossroads moment presented by the age of climate crisis. How does our work as ecologically conscious scholars contribute to the anticipation of Earth-honoring and ecologically just pathways and responses to the reality of climate crisis?

This section focuses on the challenge of rethinking religions in relation to a just and sustainable society by exploring the current issues concerning the intersection of science, religion, and ecology, such as climate change, alternative energy and fossil fuels, food production and GMOs, and related issues. We are particularly interested in proposals that are related to one of the following themes: 1) dealing with an ecological issue(s) in interreligious dialogue(s); 2) proposing planetary ethic(s) in East-West dialogue(s); focusing on postcolonial/neocolonial/colonial relations between humans and our ecosystem in relation to religions and theologies. We encourage submissions by scholars of all religious traditions and multiple disciplines and perspectives: Environmental Studies, Environmental Humanities, Forestry, Conservation, History, Historiography, Social Sciences, Food Studies, Comparative Philosophy, Ethics & Morals, Theology, Religious Studies, Animal Ethics, and Political Theology.

Submit proposals to:

Contemporary Theology

This section invites proposals for scholars reflecting on systematic, philosophical, or moral theology in the contemporary context, loosely defined as the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. This year's theme, Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without, presents a number of interesting questions that can be explored in our section. Especially welcome are any papers with an emphasis on the intersection between religious/theological education and the question of global patriarchy, the role of ecumenism in responding to tribalism, methodological or hermeneutical approaches to religious practices, theological reflection on approaches to healing the rifts caused by religious, political, economic, and cultural division, or other cross-disciplinary conversations. Explicitly focusing on the conference theme will without question bolster one's candidacy in the submission process, but any outstanding pieces subsumed under the section's general aegis are always considered for acceptance. Group presentations or panels are particularly encouraged.

Submit proposals to:

Continental Philosophy

The contemporary landscape features numerous dramatic and disorienting paradigm shifts in the realms of the cultural, the religious, the political, the economic, and the environmental. On the one hand, the present time embraces such changes, citing the technological advances and the notions of social justice to which they have given rise. On the other hand, however, the present time rejects such changes, citing the erosion of the foundations of the Western intellectual tradition to which they have likewise given rise. Thus, the contemporary landscape is one of tension between polarities: tradition and progress, radicalism and reactionism, hope and fear. This section seeks papers that draw on the Continental tradition to address questions regarding such polarities. How should we navigate this tension? Is progress possible only by abandoning the Western tradition, or is it possible to embrace notions of social justice while maintaining traditional commitments? In particular, this section seeks accounts of current social problems analyzed with respect to the tension of such polarities, and which rely upon the methodology of the Continental tradition to move toward their resolution.

Submit proposals to:

Global Religion and Pluralism

The Global Religions and Pluralism section seeks proposals that reflect aspects of the theme for the 2019 conference: “Out of Place, Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without.” The theme provides room for proposals to be creative and innovative in their connection of the global reach of religion and the complexities of pluralism. While the current atmosphere of fear, hatred, and racial prejudice appears strong in civil society, many religious traditions are challenging such an atmosphere. This section seeks proposals that will not only address the current climate but also how global religions and pluralism can help bring better relationships and harmony among all peoples. Once a proposal is accepted we ask that a final draft be submitted prior to the conference. If you have further questions please send them to the co-chairs.

Submit proposals to:

Interreligious and Interfaith Studies

This section invites proposals that rigorously discuss any aspect of interreligious and interfaith engagement. To establish the contours of this emerging field, we intend to cover a broader spectrum of the field. In particular, responding to the 2019 regional conference theme, Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without, this section encourages proposals that discuss how scholarly vision in Interreligious and Interfaith dialogue responds to such issues as displaced persons, fear, tribalism, migration, race and ethnicity.

Submit proposals to:

Philosophy of Religion

This section invites proposals that explore the conference theme: Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without. Topics include (but are not limited to) the nature of religion, belief, ultimate reality, the soul, as well as faith and reason, proofs for the existence of God, the problem of evil, and religious plurality. Critically examining these topics opens up a space to objectively question and evaluate subjective beliefs, while beginning to understand and value the various belief systems of others, even when it comes into conflict with one’s own.

Submit proposals to:

Postcolonial and Religious Studies

The Postcolonial and Religious Studies Section invites proposals that touch on any of the many connections between the 2018 regional conference theme, Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without, and (post-) colonial studies of religion. Speaking broadly, papers in this section could (but are certainly not required to) consider a question like the following: how do we, as scholars of religion, grapple with the colonial origins of the boundaries we encounter and employ?

More particular sub-questions could include: How might the construction of boundaries between religions and academic disciplines parallel the construction of political boundaries, whether borders between nation-states or between metropole and periphery? If, as a number of scholars have observed in recent decades, the category “religion” was, in some ways, first developed “within” imperial cores and then deployed to the territories being colonized “without,” how might we be able to rethink our objects of study when grappling with this colonial legacy?

Submit proposals to:

Psychology and Religion

The theme of the 2019 annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Academy of Religion (MAR-AAR) builds on last year’s conference (our responsibility as “anticipatory scholars”), but shifts our focus in the public sphere to anthropogenic tragedy. Based upon the general rubric of the conference, the section welcomes proposals dealing with tribalism and human behavior, and migration in the social and ecological sphere. For example:

  • What is the link between psychology, religion, and inclusivity?
  • What does the psychological approach to religion offer in an increasingly “global” community dealing with critical political, economic, and cultural issues?
  • Can the current polarized political discourse be linked in any way to a backlash against mechanistic and atheistic worldviews?
  • What does fear of the ‘other’ mean in psychological and religious terms, and what is its impact on international and inter-religious dialogue?

We are interested also in papers that offer psychological perspectives on any aspect of the juxtaposition and integration of psychology and religion; for example, how can the psychology of religion serve as a bridge between the secular and religious? In addition, we welcome proposals for papers that address religious texts, themes, figures, and/or readers using the concepts and interpretive tools of any field of psychology in relation to religion.

Submit proposals to:

Religion and Education

This section invites proposals that respond to this year’s regional conference theme: Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without as it connects to religion, schooling, and education. Schools and other educational spaces are not insulated from global tensions, shifts, and conflicts in politics, economies, and cultures. In fact, these issues are echoed and often amplified through education. Educators are tasked with guiding and forming students for their future roles as citizens and leaders, and it would be irresponsible to ignore the influences and intersection of religion with many forms of education. Given this contemporary landscape, what are the normative commitments of education about religion in academic and non-academic settings? What are the content, skills, values, and dispositions that constitute the learning objectives of the academic study of religion in K-12 schools, higher education, and community settings? Should religious studies education promote efforts to establish common ground among disparate groups? How can the intersection of the classroom and the study/learning of religion assist in reframing conversations about migrants and race? Should the academic study of religion seek to create compassionate leaders devoted to justice and equity? Does our current political and cultural moment require a reconceptualization of the goals for religious studies education?

Proposals might address the following themes:

  • Education about the intersections of religious and other identities
  • Teacher preparation to teach about religion and conflict
  • Impacts of education about religion at multiple levels: students, families, schools, and communities
  • Content, skills, values, and dispositions that guide religious studies education and/or that constitute the learning objectives of education about religion
  • Pedagogies in the religious studies classroom to interrogate and dismantle oppressive structures
  • Religious studies education and social justice
  • Religious studies education for interfaith or inter-religious understanding
  • Approaches to education about religion from insider and outsider perspectives

Paper proposals on other topics relating to religion and education will also be considered.

Submit proposals to:

Religion and Ethics

In every society, religion plays a foundational role as a basis for ethical thinking and acting. Thus, when particular ways of thinking and acting are based on religious sanction – either implicit or explicit – this gives a sense of legitimacy which is difficult to challenge unless an alternative religious narrative can gain a foothold in people’s thinking, feeling, and acting.

Increasingly, our world today is plagued by marginalization, and this marginalization is often driven by religious narratives which give both guidance and support for action; sometimes even to the point of physical confrontations. Religious ethics and ethicists have an important function in helping to decrease this marginalization by creating alternative narratives which both challenge marginalization narratives and create space for different ethical structures, so society can move forward and beyond the existing marginalization. Without this reconceptualization through the lens of religious ethics, this marginalization will only increase, and further disenfranchisement will take place. Religion then plays a vital role not only in helping to eliminate marginalization but effecting healing and wholeness.

The Religion and Ethics panel seeks papers which address these issues in support of our MAR-AAR conference theme of “Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without.” Papers are encouraged which address this theme from a variety of religious traditions and seek to find ways of bringing harmony and shalom to a fractured world.

Papers which address other themes relevant to the field of Religious Ethics will also be considered for inclusion in the MAR-AAR 2019 conference.

Submit proposals to:

Religion and Leadership

The Religion and Leadership Section seeks proposals that address the role of spirituality and religion in leadership within the broader contexts raised by pluralism in society. This year’s conference theme, Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without, speaks directly to the section’s goal of addressing the complex relationship among various institutions, spirituality, pluralism, and “the Other” in the often fraught area of public theology, especially in the present political climate. As scholars with particular qualifications to speak in the public domain, what charge do we carry? How should we seek to impact leadership praxis in increasingly complex and intertwined walks of life? We seek both individual and panel proposals directed to the conference theme.

Submit proposals to:

Religion, Conflict, and Peace

Peacemaking is a liminal space, existing at the intersection of multiple areas of study, including religious studies, conflict management/resolution, ethnic conflict, and theology. Our field is both highly theoretical and deeply practical, oftentimes jumping back and forth between dreaming the impossible and processing the traumatically possible. We must be willing to exist at these uncomfortable junctures, as peacemaking often occurs in unanticipated ways and at unexpected times. Peacemaking is thus a hybrid, requiring a capacity to re-imagine inherited traditions, while remaining rooted within those traditions, concurrently in dialogue with other contexts and traditions. Multiple paradigms have been developed for facilitating this dialogue, yet as peacemaking is dynamic, there is a constant need to remix existing paradigms and create new ones in order to face new situations of conflict.

This section seeks proposals which creatively engage with this question: What tools/traditions/practices are being underutilized for the purpose of peacemaking, especially in relation to the deconstruction of ethnic/racial divisions and the subsequent violent othering which results from racial/ethnic supremacies?

We implore you to be creative, and to bring innovative papers and presentations. We especially welcome creative ways of engaging with this question, including incorporating the arts (poetry, dance, be creative!) as well as bringing practice and theory into dialogue. This section calls for creative re- imaginings of this delicate balance between theory and praxis, especially in light of the risky yet vital roles one must fulfill when serving as a peace practitioner.

All papers addressing this year’s conference theme of Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without, or directly related to studies on religion, conflict, and peace are encouraged to be considered. The following broader topics are also welcome:

Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

This section explores the intersection between religion and perspectives on gender and sexuality. Papers on the theme Gender Justice, Sexuality Justice are invited, but quality papers on all topics in religion, gender, and sexuality are welcomed. We are particularly interested in proposals that are related to one of the following themes:

  • Issues of gender and sexuality in interreligious dialogue
  • Feminist approaches in comparative theology
  • Postcolonial and poststructural issues in gender studies
  • Gender issues and multiple religious identities or religious hybridity
  • Sexuality, nonhuman nature, and religion from interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches, including “othering” and eco-theological perspectives, especially focused on “sexual violence” at this time

We encourage submissions by scholars of all sexual identities (including those who are heterosexually identified), multiple disciplines, religious traditions, and perspectives.

Submit proposals to:

Religions of the Latin/x Americas

This section explores diverse religions of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latin/x groups in the U.S. through diverse disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological perspectives. Following this year’s conference theme, proposals for the Religions of the Latin/x Americas may address any of the following:

  • Refugee discourse and/or engagement with the crisis
  • Responses to family separations at the border
  • Transnational border spiritualities
  • Religious and/or spiritual engagements with economic and ecological sustainability in the Latin/x Americas
  • The role of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latin/x groups in political discourse
  • Comparative studies of liberationist theologies
  • Latin America in the age of Trump: prospects, realities, and futures
  • Paper proposals on any other topics relating to Religion in the Latin/x Americas are also encouraged

Submit proposals to:

Scriptural Reasoning

Proposals to the Scriptural Reasoning Section might address one of the following prompts:

  • (How) Does a practice like Scriptural Reasoning (have the potential to) bridge the gap between people of various "tribes" as discussed in the conference theme?
  • A theological scriptural exegesis that you feel addresses the CFP's attention to tribalism or fear of the "Other." This exegesis might come from the scriptures of any religion.
  • Reflect on the nature of interreligious reading, particularly as it relates to addressing a troubled (tribal) world.

Please feel free to propose a paper that is unrelated to the above prompts, should you wish to do so. But know that priority will be given to those papers that have to do with the themes of the conference. Please submit a proposal of no more than 300 words. In addition to the proposal requirements, this section expects the final manuscripts to be submitted to Drs. Vaughan and Goldstone by Friday, February 15, 2019, and should be no more than 2,500 words. In the proposal e-mail, please include your name, title, and institutional affiliation (if applicable), as well as why you felt the SR session would fit for your particular proposal. Please feel free to reach out to the chairs at the e-mail addresses below if you have any other questions or need assistance.

Submit proposals to:

Theology, Aesthetics, and Art

Jean Baudrillard asserts “our society has given rise to a general aestheticization: all forms of culture — not excluding anti-cultural ones — are promoted and all models of representation and anti-representation are taken on board” (p. 16). Theology and art share the commonality of ‘having a means to no end.’ These two areas are informants that critically aid us in the defining, identifying and recognizing intersection of ethics and unethical socio-cultural aesthetic values. And if we allow art and theology to coalesce our epistemic principles of society within the veins of ethics as aesthetics and anti-aesthetic as an unethical cultural strategy, how do we evolve or exchange the value each without compromise, but more-less, collaboration? The political climate has in some ways influenced a hyper-aestheticization, where fear becomes terror, scarcity transforms to greed, and migrations unhinged out perception of race-belonging. Thus, the American Academy of Religion presents the following theme for a call to papers, Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without. As a result the papers should explore these topics in depth and consider the ‘transaesthetic’ that moves between theological aesthetic ethics and anti-aesthetic ethic. Possibly this is an “impossible exchange” as expressed by Jean Baudrillard , such that even challenging positionality of White Supremacy, global patriarchy and World War may deserve some credit and offer a hyper aesthetic in exchange for new rules of theological and artistic engagement. Though this relationship can be out of place or uninvited--is it relationship that art and theology must tackle to construct, deconstruct, and reconstruct new social aesthetic obligation?

Submit proposals to:

Undergraduate Section

This section offers current undergraduates the opportunity to present recent work or work in progress in the field of religious studies or theology. Especially encouraged are submissions that relate closely to this year’s conference theme on Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without. The MAR-AAR Undergraduate Section seeks paper presentations that

address how religious, theological, philosophical, or biblical traditions have provided ideas for healing rifts or, on the other hand, fostered or exacerbated them. These submissions may approach the conference theme from multiple directions and engage multidisciplinary approaches as well as the intersections that arise from the various contexts in which we work. We are especially interested in interdisciplinary approaches to this topic.

Conferences are a crucial part of graduate life in academia. Thus, MAR-AAR urges all undergraduates interested in graduate school or seminary to submit to this section. Undergraduates will have the chance to meet graduate students and seasoned religious studies and theology professors who will offer substantial feedback to help undergraduates move forward in academia.

Submissions should include the following information:

  • Name
  • Undergraduate Institution
  • Advisor (or a professor whom you see as a mentor)
  • E-mail Address
  • 250-word abstract

Submit proposals to:

Women’s Caucus

Panel #1: Intergenerational Conversations on Migrants and Race

This session seeks proposals from senior scholars to enter into a conversation with younger colleagues about key formative moments that have shaped their professional journey and that have helped them address challenges related to this year’s conference theme: Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without. The session seeks to stimulate a conversation among senior and junior scholars, highlighting the importance of mentorship in professional, academic, and intellectual development. The session will unfold in a conversational format, guided by the presider.

Panel #2: Publishing Panel: Women and Religion

This session invites proposals from scholars who have published books and/or articles in the discipline of women studies and religion in 2018 and 2019. This panel of authors will provide a brief overview of their published work and share their perspectives on current research being published in their respective field, with preference accorded to publications related to the conference theme: Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without. In small group roundtable discussion, these scholars will share their experiences regarding strategies, approaches, and mechanics to publishing in the field of women and will offer advice to those seeking to publish a book or article.

Panel #3: Scholarship and Community Engagement: Religion and Migration

This session of invited speakers seeks to bring together scholars and practitioners, as well as the audience, in a conversation about the role of religion in addressing the breakdown of relationships among individuals, families, nations, and the environment that we witness in the face of the refugee crisis, forced migration, racial discrimination, waves of tribalism and fear, and the changing definitions of “us” and “them.” How do our wisdom traditions imagine and give us the spiritual, ethical, social and intellectual resources to build resilience and to forge relationships rooted in justice and solidarity?

Panel #4: Spiritual Friendship, Adult Learning and Development, and Leadership

This session seeks proposals that explore the intersections of spiritual friendship, learning and development, and leadership among adult people.

There has been much attention and study devoted to "how vitally important community is to a persons' development," and to the efforts devoted to establishing faith communities. In both educational and religious spheres, many different types of human relationships are widely studied: e.g., mentoring, communities of different types (learning community, community of practice, faith community, beloved community, etc.), spiritual direction, counseling, coaching, etc. However, not much attention or study has been devoted to spiritual friendship.

A special feature of friendship is mutuality and reciprocity. Spiritual friendships, additionally, involve a transcendental being in the midst of the relationship. Spiritual friendships attempt to cultivate deeper connections with this being. The maturity of the individuals in the relationship grows in proportion to the connection each one has with the transcendent being. Therefore, there is an inherent link among the three areas. Among scholars and practitioners, spiritual friendships can engender a more hopeful vision of the contribution they can make to the world. How, then, can we address the conference theme: Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Within and Without through the lens and/or practice of spiritual friendship?

Submit proposals, noting the particular panel to which you are submitting, to:

WILDCARDS (new sections):

Ancient Philosophy in the Western World

Ancient philosophy in the Western world emerged in cultures whose religiosity was as intense and pervasive as it was different from most contemporary forms of religious belief. Indeed, as soon as philosophy emerges, so too does philosophical dispute concerning the divine. This section of the MAR-AARfocuses on theological and philosophical issues raised in the ancient Western world with a twofold aim. First, we seek scholarship that aims to shed light on the philosophical and theological arguments and theories of the ancient Western world, considered in their own unique historicity, freed from any attempts at providing rational cover for modern world religions. But secondly, we also want to promote scholarship that traces the intricate web of inter- connections between the handling of ancient Western philosophical and theological debate and the impact such debate had on later developments in religious and philosophical thought.

The ancient world was no less chaotic than our own with regards to migrations, cross-cultural conflict, tribalism, and war, as even a cursory study of ancient history reveals. In the same way that we in the MAR-AAR seek solutions to these problems, so too did historians, tragedians, and philosophers seek to understand their situation and find solutions to the pressing problems of their own era. Therefore we are asking for papers that address the conference theme, from the perspective of ancient Western philosophy, both with regards to scholarship that deepens our understanding of the ancient world, as well as scholarship that may shed some light on the way forward in our own.

Submit proposals to:

Black Theology

The Black Theology session invites proposals that address the conference theme: Out of Place: Migrants and Race, Tribalism and Fear, Without and Without in the context of the black theology’s struggle to address the intersectionality of the theme and the fight against the complex oppressions that have resulted from them at the crossroads of race, gender, sex, class, politics and the planet (e.g., environmental racism). In addition, this session may address topics like literature, art, music, and mass incarceration. Submit proposals to:

Sunni African-American Muslims and Islamophobia

This unit calls for papers that explore contributions to American Islam by African-American Muslims (AAM) from the time they arrived in America until the present. We know so little of how the AAM survived in an extremely racist Christian society where rape, murder, and mutilation were crimes that went unpunished then and now. What purpose did the various Muslim sects serve in Black Muslim communities? How was gendered Islam viewed? The African American Museum in D.C., after repeated requests, has not provided information or a display of our history in this country.

We prefer women and men that can offer solutions to issues as opposed to drawn-out narratives that document how horrific these episodes were. Again, we are interested in information about Black Muslims’ survival especially during the antebellum period or before that captures religious practices, culinary skills, medicinal, and herbal knowledge. We value all proposals especially those presenting past and present information that move the "liberation agenda" forward:

  • Stories of enslaved people and their observation of survival.
  • Stories of AAM and Native Americans living peacefully.
  • Gendered Islamophobia: How Muslimahs are frequently misrepresented to serve as evidence to fit a false narrative of Islamophobia.
  • Current interactions with immigrant Muslims.
  • Are immigrant Muslims racists against Black Muslims or are they misunderstood?
  • In this age of increased racism and sexism why do efforts to build bridges between the AAM and immigrant communities fail?
  • What will be an effective way to educate children who will confront Islamophobia in the future?
  • Can Black early survival techniques provide some inspiration for Muslims today?
  • Many immigrant groups freely appropriate Black Muslim heroes but have little, if any, social interaction with Black Muslims during their time of need.
  • Are immigrant Muslims (2nd & 3rd generation also) able to decolonize their mind and partner with other Muslims who suffer from Islamophobia and Muslim biases?

Islamophobia and African American Muslims

In news media, books, and magazines and scholarly discussions, the connection between Islamophobia and Black Muslims is rarely discussed and directed to discussions about immigrant Muslims. Omitted from those discussions are the racist trajectories of immigrants. This omission substantiates over 400 years of racist behaviors toward the Black Muslim and Black communities and is supported by immigrant Muslims in their quest to be accepted by the dominant White group even at the expense of their co- religionists, Black Muslims. It is more than "I do not want you marrying my daughter." It extends to institutional racism on an everyday level, for example, when immigrants open up coffee and donut shops in Black neighborhoods and refuse to hire a Black person. The list of institutionalized behaviors goes on.

During the bombing of America by Muslim extremists, many immigrant Masjids hired Black Muslim security organizations to protect their Masjids. Lawenforcement developed systems and methodology that increased the sense of safety of American citizens and lowered the fear of harm for many Americans, and the relationship that had begun between the Black Muslims and immigrant Muslims terminated without any lasting social or religious connections. The uncivil behaviors go on, and there is much to be learned from this situation:

  • Where and how do immigrants learn about African Americans?
  • How does a group request justice while simultaneously denying it to others based on race or gender?
  • Does the quest to be accepted by the dominant White group impair the social justice vision of the immigrant?

Submit proposals to:

Trauma and the Language of Theology

The realities and consequences of trauma on the formation and flourishing of individuals and communities is profound and transcends generations. While the field of trauma studies has grown immensely, and the language of trauma has become a part of our general vocabulary, its impact for theological reflection has been largely unexplored.

While all papers exploring the intersection of trauma and theology will be considered, we are particularly interested in proposals that consider the intersection of trauma and the language of theological reflection in three arenas: Sin and Salvation, Sacraments, and Ecclesiology.

Sin and Salvation. How do we think about sin beyond ways of personal responsibility? How does our understanding of the impacts of trauma on persons and communities change the way we think about sin done to others?

What metaphors for sin are problematized or made available by the insights ofour understandings of trauma?

Sacraments. How does the language of surrounding the sacraments help or hinder those who have experienced trauma? What ways has the language of the sacraments enabled perpetrators of trauma? How might this language open up new ways of healing and restoration for victims?

Ecclesiology. How does our understanding of trauma open up the ways in which we describe the nature and mission of the church? How do we talk about a people many of whom (if not the majority) have been shaped by trauma? What language of the church might enable it to best respond to these realities?

Submit proposals of no more than 250 words to: