The College Theology Society

 Serving Church and Academy Since 1954


NABPR Region-at-Large Call for Papers

CTS/NABPR-RAL 2022 Meeting


Kathryn House, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (KY)

khouse@lpts.edu

Kate Hanch, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (IL)

kate.e.hanch@gmail.com


We live in a fractured and racially-divided America. Killings of Black persons of all genders like Trayvon Martin (2012), Eric Garner (2014), Michael Brown Jr. (2014), Ahmaud Arbery (2020), Breonna Taylor (2020), Dominique Fells (2020), George Floyd (2020), and Daunte Wright (2021); the mainstreaming of White nationalism seen in the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally (2017); the dehumanization of migrants in overcrowded and unsafe conditions, their children separated; voter suppression bills; the resurgence of anti-Asian and antisemitic sentiment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; these are only a few examples of the extent to which racism persists in America today.

 

Racism rips the fabric of the social order at personal and public levels. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated so powerfully over a half a century ago, “the judgment of God is upon the church as never before.”[1] While scholars of color and their allies have developed significant work that sheds greater light on the sin of racism and draws theological richness from experiences of communities of color, it has remained peripheral in the academy, church, and world. Moreover, Rev. Dr. King expressed greater frustration over the “shallow understanding of people of good will” than the “absolute misunderstanding of people of ill will.”[2] Indeed, many scholars of “good will” remain unable to acknowledge or confront the entrenchment of White supremacy in themselves, their communities, and their institutions. Theologians and scholars of religion must take on the difficult process of self-examination and articulation of complicity in the sin of racism, as well as work in all areas of thought and practice in order to develop a faith defined by racial justice. We cannot wait.

 

We invite papers that take collaborative, interdisciplinary approaches to the convention theme, “‘Why We Can’t Wait’: Racism and the Church.” In particular, we invite papers and sessions that speak to the convention goals of:

 

1) centering marginalized racial and ethnic voices

2) providing the space for the society to contend with and understand its Whiteness in a productive way;

3) revitalizing attention to embodied pedagogy.

 

We are particularly interested in constructive and reconstructive approaches to the convention theme. Constructive work can be done in all areas of religious thought and practice, though it requires careful attention to the bias and privilege of the scholar, the voices and sources centered, and serious commitment to praxis. In this work together, it is essential to be in robust conversation with the vibrant body of scholarship and expertise of those who have already begun this task.

 

We cannot wait, and we have much to learn together and from one another. We especially encourage scholars new to the academy, independent scholars, pastors, and practitioners to apply. We want to include scholars and practitioners from a wide variety of backgrounds.

 

Part of the work of examining and creating alternatives to racism embedded in the structural and institutional levels is to challenge how we teach, learn, and write. To this end, we seek to dedicate a session, and encourage panels on, embodied pedagogies that engage these ends/goals. We also invite proposals, session ideas, or panels that function as a roundtable or workshop, or that offer a curriculum.

 

We encourage proposals of papers from the NABPR membership that address the following themes:

 

  1. Critical explorations of Baptist systematic/constructive theological expressions that center marginalized racial and ethnic voices; name, critique and decenter Whiteness; and shape and orient embodied pedagogy
  2. Baptist biblical scholarship that centers marginalized racial and ethnic voices; names, critiques and decenters Whiteness; and that informs liberative and embodied pedagogy
  3. Baptist theological ethics that center marginalized racial and ethnic voices; name, critique and decenter Whiteness; and that informs liberative and embodied pedagogy
  4. Recovery of and conversation with Baptist thinkers who have been overlooked or marginalized who center marginalized racial and ethnic voices; name, critique and decenter Whiteness; and orient embodied pedagogy in their vocations (as theologians, pastors, public servants) (e.g. Prathia Hall, Joy Bostic, John Lewis, etc.)
  5. Naming and disrupting the Whiteness of Baptist scholarship: How has Whiteness been named or not named when Baptist history is narrated? What stories, perspectives, and histories need to be recovered, centered, and repented from to tell a more fulsome story?
  6. Explorations on pedagogical models (i.e. how do anti-racist commitments and practices shape your syllabus and teaching methodologies?)
  7. Other proposals related to the conference’s general theme
  8. We encourage members to collaborate on their sessions; papers and presentations may be co-authored; individual papers may bring together multiple disciplines in addressing the convention theme, and panel submissions are encouraged. This would encourage the type of interdisciplinary constructive thinking that we believe is necessary to address racism today.

 

Proposals should be 250-500 words in length and must include one’s name, email address, and current institutional affiliation and position.

 

Proposals should be submitted to conveners Kate Hanch (kate.e.hanch@gmail.com) and Kathryn House (Kharthouse@gmail.com) no later than December 15, 2021 (please address submissions to both conveners).  Scholars will be notified of the status of their proposals by Sunday, January 20, 2022.  The full Call for Papers for the 2022 College Theology Society Annual Convention is available online: http://www.collegetheology.org/Call-for-Papers


[1] Ibid, 95.

[2] Ibid, 105.



The College Theology Society is a registered, non-profit professional society and a Related Scholarly Organization of the American Academy of Religion.

Email: secretary@collegetheology.org

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