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Evangelicalism, Poverty, and Inequality

While over the last few years, the Evangelical Studies unit has focused attention on the definition and description of Evangelicalism, explored matters of race and ethnicity, and engaged the movement’s varieties and breadth of identities, for the current year we wish to map our efforts more closely onto the AAR Presidential theme, exploring Evangelicalism, Poverty, and Inequality.

With this focus in mind, we invite inquiries for panels or individual papers that explore the successes and failures of Evangelicalism with regard to poverty and inequality, as well as how these relate to Evangelical identity or draw from underutilized resources within Evangelicalism. Interest remains in an ongoing critical evaluative interrogation of Evangelicalism, which may consist of Evangelical responses to poverty and inequality under the COVID-19 pandemic, or to matters like immigration, healthcare, law-enforcement, war, care for the environment, etc., including how Evangelicals have participated in pendulum swings relative to these matters.

We are interested in failures and successes of institutional approaches to poverty and inequality within Evangelicalism, in various Bible usages among Evangelical approaches to poverty and inequality, and in how these relate to Evangelicalism’s ideals, historical institutional practices, and politics. We remain interested in interdisciplinary engagement, as well as how the conference theme has exacerbated matters of race, responsiveness, and engagement, especially relative to the history of the Great Commission. These questions may include new research in missiology, theological education, findings from the traditional humanities and social sciences, theology, and where might exist an identifiable collective interrogation.

One or two sessions may be co-sponsored with another Unit, including potential collaborations with SBL’s Bible & Practical Theology unit, the Religion & Politics unit, or the World Christianity Unit.

Mission Statement:

This Unit is one of a very few academic professional groups specifically created for the academic study of evangelical theology without a confessional requirement for membership or participation and that seeks to be diverse with regard to gender, denomination, ethnicity, and culture. The Unit seeks to construct sessions at each Annual Meeting that address crucial issues both within the evangelical communities of North America and the world and between evangelicals and nonevangelical religious movements and theologies. The Unit sponsors sessions with theological, historical, and/or sociological foci. The Unit’s goal has always been to stay on the “cutting edge” of evangelical thought and to cross boundaries between evangelical and non-evangelical religious communities in order to create dialogue and constructive mutual understanding.

Method of Submission:

INSPIRE, E-mail without Attachment (proposal appears in body of e-mail), Other

Proposer names are anonymous to all during review process, but will be visible to chairs upon session construction. This assists in broadening the diversity of the participants, while allowing for selection of the best paper proposals without partiality. It is not ideal, but presently helpful - especially since Evangelical Studies has for a long time been dominated by white males, at least by reputation. We were very pleased with the range of our exploration of Evangelicalism in its complexity, both in the US as well as around the world. The current structure of the leadership of our group and steering committee provide the regional and interdisciplinary framework for our ongoing interrogation of the movement and its features, and we are very happy with our ongoing push for diversity, complexity, and inclusion both of concepts re. Evangelicalism as well as presenters and attendees of our sessions.


Vincent Bacote, vincent.bacote@wheaton.edu

Jason Sexton, jason.s.sexton@gmail.com


Steering Committee:

Peter Choi, peter@newbiginhouse.org

Kristen Deede Johnson, kristen.johnson@westernsem.edu

Kirsteen Kim, kirsteenkim@fuller.edu

Paul Louis Metzger, pmetzger@multnomah.edu

Johnny Ramirez-Johnson, ramirez-johnson@fuller.edu

Fred Sanders, fred.sanders@biola.edu

Gabriela Viesca, gviesca@georgefox.edu


Session Allotment: Tier 2 – Two 2-hour sessions

Next Review: 2021