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2021, San Antonio TX

Session 1 (2 hours)
Title: “Coloniality, Poverty, Liberations”
[This would be one of two possible stand-alone sessions (depending on proposal submissions)]
Description: Conscious of the theme of the 2021 AAR meeting, “Religion, Poverty and Inequality: Contemplating Our Collective Futures”, and of the meeting’s location in San Antonio, the Liberation Theologies Unit invites proposals for a session engaging Coloniality, Poverty, Liberations. We aspire for this session to advance the central question in our Statement of Purpose, “What does liberation theology mean in and for the twenty-first century?” as we enter its third decade.

Proposals are encouraged that consider:
What does it mean to imagine liberation(s) that take into account massive economic progress that leaves behind, impoverishes and does violence to countless communities around the world?
How do we make sense of new forms of colonialism?
What tools best equip communities, institutions, popular movements, governments to build resistance while promoting the human project?
Who is charged with defining this vision and under what authority?

Topics/themes may include:
Coloniality of the poor in liberation theologies
Coloniality of class
The Future as multiple
Theological confrontations to inequality
Liberalism, gender, race, and violence
Who and Where are “the poor”
Conversations on wealth and the enduring nature of empire
Religious identity/values and the criminalization of poverty
Liberations, Social Gospel, and Neoliberal Ideals of Prosperity
Environmental/Economic/Social/Cultural/Political poverty and the movements of peoples

Session 2 (2 hours)
Title: Fifty years of Teología de la Liberación – Examining Gustavo Gutiérrez’s influence and the task of the liberation of theology
(co-sponsored by Black Theology Unit, Class, Religion, and Theology Unit, Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society Unit, Liberation Theologies Unit, and Religion and Economy Unit, Religion in the Latina/o Americas Unit, Catholic Studies Unit, Vatican II Studies Unit)
Description: In 1971 Gustavo Gutiérrez published the article “Hacia Una Teología de la Liberación”, followed by one of the most influential books of the 20th century, Teología de la Liberación: Perspectivas. To mark this year of celebrations, reflections, and conversations on this important anniversary we invite proposals that creatively engage Gutiérrez’s work, from a variety of interdisciplinary lenses and contexts. We especially invite proposals that bring Gutiérrez’s contributions in contact with current challenges and future visions of the liberation of theology and theologies that seek to liberate, including problematizing the meaning(s) and praxis of liberation across the theological disciplines.

Co-sponsored session with Schleiermacher Unit
Title: Reconsidering Christ, Sin, and Atonement
Description: Schleiermacher’s theology turns on the central relation to Christ as redeemer, yet he also maintains that understandings of Christ and atonement must continue to develop in light of new questions and challenges. Together with the 2021 AAR Annual Meeting theme of religion, poverty, and inequality, we invite proposals that consider fresh approaches to christology, atonement theory, and sin and redemption. We especially welcome perspectives that attend to pressing challenges of systemic poverty, racial and gender inequality, and classism. For example, proposals might:
• examine social, structural, and cultural dimensions of sin
• develop liberationist theological perspectives on sin and redemption
• consider the critical interplay of race, christology, and Christian identity
• consider postcolonial theological reflections on christology and supersessionism
• constructively and/or critically engage Schleiermacher’s work on Christ, sin, and redemption


Mission Statement:

This Unit asks “What does liberation theology mean in and for the twenty-first century?” We encourage crossover 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.

Method of Submission:




Iskander Abbasi, alex.abbasi8@gmail.com

Maria T. Davila, mariatdavila@gmail.com


Steering Committee:

Sunder John Boopalan, jboopalan@cmu.ca

Thia Cooper, tcooper@gac.edu

Filipe Maia, fmaia@bu.edu

Robert Jay Rivera, riverar3@stjohns.edu

Nikia Robert, nikia.robert@gmail.com

Santiago H. Slabodsky, santiago.slabodsky@hofstra.edu


Session Allotment: Tier 2 – Two 2-hour sessions

Next Review: 2024