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CFP: Debates in Critical Theory and Political Theology

The Political Theology Network invites proposals for curating a discussion that all respond to a novel, contemporary question at the intersection of critical theory and political theology.

What are the questions generating debate today at the intersection of critical theory and political theology (both broadly understood)? To which questions is the field now turning—and which questions will determine the conversations in the upcoming years?

We invite proposals for curating a discussion (from three to six brief essays 1500-2000 words) that all respond to a contemporary question that you identify. We are looking for proposals centering around novel questions rather than those that may have animated the field in decades past. The essays should offer varied ideas or approaches to the question—and should be written accessibly while also grappling seriously and rigorously with the ideas under discussion. We hope essays will invite readers to consider concepts, approaches, and conversation partners that expand their horizons.

Examples of the sorts of questions we hope to see discussed:

  • What is the relation between asceticism and democracy?
  • What are the contours of anarchist political theology—and what concepts should be at its heart? 
  • Is struggle a secularized theological concept?
  • How do postcolonial theory and decolonial theory offer complementary or conflicting resources for political theology?
  • Which conversations in political theology need to change in light of trans studies?
  • What is the relation between political ontology and political theology?
  • What is the role of economy in political theology?
  • What new conceptual genealogies are needed for our contemporary moment in political theology?
  • How might centering poetry, music, or film transform conversations in political theology – and how might political theology transform conversations about poetry, music, or film?

The Critical Theory for Political Theology project began with a series of essays, published on the Political Theology Network website in 2021, which sought to expand and enrich the field by focusing on individual theorists. In 2022 the project published a series of essays on keywords that shift how we think about the field.

We especially encourage proposals and essays that are experimental or unexpected, and that engage with religious traditions outside of Christianity. Feminist, queer, decolonial, Black, and Indigenous approaches are also especially welcome. We value proposals that include a diverse range of authors from different career stages, a gender balance among authors, and authors from the Global South.

Proposals are due January 31, 2023. In a document of about 400-500 words: 

  1. Describe which question your proposal focuses on, and why 
  2. Discuss what possible approaches your contributors may employ 
  3. Explain why you and the group of people in the symposium fit together and fit with the question under discussion 
  4. List the possible best dates for your symposium to run between March 2023 and March 2024 
  5. Provide link(s) to one or two writing samples from any member(s) of your symposium.

Send to Alex Dubilet (aleksey.dubilet@vanderbilt.edu) and Vincent Lloyd (vlloyd@villanova.edu).

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