Political Theology Call for Proposals
Special Issue: (How to Do) Political Theology without Men?
Guest editors: Karma Ben Johanan and Brandy Daniels
This special issue explores the interaction among politics, theology and gender through an intellectual experiment: what would it mean to do political theology without men? As a critical discourse reflecting on the complex relationship between religion and politics, political theology is often marked by a commitment to social justice, that is, to critiquing and transforming unequal distribution of power, to fostering diversity, and to making room for a plurality of interventions in the political theological conversation. Yet despite its flexibility and self-reflective character, political theology remains a field which is unquestionably dominated by men.
This dominance is clearly evidenced in the journal Political Theology. Over the past few years, an increasing number of unsolicited articles submitted to the journal have been from men. This already-present disparity has only accelerated with the gendered impacts of the coronavirus—all of the unsolicited articles for two forthcoming issues of Political Theology are from men.
Why does political theology, notwithstanding its plurality, self-criticism and flexibility, remain so manly? What would the field look like if there was a reversal—if it centered the ideas, insights, and scholarship of women and nonbinary people, rather than those of men?
Would there be specific intellectual gains, or losses, if men were excluded—at least for the sake of the experiment—from the discourse? What are the conditions of (im)possibility of this ambitious endeavor, and what might those conditions teach us?
As an exercise in imagining such an inversion, no men will be involved in this special issue–there will be no male authors, no male peer reviewers, no male book reviewers, no male-authored books reviewed, and so on. Except for drawing attention to and critically examining the conditions that lead to this special issue, our goal is to create a space for the breadth of scholarship within political theology that is by non-men, and to explore what happens in the field when writers who are not men determine its stakes and scope. In order to embark on this experiment, we invite proposals from scholars of political theology who identify as women or gender nonbinary. These proposals may focus on the relationship between political theology and gender, on gender disparity within the field, or on other aspects of the encounters among gender, religion, and politics. We also welcome proposals that do not concentrate on gender, but fall within the broad purview of political theology. Finally, we welcome proposals for contributions that push, or fall outside of, the boundaries of the traditional academic essay. The only strict criterion we have is that the authors are non-men. We particularly welcome proposals from junior scholars, advanced graduate students, and practitioners engaging political theology (i.e. community organizers and social justice activists, religious leaders).
We also announce an article development workshop, and invite junior scholars, advanced graduate students, and practitioners submitting proposals to apply.
The workshop will be held during the spring of 2022 (location TBD and post-pandemic- pending). The workshop will include small-group peer-discussions and workshopping, and time for research and writing. Workshop participants will receive a modest honorarium.
Please send abstracts (300-500 words) by September 1st, 2021 by email to both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Those whose abstracts are selected will be invited to submit full articles, due February 1st, 2022, for peer review and anticipated publication in 2023. If you would like to be considered for the workshop, please indicate that in your email, and include a copy of your curriculum vitae.