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Political Theology Network Conference: Call for Papers

We are pleased to invite proposals for the 2023 Political Theology Network

Philadelphia, PA. September 7-10, 2023

All papers should be submitted for inclusion in one of five thematic conference streams. Please send proposals to the co-conveners of your preferred stream (listed below). Include your paper title, a 250-300 word paper abstract + bibliography, and a brief bio. All proposals are due by May 2, 2023.

You’d Better Shape Up: Virtue, Formation, and the Challenge of Unruly Bodies
Facilitators: Sarah Zager and Rebecca Epstein-Levi
We invite papers drawing on fields including disability studies, fat studies, mad studies, crip theory, trans studies, and queer studies to explore and critique discourse of moral, spiritual, political, and social formation. Papers should critically reconsider how discourses of formation use and think about
embodiment, as well as “restraint,” “attention,” and “continence”—and attend to the politics of such discourses. We hope to convene a conversation between scholars in disciplines including religious studies, ethics, and political theory, as well as scholars working on a range of historical materials, and papers that engage with or emerge from activist work.

Submit proposals to:

rebecca.j.epstein-levi@vanderbilt.edu and sarah.zager@yale.edu

Global Assemblages: Religion and the Far Right
Facilitators: Candace Lukasik and Sarah Riccardi-Swartz
From the Christian nationalism of the January 6th insurrection in the U.S., anti-LGBTQ legislation in Africa, and more recently the relationship of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Russian state’s war in Ukraine, right-wing discourse transcends borders. Increasingly, this discourse has become intertwined
within localized expressions of alternative politics, forming global assemblages of authority, expression, and translation. This stream seeks to open up a conversation on the messy intersections of these movements through multiple scales. To that end, this stream seeks proposals that investigate the dynamic relationship between religious and political authority that seems to make possible the conditions for right-wing ideologies to flourish, reproduce, and unsettle modernity on a global scale.

Submit proposals to

s.riccardi-swartz@northeastern.edu and cl2126@msstate.edu

Willing Slaves? Theology, Law, Race
Facilitators: Sean Capener and Sara-Maria Sorentino
This seminar investigates the relation between theology, philosophy, and law through the aperture of racial slavery. Paper proposals are invited to engage the conjunction “voluntary slavery” in order to reframe lines of inquiry between will and coercion in Christian theology, early modern jurisprudence, and modern political philosophers from Hobbes to Spinoza and Marx. While critical theorists continue to engage the paradoxes of a modern subjectivity produced through subjection, focusing on the peculiar voluntarism of the modern subject and attendant forms of contract, papers in this seminar will shift emphasis, exposing how “voluntary slavery” is also productive of distinct forms of slavery.

Submit proposals to

sean.c.capener@dartmouth.edu and ssorentino@ua.edu

Naming the Anthropos in Anthropocene: A Catholic Political Theology of (Hu)Man
Facilitators: Mary Kate Holman, Jacques Linder, James Padilioni, Jr.
This stream invites papers and participants who call attention to the Anthropocene as a crisis of Catholic political theology. The term Anthropocene names the epoch of human-induced climate change, but it does so in the name of Anthropos, as an all-encompassing term for the human species. We invite participants to consider the ways in which a Catholic anthropology of the
human has provided, and may yet provide, legitimacy to extractive relations of settler colonialism, racial capitalism, and other systems of domination contributing to climate change, as well as how Catholic or Catholic-adjacent movements are responding to or reinforcing such crises.

Submit proposals to

jacques.linder@villanova.edu, mholman@ben.edu, and

Spiritualities of Renunciation and Care: Between Ethics and Politics
Facilitators: Andrew Santana Kaplan, R. Nicholas Peterson, Kyle B. T. Lambelet
This stream explores the spiritual politics and ethics of renunciation and care. These practices have enjoyed a venerable if ambivalent place in various religious traditions; and have more recently been taken up by Feminists, Black Feminists, Afropessimists, and a variety of social movements. Accordingly, this stream welcomes interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and anti-disciplinary engagements with the spiritual ideas, ontologies, and practices of renunciation, care, indifference, and abolition to contemplate how those spiritualities shape and are shaped by theological, ethical, and political dynamics.
Submit proposals to

kyle.lambelet@emory.edu, nicholas.peterson@emory.edu, and

For general inquiries, please contact Lucia Hulsether (lhulseth@skidmore.edu) or Luke Roberts (lrober06@villanova.edu)

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