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Call for Papers
”Incarnation and Identity”
A Scholarly Conference
held in conjunction with the
ABC/USA Biennial Mission Summit
Virginia Beach, Virginia
June 20th, 2019
American Baptist Quarterly (ABQ) is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Baptist Historical Society. Both established and emerging scholars are invited to submit papers written from original research. Articles and essays should be between 6,000 and 10,000 words. If you are interested in submitting a paper for one of the upcoming issues, please contact editor Curtis Freeman (CFreeman@div.duke.edu) as soon as possible.
Courtney Pace, Freedom Faith: The Womanist Vision of Prathia Hall Hardcover – June 15, 2019
(Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2019). ISBN: 9780820355061.
Announcing, Freedom Faith: The Womanist Vision of Prathia Hall, a forthcoming book by NABPR member and 2013 dissertation scholarship awardee, Dr. Courtney Pace, of Memphis Theological Seminary. The book is now available for pre-order.
I stood in the authenticity of my being: Black, preacher, Baptist, woman. For the same God who made me a preacher made me a woman, and I am convinced that God was not confused on either account.
~ Rev. Dr. Prathia Hall
Rev. Dr. Prathia Hall was a Baptist pastor, professor, activist, Womanist theologian, & more. She held the Martin Luther, King Jr. Chair in Social Ethics at Boston University School of Theology and she later became the dean of United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio and director of the Harriet Miller Women’s Center. According to Pace, “In 1997, Ebony magazine named Hall first in its list of 15 Greatest Black Women Preachers, and she was the only woman considered for its list of 10 Greatest Black Preachers, ultimately placing 11th.”
Rev. Dr. Prathia Hall’s theology revolved around freedom faith, the belief that God wants all people to be free and equips those who work for freedom. This dissertation offers a thematic biography of Hall, paying particular attention to her activism in the Civil Rights Movement and her womanist preaching ministry, through the lens of freedom faith. Hall first learned of freedom faith from her father, growing up in North Philadelphia. Through her training in Fellowship House and her activism with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Southwest Georgia and Selma, Alabama, Hall’s freedom faith matured. After the Movement, Hall returned North and pursued theological education at Princeton Theological Seminary, where her freedom faith culminated in womanist liberation theology.
One measure of how women are doing is to consider the statistical status of their entry into ministry and leadership in congregations and other ministry settings. A statistical analysis is one dimension of clergywomen’s faring that we have not been able to gauge in a broad way for two decades – when the last comprehensive reports on clergywomen were published.
Here are a few of the insights of the report:
- In 1960 women were 2.3% of U.S. clergy. In 2016 women are 20.7% of U.S. clergy.
- Since 2015 Roman Catholic lay ministers outnumber priests in the U.S., and 80% of them are women.
- In 2017 women remain fewer than 25% of seminary faculty and deans, and just 11% of the presidents.
- In most Mainline denominations, the percentage of clergywomen has doubled or tripled since 1994.
- Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ clergywomen have reached numerical equity with clergymen.
- More women of color and fewer white women are going to seminary to earn MDivs since 2008.
The College Theology Society holds its Sixty-Fifth Annual Convention from Thursday evening, May 30 through Sunday noon, June 2, 2019, at Holy Cross College at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
NABPR Region at Large Call for Papers:
Can Christians Practices Deform Christians?
Can Christian practices damage Christian faith and life? Can Christian practices extend harm and violence rather than promoting healing? In her recent book, The Dangers of Christian Practice: On Wayward Gifts, Characteristic Damage, and Sin (Yale University Press, 2018), historian Lauren Winner challenges the assumption that the church possesses a set of immaculate practices that will train Christians in virtue. This session invites papers from various methodological or disciplinary perspectives that address Winner’s argument that, while being gifts from God, practices are also blighted by sin.
Engagements with Pope Francis’ Theological and Moral Vision
This session invites papers that engage Pope Frances’ theological and moral vision from a baptist/free church perspective. Particular attention will be given to papers that consider (1) Pope Francis’ call for a church of and for the poor, (2) his vision of a dialogical church, (3) his particular vision of social justice, and (4) his encyclical Laudato Si’.
After Charlottesville: Christian Theology and White Supremacy
White supremacy is an enduring problem in America and its churches and theology. The alt-right Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, in 2017, once again, horrifically exposed the persistence of this racialized evil. This session invites papers that: (1) discuss and engage the voices in black and womanist theologies as well as African American religious studies that are contributing to prophetic advocacy and movement building and to a political, moral, and spiritual revolution after Charlottesville; and (2) what does it mean historically, theologically, and morally for white Christians to witness against white supremacy in light of the rise of the alt-right?
Hidden Figures and Missing Voices in Baptist/Free Church Life
The rise of “global Christianity” has not only seen the emergence of international figures – such as the late Billy Graham – but also the opening of space for theological personalities and perspectives from outside traditional enclaves. This session invites proposals that engage such hidden, missing, forgotten, or little-known theological personalities and perspectives from among the baptist/free church traditions. Papers focused on figures from outside of Europe and North America are especially encouraged.
Proposals should be 250-500 words in length and must include name, current email address, and current institutional affiliation. Please submit proposals of Jason Hentschel (email@example.com) and Mark Medley (firstname.lastname@example.org) by December 31, 2018. Scholars will be notified of the status of their proposal by January 28, 2019.
At the Annual Meeting on May 22, NABPR awarded two dissertation scholarships.
Kathryn House is a PhD candidate in Practical Theology at Boston University School of Theology. Her dissertation reconsiders theologies of salvation in light of intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in US-American evangelical campaigns for sexual purity. She examines the soteriological impulses of the Moral Reform movement, of racial terror lynchings related to allegations of sexual assault, and of abstinence-only sex education initiatives in the 1990s. Interrogating the wedding of whiteness and purity in these campaigns, Kathryn queries the possibility of baptism as a counter-practice to the implications of these intertwined symbolics. Her previous publications include “Torture and Lived Religion: Practices of Resistance” in Trauma and Lived Religion (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2018) and “Sometimes, the Minister is a Girl,” in Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay (White Cloud Press, 2015).
Kathryn is ordained in the Alliance of Baptists and American Baptist Churches USA, and is a member of the First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain. She is currently Assistant Director of the Center for Practical Theology at Boston University School of Theology. She is aunt to Tripp, Margaret Anne, and Charlie, and works diligently to secure their ACC loyalties for Duke despite her brother’s unfortunate UNC-Chapel Hill allegiances.
Andrew Gardner is from Yorktown, Virginia and is pursuing a PhD in American Religious History from Florida State University. His dissertation, tentatively titled, “To Awaken the Song of Transport: The Development of Theological Seminaries and Divinity Schools in Antebellum America” analyzes the role of institutions of theological higher learning in cultivating spatial perspectives among Protestant clergy. Gardner hopes to graduate in May 2019.
About the NABPR Dissertation Scholarship
The NABPR dissertation scholarship program is designed to assist Baptist scholars who are in the process of completing their dissertation. The program was founded in 2006 and is awarded annually.
Ryan Andrew Newson, Inhabiting the World: Identity, Politics, and Theology in Radical Baptist Perspective, Perspectives on Baptist Identities (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2018) ISBN: 9780881466492.
Announcing the first volume in the new NABPR series “Perspectives on Baptist Identities” edited by Alicia C. Myers and Adam English.
Ryan Newson is uniquely qualified to carry on the task of articulating a baptist identity in the wake of what Stephen Toulmin called the structural timbers of modern thought. Newson is doing in this book exactly what James Wm. McClendon, Jr. would have wanted. I strongly endorse the work done here. –Nancey Claire Murphy, senior professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary
Ryan Newson thoughtfully explores and creatively extends the work of baptist (and Baptist) theologian James Wm. McClendon, Jr. This book shows how nuanced, challenging, and insightful this distinctive approach can be. Catholic, Protestant, Reformed, and Baptist theologians should read this text. They may not agree with all it says, but will come away from wrestling with it better able to articulate what it means to be a Christian today. A splendid contribution! –Terrence W. Tilley, Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ Professor of Catholic Theology, Fordham University
Inhabiting the World is just the kind of reflection that progressive baptists need for inhabiting the postmodern condition. It is a masterful extension of James Wm. McClendon, Jr.’s important baptist theology that draws on the best of this tradition in being convictional but also open to the world, in valuing the power of Scripture but caring about the complexity of interpretation, in respecting the freedom of convictions but setting them within community and hospitality to others. Newson’s theology of listening skillfully navigates issues of identity and pluralism, practices and their abuses, and the individual and community. His is a voice to which we need to listen. –Dan R. Stiver, Cook-Derrick Professor of Theology, Logsdon School of Theology, Hardin-Simmons University
“You Say You Want a Revolution?” 1968-2018 in Theological Perspective. The Sixty-Fourth Annual Convention of the College Theological Society in conjunction with The National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion (NABPR) at Saint Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Thursday, May 31 – Sunday, June 3, 2018. Hashtag: #CTS18MN. The NABPR portion of the program features Amy L. Chilton’s presidential address “Why Worship Together? Muriel Lester, Dorothy Day, and Friendships Across Borders”; a panel on “Examining Recent Baptist Public Statements on Sexuality” with Merrill Hawkins, Kathryn House, and Mike Broadway; paper sessions with presentations by Steve Harmon, Michael Cox, Sean Martin, and Derek Hostetter; and a session of the Evangelical Catholics and Catholic Evangelicals Consultation addressing the question “Can Catholics and Baptists Share Communion Without Breaking the Rules?” with Baptist contributions from Curtis Freeman, Steve Harmon, Derek Hatch, and Philip E. Thompson. For more see the CTS 2018 Convention Program.
The National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion (NABPR)
Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC
May 21-23, 2018
Greetings from the Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Welcome to the Annual May Meeting of NABPR.
Save the date for 2019: Campbell University School of Law has committed to host our meeting on May 20 – 22, 2019. The 2019 meeting will be a joint meeting with the Baptist History and Heritage Society.
The November meeting in Boston was successful. Mark your calendar for November 17. Dr. Nancy Ammerman did a wonderful job as our plenary speaker. We plan to keep the Saturday morning tradition alive in Denver.
Many thanks go to Doug Weaver, our President, and the Gardner-Webb University faculty and staff who have worked hard to bring about another successful meeting. The online registration and payment portal made the logistics much easier.
I look forward to seeing you in Boiling Springs.
NABPR Region-at-Large Call for Papers
Meeting Jointly with the College Theology Society
Saint Catherine University, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Thursday, May 31, to Sunday, June 3, 2018
The NABPR Region-at-Large invites proposals for the 2018 College Theology Society/NABPR joint meeting around the theme of this year’s CTS Conference: “You Say You Want a Revolution? 1968-2018 in Theological Perspective.” The following are some suggested topics, but other proposals are also welcome, especially in the area of biblical studies.
Prospects for the Third Reconstruction
Some scholars of race have identified the First Reconstruction (1865-1877) and the Second Reconstruction (1945-1968) as crucial eras of change in racial politics in the United States, with global implications. Churches played important roles in these eras of change, and renewals of theological reflection emerged from each era. Also following each of these eras came periods of consolidation, backlash, and regression. In recent decades, leaders have called for a Third Reconstruction. What are the prospects of another era of theological ferment and political change in racial politics?
Sexual Revolution and Baptists
The variety of Baptist bodies continue to struggle and disagree about the acceptance and status of LGBTQ persons in the church. Self-selected groups of Baptists and baptists have recently published statements in the UK, The Courage to be Baptist: A Statement on Baptist Ecclesiology and Human Sexuality, and the US, The Nashville Statement. What do these statements reveal about current theological and biblical discourse on sexuality, or about broad patterns of political and cultural change?
Nonviolence and Baptists
Nonviolence has a long tradition in Baptist life that neither began nor ended in 1968 with the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the 20th-century’s foremost promoters of nonviolence. However, recent Baptist elisions with certain Reformed and evangelical theologies over the past half century, coupled with a renewed American militarism, have significantly muddied this picture of Baptists as a nonviolent people. We invite papers that address the history of Baptist pacifism and nonviolence and its possibility as a resource for an age becoming quickly known for its guns and its wars.
Topics in Baptist History, 1968-2018
It may be true of every fifty-year period since the first baptists appeared in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but many new groups and directions have emerged among Baptists in the past half-century. We invite papers exploring a wide range of historical topics.
Baptists and Ecumenism since 1968
Though Baptists historically have been linked to separatism, the revolutionary fervor of 1968 and beyond spurred on various ecumenical and cooperative efforts even among Baptists, whether in terms of theological conversation or political cooperation. We invite papers that explore these new ecumenical impulses in Baptist life.
Please submit paper proposals of 500 words or less, including one’s current institutional affiliation and position, to both Mike Broadway and Jason Hentschel by Friday, January 19, 2018.
- Mike Broadway, Shaw University Divinity School, email@example.com
- Jason Hentschel, University of Dayton, firstname.lastname@example.org
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