AAR – TWW Panels 2019

We are still waiting for times and rooms, but the following is the list of very interesting panels for Theology Without Walls for the 2019 American Academy of Religions national meeting in San Diego.  The only regret is that not all the impressive proposals could be included.  I look forward to seeing all my TWW colleagues.  ~ Jerry

DRAFT, IN PROCESS

Theology Without Walls Group

Panels for 2019 American Academy of Religion

Panel One:  Theology Without Walls versus Deep Religious Commitment? 

(2.5 hours if available, otherwise shorter)

Our religious lives have existential grip.  We commit ourselves fully to them.  That seems to be essential to their being transformative.  TWW seems to lack existential grip.  It may even appear to be incompatible with having religious commitments.  It may appear to require a tabula rasa and a “view from nowhere.”  How can an intense commitment to a single vision relate to a theological project that is more encompassing?

Jeanine Diller, University of Toledo –“How to Theologize Globally and Affiliate Locally”

Bin Song, Washington College – “Wang Longxi’s ‘Seeded Open Inclusivism’: TWW with Deep Commitment in Neo-Confucianism”

Robert Cummings Neville, Boston University –“Theology Without Walls and the Existential Depth of Religion”

Kurt Anders Richardson, University of Toronto – “Mythologizing or De-Mythologizing in Theology: Transcending the Dichotomy”

Linda Mercadante, The Methodist Theological School – “A Theology for the Spiritual But Not Religious?”

Chair:  S. Mark Heim, Yale University


Panel Two:  Does the Heavenly City Have Gates?  Eschatology Without Walls

(2.5 hours if available, otherwise shorter)

While John Hick is usually identified with a Kantian conviction that takes religions to be phenomenal representations of an unknowable Reality, his book, Death and Eternal Life, may provide a better model for TWW.  There he present relevant evidence about whether we survive death and, if so, what sort of self survives.  He draws insights and arguments, not only from the religions, but also from the sciences, philosophy, parapsychology, and the humanist perspective.  Panelists are asked to address the question:  What speculations on death and the afterlife do you find most persuasive?  What kinds of evidence and argument do you find most compelling?

Jan-Olav Henriksen, MF Norwegian School of Theology – “Experiential Evidence for an Eschatology without Walls? Hick’s Position from a Pragmatist Perspective”

Michael McLaughlin, Old Dominion University – “Hick’s Eschatology of Mutuality in Higher Worlds Meets Affect in Spinoza”

Jeffery Long, Elizabethtown College – “Reflections on Rebirth: Science, Christianity, and Vedanta in Conversation”

Thomas Jay Oord, Northwest Nazarene University – “Relentless Love of the Afterlife”

Christopher Denny, St. John’s University – “Aesthetic Persuasion and Eschatology: What Literature Can Teach Us about the Next World.”

Chair:  Jerry L. Martin, University of Colorado at Boulder (ret.)


Rising Scholars Discussion

(90 minutes)

This will be a free-for-all discussion among emerging Theologians Without Walls, following brief opening remarks by a senior scholar and a younger scholar.  Obvious topics include:  how to be a transreligious theologian and where one sees one’s own work on the developing theological landscape.

John Thatamanil, Union Theology Seminary

John Becker, Center for Process Studies, Claremont

Chair:  Jerry L. Martin, University of Colorado at Boulder (ret.)


Planning Meeting

(60 minutes)

A discussion of panel topics, journal topics, and other issues pertaining to the future of Theology Without Walls.  One focus will be the new Routledge volume edited by Martin, Theology Without Walls: The Transreligious Imperative.

Chair:  Jerry L. Martin, University of Colorado at Boulder (ret.)

Publications:  John Thatamanil, Union Theological Seminary

Models of God:  Jeanine Diller, University of Toledo

Global Trends:  Kurt Anders Richardson, University of Toronto

Rapporteur:  Christopher Denny, St. John’s University


REVISED 3/5/19

Topics for Theology Without Walls Panels

2019 AAR Annual Meeting • San Diego, California • November 23–26

Please let Jerry Martin know if you are interested in participating in one of these panels.

Panel One:  Theology Without Walls versus Deep Religious Commitment? 

Our religious lives have existential grip.  We commit ourselves fully to them.  That seems to be essential to their being transformative.  TWW seems to lack existential grip.  It may even appear to be incompatible with having religious commitments.  It may appear to require a tabula rasa and a “view from nowhere.”  How can an intense commitment to a single vision relate to a theological project that is more encompassing?

Panel Two:  Does the Heavenly City Have Gates?  Eschatology Without Walls

While John Hick is usually identified with a Kantian conviction that takes religions to be phenomenal representations of an unknowable Reality, his book, Death and Eternal Life, may provide a better model for TWW.  There he present relevant evidence about whether we survive death and, if so, what sort of self survives.  He draws insights and arguments, not only from the religions, but also from the sciences, philosophy, parapsychology, and the humanist perspective.  Panelists are asked to address the question:  What speculations on death and the afterlife do you find most persuasive?  What kinds of evidence and argument do you find most compelling?

Thanks to all who lend their talents to this important effort!

Either post on this website or email Jerry directly at jerry.martin@verizon.net.

Jerry L. Martin, Ph.D., D.H.L., former Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Acting Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities; Chair, Theology Without Walls project, American Academy of Religion; author, God: An Autobiography, as Told to a Philosopher (Caladium 2016); jerry.martin@verizon.net


Topics for Theology Without Walls Panels

2019 AAR Annual Meeting • San Diego, California • November 23–26

Please let Jerry Martin know if you are interested in participating in one of these panels.

Panel One:  Theology Without Walls versus Deep Religious Commitment? 

Our religious lives have existential grip.  We commit ourselves fully to them.  That seems to be essential to their being transformative.  TWW seems to lack existential grip.  It may even appear to be incompatible with having religious commitments.  It may appear to require a tabula rasa and a “view from nowhere.”  How can an intense commitment to a single vision relate to a theological project that is more encompassing?

Panel Two:  Does the Heavenly City Have Gates?  Eschatology Without Walls

On the topic of the Afterlife, John Hick’s last book, Death and Eternal Life does not take all religions to phenomenal representations of a Reality that cannot be known.  He believes that there is relevant evidence, not only from the religions, but also the sciences, philosophy, parapsychology, and the humanist perspective.  There are debatable questions, such as what kind of self and what kind of relation to the eternal and he argues them out.  Panelists are asked to address the question:  What speculations on death and the afterlife do you find most persuasive?  What kinds of evidence and argument most compelling?

Thanks to all who lend their talents to this important effort!

Either post on this website or email Jerry directly at jerry.martin@verizon.net.

Jerry L. Martin, Ph.D., D.H.L., former Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Acting Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities; Chair, Theology Without Walls project, American Academy of Religion; author, God: An Autobiography, as Told to a Philosopher (Caladium 2016); jerry.martin@verizon.net


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