American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
Eastern Orthodox Studies Unit
This Unit focuses on the critical study of the theology, culture, history, and practices of the Eastern Christian churches, including their mutual interaction and engagement with Western Christian and non-Christian groups.
• Evangelicals, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and “Traditional Values”: A Global Alliance?
The past several years have seen an intensifying discourse regarding “traditional values” among groups of Orthodox Christians worldwide, especially in Russia. Often framed in direct opposition to perceived Western “secularization,” the Orthodox appropriation of the term “traditional values” has reverberated globally with a wide range of actors and religious communities, including Evangelical Christians. We invite papers that explore connections and contrasts between Orthodox and Evangelical understandings of the term “traditional values,” and the global alliances that the use of this term is forging (or not).
• Peacemaking and Hospitality in Middle Eastern Christianity: Accommodating Difference in the Eastern Christian Traditions (co-sponsored with the Middle Eastern Christianity Unit)
Early Christian literature speaks often about peacemaking through recurring concepts such as lovingkindness, forgiveness, hospitality, mercy, philanthropy, and koinonia. The Middle Eastern Christianity Unit and Eastern Orthodox Christianity Unit are soliciting paper proposals addressing the ways that Middle Eastern Christians have expressed or promoted harmony in conditions of diversity (such as religious, cultural, or political pluralism). This call for papers invites contributions that approach the theme in its broadest senses, whether it be community building, responding to emergencies, friendship, caregiving, charity, or any other expressions of goodwill across boundaries. Proposals from all academic disciplines and all historic time periods will be strongly considered based on the clarity of thesis, a well-defined body of evidence, and appropriate scholarly methodologies.
• Sergii Bulgakov and Modern Western Theology: Panel Discussion (No papers accepted)
Within the last twenty years, as the work of the Russian theologian, philosopher and economist, Sergii Bulgakov (1871-1944), has gradually become available in English, there has appeared a steady stream of scholarship on and creative theological engagement with his work and the work of his predecessors (Vladimir Solov’ev), contemporaries (Pavel Florensky, Nicholas Berdyaev) and critics (Vladimir Lossky, Georges Florovsky). Recent monographs by Jennifer Newsome Martin (Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015)) and Brandon Gallaher (Freedom and Necessity in Modern Trinitarian Theology (OUP, 2016)), have emphasized the profound debt and conceptual connections of two giants of modern theology, Hans Urs von Balthasar and Karl Barth, with the work of Bulgakov. In this pre-arranged session, invited panelists will explore Bulgakov’s theological legacy and future potential as a dialogue partner for Western Trinitarian theology and Christology through its response to the books of Gallaher and Martin.