Liberal Religious Presentations at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion

This year that annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion will be held in San Francisco.  Some associated session begin Friday, November 18; the meeting officially runs Saturday to Tuesday, November 19-22.  Here is a list of sessions being offered that deal with liberal religious subjects.  As usual, the Unitarian Universalist Scholars and Friends will host a panel session and a separate reception.  Note: in some cases, only one presentation (i.e. the one dealing with liberal religion) has been listed, out of a session with multiple presentations.


North American Paul Tillich Society
Tillich and Culture

Friday – 9:00 am-11:30 am
Room: HI-Mason

Mary Ann Stenger, University of Louisville
Tillich’s Theology of Culture in Relation to the American Religious-Secular Dialectic

Rose Caraway, University of Florida
A New Human Being: The Religious Dimensions of Secularism in Cuban and Soviet Moralities

Bert Daelemans, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven
The Breakthrough of the Spirit in Contemporary Church Architecture


North American Paul Tillich Society
Courage and Symbol in Tillich

Friday – 1:00 pm-3:30 pm
Room: HI-Mason

Derek Nelson, Thiel College
Absolutely Relative: Teaching Dynamics of Faith, on teaching Dynamics of Faith

Verna Marina Ehret, Mercyhurst College
Doubt, Courage, and the Transformation of Redemption Within Globalization

Ryan O’Leary, University of Iowa
Gaia as Symbol


North American Paul Tillich Society
International and Interreligious Approaches of Tillich

Friday – 4:00 pm-6:30 pm
Room: HI-Mason

Theo Junker, Université de Strasbourg
Paul Tillich’s Mature Politics: Unconfined Realism and Vigilant Hope. Examples from his Enduring Legacy of Political Affirmations and Refutations

Anne Marie Reijnen, Faculté Universitaire de Théologie Protestante de Bruxelles
Das Neue Denken in Franz Rosenzweig and Paul Tillich. The “Star of Redemption” as a Jewish-Christian Theology of Correlation

Lon Weaver, Glen Avon Presbyterian Church


Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture Group

Saturday – 9:00 am-11:30 am
Room: CC-3018

Sharon Peebles Burch, Interfaith Counseling Center, Presiding

Theme: Ultimate Concern After the Post-Secular Age

John Robichaux, Harvard University
The Religiosity of the Secular and the Secularity of the Religious: Tillich, Murray, and Rawls


Daniel Miller, Mount Allison University
Ultimate Concern and Postmodern Theology: Two Competing Legacies


Adam Pryor, Graduate Theological Union
God as Still Living: An Analysis of Paul Tillich’s Concept of the Divine Life in Light of Mark Taylor’s Infinitization of the Finite


Niebuhr Society
Reinhold Niebuhr and the Economic Order

Saturday – 9:00 am-11:30 am
Room: MM-Club Room

John D. Carlson, Arizona State University, Presiding

Christopher Evans, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
Ties That Bind: The Christian Economics of Walter Rauschenbusch and Reinhold Niebuhr

Thomas Ogletree, Yale University
Facilitating Human Freedoms and Constraining Persistent Abuses: Reinhold Niebuhr’s Quest for Balance in the Public Oversight of Market Economies

Scott Paeth, DePaul University
The Great Recession: Some Niebuhrian Reflections


Reform in Islamic Thought: Challenges and Prospects
Saturday – 11:00 am-1:00 pm
Room: HI-Continental Ballroom 9


North American Paul Tillich Society
Philosophical and Mystical Aspects of Tillich’s Thought

Saturday – 1:00 pm-3:30 pm
Room: HI-Golden Gate 1

Rob James and Durwood Foster
Tillich’s ‘Killer Mistake’ regarding His ‘One Unsymbolic Statement’? It Never Happened

Jari Ristiniemi
Differential Thinking and the Possibility of Faith-Knowledge; Tillicj and Kierkegaard Between Negative and Positive Philosophy

Stephen Butler Murray
The Beauty of a Union with God through Dangerous Obedience: A Christian Mysticism of Social Activism


North American Religions Section

Saturday – 4:00 pm-6:30 pm
Room: CC-2006

Jeff Wilson, University of Waterloo, Presiding

Theme: Rethinking Key Paradigms in American Religion: “Black Church,” “Queering Religion,” “Nature Religion,” and “Material Culture”

Bron Taylor, University of Florida
Gaian Earth Religion: Vanishing Divine Being(s) and the Mod-God of Nature


Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture Group

Saturday – 4:00 pm-6:30 pm
Room: CC-3020

Russell Re Manning, University of Cambridge, Presiding

Theme: Faith, Betrayal, and Disenchantment: Paul Tillich in Dialogue with Contemporary Philosophy and Theology

Hollis Phelps, Mount Olive College
Evental Fidelity, Ultimate Concern, and the Subject: Reading Alain Badiou with Paul Tillich


Thomas A. James, Union Presbyterian Seminary
Can There be a Theology of Disenchantment?: Unbinding the Nihil in Tillich


Blake Huggins, Boston University
Tillich and Ontotheology: On the Fidelity of Betrayal


Carl-Eric Gentes, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago
The Courage to Be(tray): An Emerging Conversation between Paul Tillich and Peter Rollins


Unitarian Universalist Scholars and Friends Discussion
Celebrating Embodied and Transformative Worship and Ritual

Saturday – 6:30 pm-9:00 pm
Room: HI-Continental Ballroom 2

Myriam Renaud, University of Chicago, Presiding

Our annual conversation will explore ritual practices that build multi-religious, justice-loving beloved communities. Unitarian Universalists have long struggled to transcend both the cultural and class privileges of our forebears and our inherited skepticism about ritual and the body. In this event we will celebrate the new possibilities that open up when we join these two struggles together. A diverse group of panelists will share both specific case studies and general principles drawn from the fields of theology and ritual studies. Our emphasis will be on what is now working well within and beyond Unitarian Universalist communities, as well as on ritual strategies for turning failures into opportunities for growth.

Dorsey Blake, Starr King School for the Ministry
Clyde Grubbs, Throop Unitarian Universalist Church
Emily Mace, Brevard College
Robert McCauley, Emory University

Nancy Palmer Jones, First Unitarian Church of San José


Queer Studies in Religion Consultation and Religion and Cities Consultation

Sunday – 1:00 pm-2:30 pm
Room: CC-2005

L. Benjamin Rolsky, Drew University, Presiding

Theme: Queer Practices in San Francisco

Jeff Wilson, University of Waterloo
“All Beings are Equally Embraced by Amida Buddha”: Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and Same-Sex Marriage in North America


Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture Group

Sunday – 1:00 pm-2:30 pm
Room: CC-3000

K. Healan Gaston, Harvard University, Presiding

Theme: Tillich and Niebuhr: Conversations and Legacies


Ronald Stone, University of Pittsburgh
Andrew Finstuen, Pacific Lutheran University


Jonathan Rothchild, Loyola Marymount University
Kevin Carnahan, Central Methodist University


Unitarian Universalist Scholars and Friends Reception

Sunday – 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Room: HI-Lombard

Persons connected to the Unitarian Universalist tradition are invited to gather for conversation and to plan next year’s events.


Study of Judaism Section

Monday – 9:00 am-11:30 am
Room: MM-Yerba Buena 10

Sarah Imhoff, Indiana University, Presiding

Theme: American Judaisms

Robert Erlewine, Illinois Wesleyan University
From Exclusivity to Partnership: Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Legacy of Liberal Judaism


Liberal Theologies Consultation

Monday – 9:00 am-11:30 am
Room: IC-Sutter

Ellen Umansky, Fairfield University, Presiding

Theme: Post-Post-Liberalism: Constructive Proposals for Revitalizing Liberal Theologies and Liberal Institutions

Michael Hogue, Meadville Lombard Theological School
Pragmatic Liberalationist Public Theology


Shelli Poe, University of Virginia
Friedrich Schleiermacher and the United Church of Christ: Reformed, Liberal, Public


William Myatt, Loyola University, Chicago
The (Non)existence of Religious Rationality: David Tracy, “The Fragment”, and Liberal Theological Discourse


Joshua Daniel, University of Chicago
Posture and Discourse: The Perfectionism of Liberalism in H. Richard Niebuhr


Inese Radzins, Pacific School of Religion


Contemporary Islam Group and Liberal Theologies Consultation

Monday – 1:00 pm-3:30 pm
Room: IC-Sutter

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Reed College, Presiding

Theme: Pious Publics/Critical Publics: Theologies of Self and State in Contemporary Islam

Muhamad Ali, University of California, Riverside
“One and Many”: Islam and Religious Pluralism in Contemporary Indonesia


Jon Armajani, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University
Mohammed Arkoun on Classic Islamic Reason and Applied Islamology: Analysis and Critique


Syed Rizwan Zamir, University of Virginia
Preaching Religious Reform and Reforming Religious Preaching: A Contemporary Shi’ite ‘A’lim’s Appropriation of the Karbala Paradigm


Kathleen Foody, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Just Rulers and Critical Publics: Religious Leadership and Dissent in the Islamic Republic of Iran


Samaneh Oladi Ghadikolaei, University of California, Santa Barbara
Islamic Activism in Iran


Zayn Kassam, Pomona College


Religion and Disability Studies Group

Monday – 4:00 pm-6:30 pm
Room: CC-2014

Darla Schumm, Hollins University, Presiding

Theme: Metaphor, Language, and Corporeality

Devva Kasnitz, Society for Disability Studies
Copresenting with Naomi Steinberg


Naomi Steinberg, Humboldt State University
Inattentive Metaphors: Language and Thought on Disability in Progressive Judaism

1 Comment

Filed under Liberal Religion at the American Academy of Religion, Liberal Religious History

One response to “Liberal Religious Presentations at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion

  1. Seems like Tillich and Niebuhr won the slug fest.

    Time Magazine May. 06, 1946 Religion: Mental Fight Eleven Unitarian Preachers slug it out with Niebuhr, Barth, and Fulton Sheen,
    Betrayal & Defeat?

    “This (neo-orthodoxy] is a sad betrayal that can lead only to confusion. The forces of free religion must oppose this movement and check it. … As we repudiate totalitarian politics we must also repudiate totalitarian religion.”

    ‘Futilitarian Christian gadflies like Professor Reinhold Niebuhr among the Protestants and Dr. Fulton J. Sheen among the Catholics are filling the air with their veiled terrestrial defeatism. No hope for mankind on earth but in heaven if you believe. . . . No, the leap into supernaturalism, which hungry hearts took two thousand years ago to compensate for their frustrations, is hardly proof to intelligent minds today of the existence of such a world.”

    Read more:,9171,887015-2,00.html#ixzz0h4mKZ4B7

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