AASR Member Esther Acolatse gives distinguished lecture…

The AASR would like to recognize Dr. Esther Acolatse, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Pastoral Theology and World Christianity at Duke Divinity School, who was the keynote speaker at the 2nd annual Stanley Grenz Lecture Series at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Her address was titled, “Exploring the Contours of Enchantment: Perspectives from the Global South.”

What can we learn from the dramatic growth of the Christian Church in other cultural contexts? The Christian Church in the Global South is exploding and that explosion is being translated into the North Atlantic context as being “glocal,” and explained as the proliferation of migrant churches. However, little attention has been paid to the undercurrents of this ferment, and the hybrid offering that runs from the original spaces to the tributaries worldwide that could revitalize the theological imagination of the global church. In this session Dr. Acolatse will suggest that the source of vitality in the Global South is “enchantment.” Due to the religio-cultural atmosphere in which these Southern churches are birthed and nurtured, the primal religious sensibilities that are seamlessly woven into the Christian experience and expression and the ability of the leaders to invite and draw believers into the world picture and the stories of the Scriptures, mystery remains. Within this milieu lie both the promise and the challenge of the enchantment that fuels the explosion of Christianity in the global south.

Congratulations, Dr. Acolatse on this important lecture!

More information about this event can be found at this link: http://theseattleschool.edu/ai1ec_event/grenz-lecture-1/

Call for Papers: Religion, Violence, and Peace Conference

The Human Rights and Global Justice Research Group at Wake Forest University
invites paper proposals for a conference on the broad topic of
Religion, Violence, and Peace

9-11 April 2015 – (Winston-Salem, North Carolina).

Deadline proposals: December 15, 2014

Our chief aim is to bring together multi-disciplinary scholars working on the topic of religion, violence, and peacemaking from historical as well as contemporary perspectives. In particular, we are interested in papers that probe the complex patterns of interaction between religious commitments and violence in a variety of cultural and regional contexts, the ways in which violence is sacralized, and the use of religious beliefs and practices to justify, mitigate or redirect violence in less destructive channels.
Through keynote presentations and group discussion after each speaker, this conference will provide opportunities to deepen our understanding of the patterns of religious violence and the nature and scope of our moral responses to them.
Synthesis and dialogue will be facilitated by asking presenters from one day to serve as respondents on the other day and keynote speakers whose research explicitly addresses the intersections between religion and violence. We plan to publish the best papers from the conference.

Among the topics papers might address are the following:

– The roots of different types of violence in their specific contexts
– The use of religious texts as legitimation of violence; competing interpretations of religious texts to incite or to oppose violence.
– Religious violence perpetrated by the State.
– Assessments of religious ethical approaches to war and peacemaking;
– Religious violence as a tool of state domestic and/or foreign policy
– Models of religious responses to violence;
– Religious strategies of conflict resolution and peacemaking initiatives
– Non-Muslim minorities in religiously pluralistic context.
– Gendered strategies to promote or counter violence.
– The role of violence in sustaining cultures of faith, economy, and collective and personal identity
– Political and economic factors that influence certain forms of violence.
– The links between religion, violence and economic conditions.
– The impact of education and the role of children.
– Religious justification of the use of violence to promote religious rights and human rights.

Submission Details:

Please send abstracts of approximately 500 – 800 words to both:
Simeon Ilesanmi (ilesanmi@wfu.edu) and Nelly van Doorn-Harder
(vandoopa@wfu.edu). Deadline: December 15, 2014.

An affiliate of the WFU Humanities Institute, the Human Rights and Global Justice Research Group is an incubator and a hub for faculty research, programs, and events devoted to issues of human rights and global justice.

2014 Consultation of African and African Diasporan Women in Religion and Theology


2014 Consultation of African and African Diasporan Women in Religion and Theology

Theme: Texts of Terror, Texts of Empowerment: Reimagining Sacred Canon
in Africana Womanhood

The Consultation of African and African Diasporan Women in Religion and Theology invites proposals for paper presentations at the 2014 meeting. Proposals engaging any religious tradition and on any of the wide variety of topics related to the consultation’s theme – Texts of Terror, Texts of Empowerment: Reimagining Sacred Canon in Africana Womanhood – are welcome. ALL proposals should clearly and specifically (1) integrate discussion of sacred texts (in oral, written, or embodied forms) and (2) consider the relationship of sacred texts to any forms of violence against continental and diasporan African women and girls. Proposals may not exceed one single-spaced page and should include the proposer’s name and email address, a title, the proposer’s institutional affiliation, and a clear indication of how the proposed presentation considers violence, African-descended women, and sacred texts. Send proposals to ghanaconference2014@gmail.com. The deadline for proposals is March 1, 2014.

The second Consultation of African and African Diasporan Women in Religion and Theology will take place July 6-14, 2014, in Legon, Ghana. The 2014 meeting extends work of the 2012 conference by continuing the focus on overcoming violence against continental and diasporan African women and girls and seeking to build relationships of continental and diasporan African women in religion and theology. Roots of these meetings began during the 1970s and 1980s when Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Brigilia Bam, Musimbi Kanyoro, Katie Geneva Cannon, Jacquelyn Grant and others first encountered each other as the earliest continental and diasporan African women’s voices at transnational Christian denominational and interdenominational meetings.

A tribute to Chirevo Kwenda

The African Association for the Study of Religion has learned with great sadness, the passing away of Professor Chirevo Kwenda of the University of Cape Town. He will be missed and the memories of his work will remain with us and to his many students. Here is a short statement from the University of Cape Town.

The University of Cape Town is deeply saddened by death of Dr Chirevo Kwenda on October 16 in Zimbabwe. Born in 1948 in Charter, Zimbabwe, of a chiefly family, Chirevo Victor Kwenda received the PhD in Religion from Syracuse University in 1993. He joined the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town as a Lecturer (1994-1998), Senior Lecturer (1998-2006), and Head of Department (2002-2004). A brilliant teacher, inspiring supervisor, effective administrator, and valued friend at UCT, he was also a global presence, participating in conferences of the International Network for Interreligious and Intercultural Education in Utrecht, the International Association for the History of Religions in Mexico City, and the meetings on religion and globalization in Farmington, Maine, as well as holding a Mandela Fellowship at Harvard University during 2000-2001. In his publications and conference presentations, Chirevo Kwenda was the master of the revealing phrase—“pedagogy depends on spirals of learning”, “social cohesion depends on cultural justice”, “religion is giving and receiving”, “African traditional religion is deal-making”—that condensed powerful insight and lingered in ongoing reflection and conversation. Chirevo Kwenda is remembered by his colleagues not only for his valuable scholarly contributions but also for being a wise, compassionate and inspiring human being. We hold Chirevo Kwenda in our thoughts along with his wife, Rosemary, their children, and family.

Affiliation w/ AAR

Great news! We have started consultations to seek affiliate status with the African Studies Association (ASA) For now we are interested in affiliate membership only. However, if you are a member of the ASA, please let President Bongmba know (bongmba@rice.edu) because if 25 members of the AASR are members of the ASA, we would ask for Coordinate status which allows us to organize our own panels at the annual meetings of the ASA if our application is approved.

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