Ecclesial Practices Unit at the AAR San Antonio 2016

Join the network and our Ecclesial Practices group at the AAR Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.


November 19, 2016


November 22, 2016

Ecclesial Practices at the AAR Annual Meeting 2016

Ecclesial Practices provides a collaborative space at the intersection of ethnographic and other qualitative approaches and theological approaches to the study of ecclesial practices. This might include churches, other (new, emerging, para-church, and virtual) communities, and lived faith in daily life. International in scope, the group encourages research contributing to a deeper understanding of ‘church in practice’ in a global context, including decolonization and postcolonial theologies.The group encourages ongoing research in the following areas:

• Empirical and theological approaches to the study of ecclesial communities (churches, congregations, and emerging communities), especially as interdisciplinary efforts to understand lived faith and practice extending from them;
• Studies of specific ecclesial activities, e.g. music, liturgy, arts, social justice, youth work, preaching, pastoral care, rites of passage, community organizing;
• Studies of global contexts of lived faith in relation to ecclesial communities, for example, decolonizing and postcolonial theory and theology;
• Discussions of congregational growth and decline, new church movements, and ecclesial experiments connected to shared practices in a worldly church;
• Explorations of Christian doctrine in relation to the potential implications of empirical and qualitative research on ecclesial communities and lived faith for discerning, defining, and challenging standard theological genres such as systematics and doctrine, as well as inviting new ways to understand normative logics;
• Discussions of methodological issues with regard to qualitative research on theological topics, especially related to ecclesial communities and lived faith;
• Discussions (both substantive and methodological) of the implications of new technologies and digital cultures for ecclesial communities and lived faith.


Call for Papers

At a time of great social and ecclesial change globally, Action Research (AR) is increasingly being used as a participative approach in transformative ecclesiological and theological research. In this co-sponsored session with the Practical Theology Group we welcome papers presenting both empirical work from AR projects and papers reflecting on theory and method. In both cases the papers should relate to practical theology, ecclesiology or Christian practices.


  Submit A Proposal  


About the AAR

The American Academy of Religion brings thousands of professors and students, authors and publishers, religious leaders and interested laypersons to its Annual Meeting each year. Co-hosted with the Society of Biblical Literature, the Annual Meetings are the largest events of the year in the fields of religious studies and theology.

AAR Steering Committee

Jonas Idestrom, Co-Chair, Church of Sweden Research Unit
Natalie Wigg-Stevenson, Co-Chair, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto
Christian A. B. Scharen, Auburn Seminary
Mary McClintock Fulkerson, Duke Divinity School
Peter Ward, Durham University
Timothy Snyder, Boston University
Tone Stangeland Kaufman, MF The Norwegian School of Theology



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