Theology and Continental Philosophy at the Virtual AAR

The American Academy of Religion is holding a virtual conference this year. The Theology and Continental Philosophy group will be holding one session where younger scholars will be presenting “works in progress.” It will be held on Tuesday, December 1, from 1:45-3:15pm, with a business meeting to follow. This will be in place of our planned programming for this year, which will be delayed until 2021, when we can hopefully do it in person. Description:

This “works in progress” panel will showcase the writing of three scholars whose thinking provides an opportunity to reflect on theology and the continental philosophy of religion in inter- or cross-disciplinary contexts. Each scholar’s work will be pre-distributed in advance of the panel. This will allow attendees at the panel to have substantive conversations with presenters about these works in progress. Those interested in accessing the pre-distributed papers can email the co-chairs of the Theology and Continental Philosophy of Religion Unit (Beatrice Marovich and Adam Kotsko). Biko Mandela Gray, Assistant Professor of American Religion at Syracuse University will present a project called “Now it is all Now” that thinks with Toni Morrison and Christina Sharpe about the relationship between blackness and white time. Gray argues that blackness is “always now”, which means that, to the normative world, blackness has no temporal duration; it is only, always, and already, death and this now-ness saves white time where “progress” and “reform” rely upon forgetting that the country has always killed black people. Gray ultimately suggests that blackness is a criticism of Heidegger’s Dasein, in its predilection with futurity and the projects that such futurity demands. An Yountae, Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at California State University, Northridge will share a chapter from a book manuscript project that is currently in process. He will reflect on Frantz Fanon’s critique of religion and coloniality by reading Fanon’s use of phenomenology alongside the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Brandy Daniels, Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Portland, will share an excerpt from a book manuscript in progress, Who is the ‘We’?, which explores the ways in which accounts and practices of formation in modern Christianity, particularly within feminist theologies, impact gender and sexual difference. The pre-circulated chapter will discuss the work of Michel Foucault, in conversation with Lynne Huffer.