This year marks the tenth full anniversary of the EI AAR Program Unit Group and we would love to see as many friends old and new attending our sessions – not least of all because of our tenth year review which means it will be even more wonderful to see you all at all the EI sessions! We have several really enticing panels again this year covering topics that we’re sure will be of interest to a wide range of scholars.


As ever, some are stand-alone EI sessions and others are in collaboration with the Vatican II Studies Group and additional AAR groups such as the Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group, the International Development and Religion Group, the Liberation Theologies Group, Religion and Ecology Group and the Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Group, the Roman Catholic Studies Group, and, last yet certainly not least, the SBL Jewish-Christian Dialogue Group and Sacred Texts Group. Several of these groups mark exciting firsts for the EI Network in terms of collaboration and we’re especially excited about our very first collaboration with groups from the SBL.


Here is a brief overview of our sessions (details can be found at the AAR webpage and in printed program).


  1. Catholicism vis-à-vis Modernity and Beyond: Religious Liberty, Other Faiths and “Signs of the Times” (Vatican II Studies Group)


The Second Vatican Council marked a historic turn to the world by the Catholic Church, reflecting a renewed consciousness of its mission. Fifty years ago, in 1965, the Council approved two landmark documents on religious freedom and on the Church in the modern world. At the 2015 AAR annual convention we discuss the ways in which the Declaration on religious freedom (Dignitatis Humanae) and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in modern and contemporary times (Gaudium et Spes) are emblematic of a new attitude of engagement with society, culture, and the religious other, on their reception and continuing significance in the context of the twentieth- and twenty first centuries.


Saturday – 9:00 AM-11:30 AM

Marriott-A705 (Atrium Level)



– Kathleen Sprows Cummings, University of Notre Dame, Presiding

– Francesca Cadeddu, John XXIII Foundation for Religious Sciences, Bologna, Debate on Religious Freedom in the Light of Dignitatis Humanae and Its Reception

the new book series and volumes and the Hong Kong Call

– Nancy Dallavalle, Fairfield University, The Risk of Catholicity: Dignitatis Humanae Comes to the Synod on the Family

– Jutta Sperber, University of Rostock, The Debate on Religious Liberty in the Context of Catholic-Muslim Dialogue

– Dries Bosschaert, University of Leuven, Beyond Meeting the Modern World: The Diffusion of Louvain Christian Anthropology Between Malines and Zürich (September 1963 – February 1964)

– Eugene Schlesinger, Marquette University, Saecula Saeculorum: Church and World in Gaudium et Spes

– Massimo Faggioli, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota (Responding)


  1. What’s the Point of Synods?

In anticipation of the recent Synod of Bishops summoned by Pope Francis in Rome, we issued a call for papers that address the theology and practice of synods. We invited  papers from across the church traditions that examine the theology and practice of conciliarity in its different forms. We are keen to consider the promise and perils of synods drawn from across history and from different modern contexts.



Saturday – 1:00 PM-3:30 PM

Hilton-201 (Level 2)



– Miriam Perkins, Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Presiding

– Luigi Gioia, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, The Recent Practice of Synodality and its Ecclesiological Significance in the Light of Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium

– Bryan Kevin Brown, Boston College, Synodality in Communities of Ministerial Women Religious: Sandra M. Schneiders’s Contribution to a Dialogical Ecclesiology

– JK Melton, Fordham University, Relationship as Sign of Communion: Anglican Relationships in the Aftermath of Lambeth 1998

– Vladimir Latinovic, University of Tübingen, Pan-Orthodox Synod and the Experiences of Other Churches With the Sinodality (Response)


1a. Followed by Business Meeting: (any ideas that you might have for future meetings are especially welcome and do feel free to contact one or other of the co-chairs)


– Mark Chapman, Ripon College Cuddesdon

– Bradford E. Hinze, Fordham University



  1. Laudato Si’: Realities are Greater than Ideas?

Pope Francis much anticipated encyclical Laudato Si’ includes an appeal for “Dialogue among the various sciences . . .[which] can tend to become enclosed in [their] own language, while specialization leads to certain isolation and the absolutization of [their] own field of knowledge.” From the perspective of six AAR Program Units with overlapping interests in the themes developed by Francis, this roundtable responds to the Pope’s request for “An open and respectful dialogue that looks to the common good, . . . always keeping in mind that “realities are greater than ideas”.



The Ecclesiological Investigations Group and the International Development and Religion Group and Liberation Theologies Group and Religion and Ecology Group and Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Group and Roman Catholic Studies Group

Sunday – 9:00 AM-11:30 AM

Hilton-Grand Ballroom A (Level 2)



– Ivan Strenski, University of California, Riverside, Presiding

– Christopher Duncanson-Hales, University of Sudbury

– Heather Eaton, Saint Paul University

– Barbara Muraca, Oregon State University

– Erin Lothes Biviano, College of Saint Elizabeth

– Maria T. Davila, Andover Newton Theological School

– R. Scott Appleby, University of Notre Dame


  1. Inter-Religious Dialogue in Our Times: The Legacy of Nostra Aetate

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) represents a shift in the attitude of the Catholic Church towards non-Christian religions both at the theological and existential level. This was manifest especially in the declaration Nostra Aetate, approved and promulgated fifty years ago, on October 28, 1965: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions” (Vatican II, Nostra Aetate, par. 2). We wish to discuss the legacy of “Nostra Aetate” on the theology of non-Christian religions and on interreligious studies.



The Ecclesiological Investigations Group and the Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group and Vatican II Studies Group and, form the SBL, the Jewish-Christian Dialogue Group and Sacred Texts Group


Sunday – 5:00 PM-6:30 PM

Hilton-Crystal CD (Level 1)



– Homayra Ziad, Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies, Baltimore, MD, Presiding

– Thérèse Martine Andrevon Gottstein, Institut Catholique Paris, To What Extent Did the Shoah Really Influence the Redaction of Nostra Aetate § 4?

– Adam Gregerman, Saint Joseph’s University, Not All Blessings Are Equal: Post-Nostra Aetate Catholic Interpretations of the Biblical Blessings to the Jews and to the Nations

– Katharina von Kellenbach, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Nostra Aetate’s Urgent Call to Forget the Past

– Christopher Denny, Saint John’s University, New York, Religiones Antiquae: Reviving Nostra Aetate to Expand the Scope of Salvation History

– John T. Pawlikowski, Catholic Theological Union (Responding)


  1. The Church and the Environmental Crisis

We invited papers which examine how the churches have understood the environmental crisis both theologically and practically. We were particularly interested in receiving paper proposals that express a range of views from across the churches, including those that deny a climate change crisis.



Monday – 9:00 AM-11:00 AM

Hilton-205 (Level 2)



– Bradford E. Hinze, Fordham University, Presiding

– Andrew Spencer, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptists and the Environment: Divergence Between Theology and Praxis

– Henry Kuo, Graduate Theological Union, The Dangerous Memory of Accra: Hope for a Unified Reformed Response to the Ecological Crisis

– John Shelton, Duke University, Sacramental Imagination: Forming an Ecological Conscience at the Lord’s Table

– Jennifer Kryszak, St. Thomas University, Miami Gardens, Serving the Dear Neighbor through the Earth: A Mission for Ecological and Social Justice


Comments are closed.