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Working Group Papers

Each year at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion, ATRE gathers people together around another theopoetics-related theme, facilitating a panel discussion, providing a venue for presentation, and encouraging dialogue. Most of the presentations given at working group meetings have ended up in issues of THEOPOETICS. Each year there is a recurring intention to explore the mutual influence and effect of theology with and upon imagination, aesthetics, embodiment, and the arts. Additionally, though, each year has a particular focus, as listed below.

2011 (San Francisco)

Focus: The impact of employing non-propositional poetics in areas of theological exploration. Does it simply yields “vague language,” and/or does it provide a substantive contribution to discourse pertaining to the Divine?

Revised versions of each of these papers appears in THEOPOETICS 1.1

Liberating Language: Rubem Alves, Theopoetics, and the Democratization of God-Talk | Jeffery Hocking
God’s Metaphorical Creativity: Reflections on the Divine Origins of Creative Human Love | Eric Hall
Writing on the Boundary Line: Theopoetics as the Breaking of Form | Blake Huggins
A Theopoetics of Seeking Cultures of Peace | Scott Holland
A Heraldic Ethic: Critical Resistance and the Embodiment of a Dialogical Impulse | Callid Keefe-Perry

2012 (Chicago)

Focus: The ways in which a theopoetic perspective engenders embodiment and a return to the flesh.

Revised versions of each of these papers appears in THEOPOETICS 1.2

Risking Idolatry? Theopoetics and the Promise of Embodiment” | Jeffery Hocking | Abstract  Here
Ritual in the Dark: A Liturgy of Image & Text | Travis Poling and Craig Goodworth | Abstract Here
Scripted Bodies and the Poet’s Word: Theopoetics and Pastoral Care | Andrew Tripp | Abstract Here
Transubstantiated Poetry and Embodied Theology | Martha Serpas | Abstract Here

2013 (Baltimore)

Focus: Theopoetics and popular culture as well as the concrete application of theopoetic insight in faith-based contexts.

Revised versions of each of these papers will appear in THEOPOETICS 2.2

Alisal: Theopoetics and Emancipatory Politics” | Patrick Reyes | Abstract  Here
The Forbidden Pleasure of “Scandal”: Sex, Race, Beauty and Convention” | Kimberly Hampton | Abstract Here
Beyond Poetic Perspectivism: Applied Theopoetics in the Use of Language Arts as Christian Practice | L. Callid Keefe-Perry | Abstract Here 
Visionary Film and the World’s Body: Stan Brakhage and Theopoetics | Brett David Potter | Abstract Here

2014 (San Diego)

Focus: Issues regarding trauma studies and the ways in which an explicit exploration of language and theology can benefit those considering trauma.

Revised versions of each of these papers will appear in THEOPOETICS 2.1

Holding Hope and Doubt: The Interreligious Theopoetic Response to Public Tragedies | Ashley Theuring
For the Tragic Beauty of the Earth: Theopoetics in the Aftermath of Global Warming | Jacob Erickson
ACT UP and Political Theopoetics | Jordan Miller
Pastoral Theopoetic Care in the Presence of Inscribed Bodies | Andrew Tripp

2015 (Atlanta)

Focus: What is the role of the imagination – and imaginaries – within the theological conversation? Is theopoetics primarily about (re)shaping imagination? Is its focus popular? Aimed at only people of faith? Does discourse around theopoetics have anything to offer to theologies and/or philosophies of the imagination? How might theologies and philosophies of imagination add to or thicken understandings of theopoetics?

Revised versions of each of these papers will appear in THEOPOETICS 3.1 

What the Heart Knows –Theopoetics and the Renewing Power of Metaphor | Robert White
Polyphilic Imaginings: Applied Theopoetics and the Interdisciplinary Turn | Katelynn Carver
The Tunes Written in Our Flesh: Theopoetics from an Ontologically Hip-Hop Perspective | James Hill Jr.
Theopoetics as Midwife to a Laboring Earth | Lori Clarke