Academy of Religious Leadership
2019 Annual Meeting — April 25-27, 2019

Theme: Engaging Power

We live in an era of polemical social media, partisan politics, and increased tensions around “the other”—the political other, the racial other, the immigrant other, the gendered other, the religious other. As groups of people experience anxiety provoked by fear of the other, they look to leaders enact power to resolve their anxieties.

Given this context, how should religious leaders think about, talk about, teach about, steward, challenge, and address power?

Among the questions we will explore:

How do we steward our personal power?

Every leader has some power base from which she or he functions. How do religious leaders recognize and process their power? How might diverse fields—practical theology, missiology, gender studies, critical race theory, to name a few—help religious leaders to be reflective practitioners as they enact power?

What constitutes a theology of power?

Leadership literature tends to discuss power in neutral terms, sometimes failing to acknowledge the ethical, moral, and theological implications of power. What scriptural and theological resources shape how religious leaders view power? What resources inform a response to the use and misuse of power?

How might we address power?

What is the role of religious leaders in the prophetic act of speaking to power? Toward what ends do leaders in a variety of settings—church, community organizations, education, non-profits, business, public sector—engage power? How do religious leaders engage their communities in the act of addressing power?

Meeting Schedule

Thursday, April 25

7:30–9:00 pm Welcome Reception

Friday, April 26

8:30-10:00 Opening Session
10:00-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Presentations
12:00-1:30 Lunch break
1:30-3:00 Presentations
3:00-4:00 Break and transition to Westminster Presbyterian Church
4:00-5:30 Panel session at Westminster
6:00-8:00 Dinner together

Saturday, April 27

8:30-9:30 Business Meeting (breakfast provided)
9:30-10:00 Break
10:00-11:30 Presentations
11:30-12:00 Closing Session

Call for Papers

Call for papers is now closed. Thank you.