International Conference on Comparative Theology: Australian Catholic University

On July 23, 2019

International Conference on Comparative Theology: Australian Catholic University

Australian Catholic University invites you to submit papers for:

International Conference on Comparative Theology
Identities transformed or transgressed? | Exploring new frontiers in comparative theology and interreligious learning.

Dates: 23 – 24 July 2019
Location: Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus, 115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

The Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at Australian Catholic University (ACU) is delighted to announce details of our International Conference on Comparative Theology. Framed by the concept of religious identities, the 2019 conference invites participants to explore the latest developments within, and challenges to, comparative theology and associated practices of interreligious learning.

Professor Francis X Clooney, the leading authority on comparative theology, has described the discipline as deep learning across religious borders. It “marks acts of faith seeking understanding, which are rooted in a particular faith tradition but which, from that foundation, venture into learning from other faith traditions”.
Clooney’s articulation of the central premise and core activity of comparative theology provides an important corrective to the dominant ethos of our times: one marked by a binary opposition of ‘us against them’. Rather than fueling modern day identity politics, comparative theology provides a means of transcending boundaries and occupying hybrid spaces of religious encounter and dialogue. While some may see such an encounter with difference as transgressive, comparative theology maintains that it is precisely in learning with and from the other that one’s own identity is enriched.


  • Professor Francis X Clooney SJ, Harvard University, Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology
  • Professor Catherine Cornille, Boston College, Newton College Alumnae Chair of Western Culture and Professor of Comparative Theology
  • Professor Marianne Moyaert, VU Amsterdam, Professor of Comparative Theology and Hermeneutics of Interreligious Dialogue
  • Reverend Dr Diego Sarrió Cucarella, Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI), Rector and Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and editor of the PISAI journal Islamochristiana
  • Dr Emmanuel Nathan, Australian Catholic University, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Comparative Theology
  • Dr Makoto Sawai, Tenri University, Japan, has a research focus largely on mystical Islam
  • Fr Yesudasan Remias, KU Leuven, studies the Hebrew Bible alongside the majority Hindu traditions of his native India

In addition, a number of conference participants will present papers.

The ACU 2019 International Conference on Comparative Theology is now seeking paper submissions from junior and senior scholars. Prospective presenters should engage one of the following
four key streams in light of the overall conference theme of religious identity.

  1. Comparative theology: hermeneutical and methodological issues in comparative theology or theology in general (eg theologies of world religions, theologies of religious pluralism etc).
  2. Interreligious learning: the intersection of comparative theology with interreligious learning and/or interfaith dialogue. This stream especially welcomes contributions on the pedagogies of interreligious encounter (interfaith education, education in a multi-faith context, education in a dialogical context etc). In addition, the stream includes the intersection of comparative theology with scriptural reasoning.
  3. Sacred texts, liturgies and literature: an in-depth analysis and comparison of sacred texts, literature or liturgical rites from two discrete religious traditions. See, for example, Clooney’s Hindu God, Christian
    God (2001, OUP), which offers a careful study of key ideas common to the Hindu and Christian religious traditions.
  4. Comparative theology as performance: this stream welcomes papers from theorists and practitioners across the fields of music, art, poetry, cinema and theatre etc. Papers in this stream must contain a component of comparative theology or interreligious learning.

Proposals should be 200 to 300 words in length. Please submit by Thursday 31 January 2019, indicating the stream in which you wish to present. Email your proposal to: 
Presentations should occupy no more than 25 minutes (2,500 words maximum) | Selected presentations from the conference will later be published in an edited volume.

For more information, please click here

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