Let Freedom Ring

Religious Education at the Intersection of Social Justice, Liberation, and Civil/Human Rights

REA Annual Meeting 2012

2-4, November, Atlanta, Georgia

REA2012 Call

Call for Papers


2012 Annual Meeting of the Religious Education Association
(An Association of Professors, Practitioners, and Researchers in Religious Education)
November 2-4, 2012
Sheraton Atlanta Hotel
Atlanta, GA


Let Freedom Ring! Religious Education at the Intersection of Social Justice, Liberation, and Civil/Human Rights

From Yolanda Smith, President-elect and Program Chair:

“Let Freedom Ring!”  The iconic refrain from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech (1963) has long been an enduring symbol of the struggle for freedom and equality not only for African Americans, but for many fighting the ravages of injustice and discrimination throughout the world.  Religious education in its various forms has often been a key but unacknowledged component of diverse freedom and protest movements such as the Indian Independence struggle against British rule (Mahatma Gandhi); the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s (Martin Luther King, Jr.); the National Farm Workers Movement (Cesar Chavez); and most recently, the struggle against apartheid and the quest for democracy in the Middle East.  But how has religious education functioned amid these and related movements to empower countless people in their quest for basic human rights and civil liberties?  How has spirituality/religion fueled and sustained such movements?  And what insights can we as religious educators, glean from freedom/protest movements that have applied spirituality to social action for shaping prophetic and transformative educational ministries and pedagogy?

The 2012 conference theme seeks to explore not only the historic role played by religious education in empowering oppressed communities for social activism and personal/communal transformation, but also its role in the creation of innovative contemporary pedagogical strategies that can equip individuals and communities for transformative social engagement.

The association welcomes proposals for research papers, colloquia, and workshops that address such questions as:

  • How can religious education prepare communities and individuals to engage in the struggle for a more humane and just society while deepening spiritual growth?
  • In what ways do contemplation and engaged social action intersect in the world?
  • How does spirituality function amid violent movements? How might religious education facilitate more transformative, holistic, and life-giving responses?
  • How might religious education address issues of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religious background, sexual orientation, poverty, or political ideology in light of freedom/protest movements?
  • How do ecological dimension such as sustainability, natural disasters, and wide-spread devastation impact the quest for social justice, liberation, and civil/human rights?
  • What are the political implications for shaping prophetic and transformative models of religious education?
  • What role has the media, social networking, twitter, and other technological advances played in contemporary social justice movements?

Guidelines for Submitting Proposals

Step 1: Determine the type of proposal.

Once you have an idea of a topic that interests you, determine which type of proposal you wish to submit.  There are three types of presentations at the annual meeting.

Research Interest Group (RIG). A finished paper of publishable quality is presented and discussed among a group of conference participants. If your proposal is accepted, the final paper must be submitted by September 1st in order to be posted in the REA Annual Meeting Proceedings.

Colloquium. Emerging research, research-in-progress that may lead to a publishable paper, or current practices and programs is presented to and discussed among a group of conference participants. Since this format is less formal than the presentation of a paper, conference participants come to hear a presentation and then are led in discussion. While the early submission of an outline is encouraged, it is not necessary.

Workshop. A highly interactive session engaging conference participants in scholarly and practical resources or approaches supporting the multiple practices of religious education. These sessions are facilitated and led by the presenter. They may increase awareness or enhance performance of specific religious education practices. The contexts for these practices vary widely and may include faith communities, classrooms, or other settings. While the early submission of an outline is encouraged, it is not necessary.

Step 2: Write your proposal.

The proposal begins with a 600 character (approximately 150 word) abstract. You then have an additional 1,000 words to make the case for your proposal.

  • For RIG papers, include main points, methodology (e.g., literature-based, qualitative or quantitative research, historical, or insights from our community of practice), and a selected bibliography (e.g., two or three primary sources grounding your work).
  • For colloquia, include main concepts/issues, methodology for addressing the topic, generally the sources grounding the presentation, and the status of the research at the time of the proposal.
  • For workshops, include context, main concepts/issues, practice(s) being addressed, context of those practices (e.g., faith community, higher education, wider community, schools), outline of the workshop (sequence of topics and methods), resources presented and used.

Step 3: Submit your proposal.

Proposals must be submitted by 15 May 2012. All proposals must be submitted using the 2012 online proposal submission form. Proposals sent by other means will not be considered. We are no longer accepting proposals for the 2012 Annual Meeting

Step 4: Wait for notification of acceptance.

Notification of your proposal’s acceptance status to the Annual Meeting program will be sent by Monday, 11 June 2012.

Participation requirements at the Annual Meeting:

You do not have to be a member of REA to submit a proposal. However, if selected to present, presenters must renew for upcoming membership year as well and register for the meeting.

Persons may submit no more than two proposals in response to the Call for Papers.

Audiovisual Requests:

The REA recognizes the importance of using digital equipment during presentations. However, costs for renting this equipment at a hotel is such that REA has decided to reconsider its practice of providing LCD projectors for powerpoint presentations at no cost to presenters.  Details about any changes in policy will be forthcoming.  Meanwhile, please note your audiovisual needs in the proposal submission form.

Important Additional Information Regarding Research Interest Group Papers:

Research Interest Group presenters will receive a copy of the Guidelines for Contributors to the journal Religious Education. Your Proceedings must be no longer than 3000 words (plus references), single spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman Font, 1” margins all around. (Presenters of Colloquia and Workshops are not required to contribute a paper although they may wish to submit material for posting on the website for participants in their groups.)

Completed RIG papers for the program must be received in electronic format (‘doc’ or ‘pdf’) by the Executive Secretary Lucinda Huffaker (reaappre [at] msn [dot] com) no later than 17 September 2012. PAPERS NOT RECEIVED BY THAT DATE WILL NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE PROCEEDINGS AND WILL BE CANCELED FROM THE ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM. Unless otherwise requested, all papers will be posted on the website prior to the meeting. Proceedings will be distributed to participants as they register at the meeting.

By 14 January 2013, RIG papers that were presented at the meeting may be revised and submitted to the Call for Papers Committee, which will act as a peer review jury for the conference issue of Religious Education. Selected papers are recommended for possible publication and sent to the editor of the journal, who then makes the final selection.


For questions about the Call for Papers, please write to:

Dr. Ted Brelsford
Chair of the Call for Papers Committee
theodore [dot] brelsford [at] gmail [dot] com

Scroll to Top