A Group of the American Academy of Religion

May 1996; Volume 19, no. 2

Kelly Bulkeley, Editor; D. Andrew Kille, Layout


Annual Meeting Sessions

News from Members

Welcome New Member

Book Commentary

Has PCR Helped You?

PCR Steering Committee

Membership Information


Send Us Your News


November 22-26, 1996 New Orleans, Louisiana

Friday Pre-Session

Saturday Pre-Session

Parenting Lives and Being a Scholar
Mourning Mother and Mourning Father
Art as Spirituality

Works in Progress
Business Meeting
How Are Traditional Spiritualities Appropriated?

Main Session I

Main Session II

Empathy and the Undersides of Human Nature

Spirituality in Contexts

Joint Session with Ritual Studies Group

Sacrificing People: Homicide as Religious Experience

Friday Pre-Session

Theme: Parenting Lives and Being a Scholar: Readings from and Reactions to Also a Mother by Bonnie Miller-McLemore
Bonnie Miller-McLemore, Vanderbilt University


Carroll Weaver, Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver
Kelly Bulkeley, Graduate Theological Union

If you would like to do some preparatory reading, the session with Bonnie Miller-McLemore will focus on chapters 6 and 7 of her book, with some material from the Preface, Introduction, and chapter 5.

Theme: Mourning Mother and Mourning Father: The Scholar in Midlife
Sandra Lee Dixon, University of Denver, Presiding

Christopher F.J. Ross, Wilfrid Laurier University

Theme: Art as Spirituality

Douglas Burton-Christie, Loyola Marymount University
The Church of "Ooh and Aah": Poetry, Nature, and Spirituality in Contemporary American Culture

John McCarthy, Loyola University of Chicago
Flamenco Spirituality and the Resistance to Meaning

Saturday Pre-Session

Theme: Works in Progress
Sandra Lee Dixon, University of Denver, Presiding

Business Meeting
Sandra Lee Dixon, University of Denver, Presiding

Theme: How Are Traditional Spiritualities Appropriated? Historical and Late Twentieth Century Approaches
Lucy Bregman, Temple University, Presiding

Jeffrey Carlson, De Paul University
Hybrid Spiritualities in Pluralistic Contexts

Ulrike Wiethaus, Wake Forest University
Female Sanctity and Abuse: A Historical and Historiographical Case Study of St. Elisabeth of Thuringa (1207-1231)

Main Session I

Theme: Empathy and the Undersides of Human Nature
Mary Ellen Ross, Trinity University, San Antonio, Presiding

Wesley J. Wildman, Boston University
Slipping into Horror: A Theological Approach to the Underside of Life

Jim Perkinson, University of Chicago
The Economy of Empathy with the Underside: A Hermeneutics of Contraction

David J. Livingston, Vanderbilt University
"Social Reconciliation": A Responsible Response to Intimate Violence?

William S. Waldron, Middlebury College
The Origin of Suffering and the Eradication of Evil: The Middle Path from the Buddha to Darwin and Back

Main Session II

Theme: Spirituality in Contexts
Kelly Bulkeley, Graduate Theological Union, Presiding

Evelyn Leslie, Saybrook Institute, and Reo N. Leslie, Jr., Iliff School of Theology and University of Denver
Narrative Spirituality in African-American Contexts: A Case Study of Four African Americans

Stephen Parker, Regent University
Pentecostal Spirituality: Resources for Managing Congregational Life

G. William Barnard, Southern Methodist University
Visions of Wholeness: Glimpses of a Transformative Spirituality

Theodore Brelsford, Emory University
New Age Spirituality: Toward Meeting the Mental Demands of Postmodern Life

Joint Session with Ritual Studies Group

Theme: Sacrificing People: Homicide as Religious Experience
Diane Jonte-Pace, Santa Clara University, Presiding


Tom Driver, Union Seminary, New York City
Carl Raschke, University of Denver
William Harman, DePauw University
Brian K. Smith, University of California, Riverside

Ivan Strenski, University of California, Riverside



Lee Butler has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Theology and Psychology at Chicago Theological Seminary. His focus will be pastoral psychology as well as pastoral care and counseling. A few of the courses that he will teach in the coming academic year include "Preaching and Pastoral Care," "Psychodynamics of Biblical Narratives," and "Race, Gender, Class, and Pastoral Counseling." With his interest in African American liberation theologies and psychologies, his work at CTS will frequently address topics related to those issues.

Diane Jonte-Pace reports that she has been awarded tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. She'd like to thank the members of PCR for their support over the years. Diane has also been appointed to the position of Chair of the Editorial Board of the Religious Studies Review. She invites anyone interested in writing booknotes for the RSR to contact her at djontepace@mailer.scu.edu.

Valerie De Marinis (Uppsala University) has just published, in addition to Clinical Psychology of Religion, an anthology co-edited with M. Aune, Religious and Social Ritual (SUNY, 1996). She edited section 3 of the book, which contains essays dealing with clinical issues, both psychotherapeutic and pastoral.

Robert C. Smith announces the publication of his book The Wounded Jung (Northwestern University Press, 1996).

Ralph Underwood (Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary) has been awarded a summer stipend by the Louisville Institute for his research project "Twentieth-Century Healing Ministry and the Dynamics of Twentieth-Century Protestantism."

Stephen Krupa praises a new book by Gil Ballie, Violence Unveiled (Crossroad, 1995), as "one of the most radically hopeful books from a Christian perspective on the eventual triumph of nonviolence."

Susan Henking (Hobart and William Smith College) reports that she is teaching a class, with a colleague in chemistry, on "AIDS: Scientific Investigation and the human experience"; she is also teaching "Therapy, Myth, and Ritual" and "Unspoken Worlds: Women, Religion, and Culture." Syllabi are available upon request. Her current research interests include testimony and AIDS, cross-cultural representations of sexuality, and the place of autobiography in theory development. She is developing a new course called "Que(e)rying Religious Studies," on lesbian/gay/queer religious studies. She also reminds PCR members to watch "Religious Studies News" for the call for papers for the 1997 meeting of the Eastern International Region of the AAR.

Peter Homans (University of Chicago Divinity School) says he is teaching a course this year on "Psychoanalysis and Collective Memory." A syllabus is available upon request. He also reports that he is preparing to write a book on the personal and socio-historical dimensions of mourning: the psychology of coming to terms with the past. This will be a sequel to his The Ability to Mourn: Disillusionment and the Social Origins of Psychoanalysis (University of Chicago Press, 1988). And, he recommends two books: Louis Sacs, Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought and A. Desmond and J. Moore, Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist.

James Dittes (Yale Divinity School) reports two of his books to be published in 1996 by Westminster/John Knox: Driven by Hope: Men and Meaning and Men at Work: Life Beyond the Office.

Mary Ford-Grabowsky announces having taken on a new position, as of June 1: Vice-President and Academic Dean, the University of Creation Spirituality, founded by Matthew Fox in Oakland, California.

Wallace and Jean Clift have just published a new book: The Archetype of Pilgrimage: Outer Action with Inner Meaning (Paulist, 1996).

Charles Simpkinson ("Common Boundary Magazine") reminds PCR members about "Common Boundary's" 16th annual conference, titled: "Intentional Living: Where Inner Work Meets the World." As he describes it, "Many people work hard at developing and nurturing a spiritual practice, healing their wounds, and achieving inner peace. This conference will address ways we can carry that transformational process into all of our human endeavors: our relationships, our work, our play, our creative pursuits, even our social and political activism." The conference will be held Nov. 8-10, 1996, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Crystal City, Virginia. For more information, contact him at 5272 River Road, Suite 650, Bethesda, MD 20816.

Robert Fuller (Bradley University) has published a new book, Religion and Wine: A Cultural History of Wine-- Drinking in the United States (University of Tennessee Press, 1996).

Stephen Johnson (Montclair State University) recently published an article, "Reconstructing American In(ter)dependence: Feminist Methodology and American Civic Tradition" in the January 1996 issue of Public Affairs Quarterly (pp. 1-18). He is also teaching a course on the "(History of) Western Religion and Culture," a one-semester course covering the interplay of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with each other and with the rest of developing Euro-American culture, stressing the positive and the negative. A syllabus is available on request.

Sheila Redmond will soon have her article "God Died and No One Gave a Funeral" published in an upcoming issue of Pastoral Psychology. The article is based on a paper she delivered at the AAR annual meeting in 1994.



Phillis Sheppard is a Ph.D. candidate in theology and personality at Chicago Theological Seminary. Her dissertation is a critical analysis of theories of embodiment in light of African American women's experiences. Bonnie Miller-McLemore, who recruited her to the PCR group, is on her committee. Phillis says in "my other life" she is a psychotherapist at the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago where she also teaches a class on object relations theory. Glad you're with us, Phillis!


Daniel C. Noel (Vermont College of Norwich University) offers this commentary on The Allure of Gnosticism: The Gnostic Experience in Jungian Psychology and Contemporary Culture, edited by Robert A. Segal, with June Singer and Murray Stein, Associate Editors (Open Court, 1995).

The Allure of Gnosticism, along with its principal editor Robert Segal's earlier compilation entitled The Gnostic Jung, provides a valuable service in bringing this ancient spiritual philosophy into self-conscious dialogue with contemporary cultural currents, Jungian and otherwise. The alterations of "original Gnosticism"--itself contested--in its modern expressions form a fascinating theme of this wide-ranging volume, making Jung's version of gnosis less a latter-day heresy than a symptom of the Zeitgeist. Much-lauded authorities like Elaine Pagels, Hans Jonas, and Gilles Quispel contribute worthy essays, but the book also presents lesser known scholars with equal impact: e.g., Murray Stein's moral fervor, Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley's perceptive wit, Schuyler Brown's meta-linguistic acumen.

These and other contributors have produced an indispensable work for anyone who wants to know what Gnosticism knew and how it might still help our knowing today. Recommended for collections in psychology of culture, philosophy of religion, and intellectual history.

Daniel C. Noel, Vermont College of Norwich University

Have you read a book recently either written by a PCR member or addressed to an issue of interest to the PCR community? If so, we'd like to invite you to write a brief commentary on it for the PCR Newsletter. Send your commentaries (250-500 words) to Kelly Bulkeley.



...If so, we need to hear about it.

The status of PCR as a Group within the American Academy of Religion will be up for a standard five-year review this autumn. We need your help to enable us to demonstrate to the AAR that the group deserves renewal. If you have an answer of "yes" to any of the following questions, please write, giving all particulars, to Greg Schneider, Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA 94508, E-Mail: gschneid@puc.edu, FAX: 707/965-6390.

Many thanks to Bob Fuller, Peter Homans, Sarah Bentley, Ralph Underwood, Richard Hutch, Elizabeth Liebert, Jim Dittes, Dan Merkur, John Haule, and Lee Butler for their early responses to this inquiry. I am still hoping to hear from more of you. In particular, anyone who has done work helped by PCR since our last renewal in 1991 is especially urged to let me know about it.

Please send your letters and messages as soon as possible, but not later than September 1, as our self-study is due in the AAR offices early in October. Thank you very much.

Greg Schneider