A Group of the American Academy of Religion

October 1996; Volume 19, no. 3

Kelly Bulkeley, Editor; D. Andrew Kille, Layout


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PCR Program at AAR Annual Meeting

November 22-26, 1996 New Orleans, Louisiana

Friday pre-session:

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

Saturday morning:

  • Works in Progress
  • Appropriation of Traditional Spiritualities

Saturday afternoon:

  • Spirituality in Contexts

Monday afternoon:

  • Empathy and the Undersides of Human Experience

Joint Session with Ritual Studies Group: Saturday afternoon:

  • Sacrificing People: Homicide as Religious Experience

Copies of those session papers available for pre-circulation can be obtained from:Sandra Dixon , University of Denver, 2150 S. Race Street, Floor 3, Denver, CO 80208

Please enclose a check for $10 to cover duplication and mailing..

Friday Pre-Session

AM13 2:00-6:30 pm, Sheraton-Rosella

NOTE: The listing in the AAR Program booklet is incorrect. You are welcome to gather from 1:00 on, but the program will begin at 2:00.

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, Santa Clara University

The focus will be on chapters 6 and 7 of the book, along with 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

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Saturday Pre-Session

AM57 9-11:30 am, Sheraton-Felicity

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Main Session I

A17 Saturday, 1:00-3:30 pm, Sheraton-Estherwood Theme: Spirituality in Contexts
Kelly Bulkeley, Santa Clara University, Presiding

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Main Session II

A180 Monday, 1:00-3:30 pm, Sheraton-Rosella Theme: Empathy and the Undersides of Human Nature
Mary Ellen Ross,, Trinity University, San Antonio, Presiding

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Joint Session with Ritual Studies Group

A45 Saturday, 3:45-6:15 pm, Sheraton-Ellendale Theme: Sacrificing People: Homicide as Religious Experience
Diane Jonte-Pace, Santa Clara University, Presiding


Ivan Strenski, University of California, Riverside

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News from PCR Members

Wayne Rollins (Assumption College) notes that the SBL Psychology and Biblical Studies Group, inaugurated in 1991, has recently applied for a second five-year term. He also says he has been granted a full-year, fully-funded sabbatical by Assumption College to complete a book under contract with Fortress Press, tentatively titled The Bible in Psychological Perspective: Retrospect and Prospect. He would appreciate hearing from PCR members whose work touches on Biblical studies and psychology (Dept. of Theology, Assumption College, Worcester, MA 01615-0005). And, Wayne recommends the book edited by Richard K. Fenn and Donald Capps, On Losing the Soul: Essays in the Social Psychology of Religion (Albany: SUNY Press, 1995).

Sandy Dixon (Denver University) reports teaching a graduate course in Winter of 1996 on "Culture, Psyche, and Religion." She says, "The readings were well received and discussed in an open seminar format. Unfortunately, the experiential learning component--create a culture for the class using e-mail and the Internet--hit a number of snags. One was an overloaded computer system; another was resistance from students to having technology invade a seminar. Any suggestions for helping students become more comfortable with computers in class assignments?" (For Sandy's address, see the Steering Committee list at back.) Sandy has also co-authored a review article with Meredith Underwood, Jeanne Hoeft, and Heidi Roth titled "Alice Miller's Insightful, Inadequate Critique of Religion" in Religious Studies Review (vol. 22, no. 3, 191-196).

Carole Bohn (Danielsen Institute) shares this news: "The Danielsen Institute at Boston University, of which I am Executive Director, has an exciting new program. In conjunction with the East Boston Health Center, we are developing a program to integrate pastoral counseling services into a local community health setting, and in the process, to establish a community-based training program at the intern and post-doctoral levels. The program was initiated by the health center staff who recognized the importance of enabling patients to address spiritual issues as a part of their healing. This collaboration between a mental health clinic/pastoral counseling center and a neighborhood health center to provide for spiritual concerns of patients is reflective of recent openness in both physical and mental health providers toward religious/spiritual issues. We are addressing this common concern at the practical, clinical level; it also needs to be addressed at the theoretical level. The mass of literature in the 'secular' community is notable, but most authors do not recognize that there is a field of pastoral psychology with a unique literature and a history of integrating psychology and theology. An important area of future work for those of us in the pastoral psychology corner needs to be connecting with the surge of interest in this field, and the education of professionals who have an interest in things spiritual but little or no knowledge of the existence of our field of study."

Elizabeth Liebert (San Francisco Theological Seminary) recommends Through the Eyes of Women, edited by Jeanne Stevenson Moessner (Fortress, 1996), saying the book represents "more good stuff on women's perspectives in pastoral care--it helps broaden the way we look at the field."

Christopher Ross (Wilfrid Laurier University) is pursuing these research questions: "How can we reconcile a 'direct' experience of transcendence in a variety of religious settings when confronted with evidence of intermediate social construction, especially when there is evidence of unethical practices? I wonder if post-structuralist concepts of intersubjectivity could help here, and would be grateful for any reading suggestions. My inquiry is focused around Mother Theresa, whom I visited in Germany. I am excited that a paper on these themes has been accepted for the Calcutta 1997 conference of the Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion." (Chris can be reached by e-mail at cross@mach1.wlu.ca)

Pamela Cooper-White (Seabury-Western Theological Seminary) announces that her book The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church's Response (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995) has been named by the Academy of Parish Clergy as one of the Top Ten Books for Parish Ministry published in 1995. The Academy of Parish Clergy is a national interfaith association, organized to promote the professional competence and continuing education of parish clergy in congregational settings.

Hendrika Vande Kemp (Fuller Theological Seminary) was given at this year's commencement ceremony the C. Davis Weyerhaeuser Award for Excellence, an award presented by the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary. She also gives this update on her recent publications: "Religion in College Textbooks: Allport's Historic 1948 Report," The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion (1995), vol. 5, 197-209. "A Faculty Genealogy of the Travis Years," in H.N. Malony (in collaboration with H. Vande Kemp), Psychology and the Cross: The Early History of Fuller Seminary's School of Psychology(Pasadena, CA: Fuller Theological Seminary, 1996). "Historical Perspective: Religion and Clinical Psychology in America," in E. Shafranske (ed.), Religion and the Clinical Practice of Psychology (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1996). "Historical Perspective: Religion and Clinical Psychology in America," in P.J. Verhagen and G. Glas (ed.s), Psyche and Faith: Beyond Professionalism. Proceedings of the First International Symposium of the Christian Association of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Psychotherapists (CVPPP) in the Netherlands (Zoetermeer, the Netherlands: Boekencentrum, 1996). "Psychology and Christian Spirituality: Explorations of the Inner World," Journal of Psychology and Christianity (1996) vol. 15, 161-174.

Dan Noel (Vermont College) reports that he has completed his book on shamanism and post-Jungian psychology, due out in February as The Soul of Shamanism (Continuum). He says he is now "turning my attention to the cultural psychology of the millennium and ecopsychology, as well as to the ritual implications of post-Jungian/archetypal psychology and the late works of Freud." In August he taught an intensive three-day summer course at Pacifica Graduate Institute on "Myths and Images in Cross-Cultural Psychology." A syllabus is available (Vermont College, Montpelier, VT 05602).

Kelly Bulkeley (Santa Clara University) notes the recent publication of a book he edited, Among All These Dreamers: Essays on Dreaming and Modern Society (Albany: SUNY Press, 1996). The multidisciplinary essays in this book examine the cultural and social (as opposed to strictly psychological) relevance of dream studies, with discussions of child education, sexual abuse, ecology, crime, race, gender, religion, politics, death, and cross-cultural conflict.

Charles Simpkinson (Common Boundary Magazine) announces that "Common Boundary is co-sponsoring a program at the Smithsonian institution in Washington, D.C., titled "Living Life to the Fullest," with presentations by Marion Woodman, Robert Bly, Sharon Daloz Parks, Harville Hendix, and Mary Catherine Bateson." For information, contact Charles at 7005 Florida St., Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

J. Michael Clark (Emory University) reports that "I am continuing my ongoing work in gay ethics, specifically toward liberating gay men from the sexual ghetto and pursuing gay/lesbian legal/civil marriage as a justice issue. I am re-teaching a course designed and taught once before (1993) on religion, ecology, and gender, including gay ecotheology (to be taught as `Readings in Ecology and Religion: Gender Paradigms' at Emory University, Fall 1996, and as `Religious Studies: Gender and Ecology' at Agnes Scott College, Spring 1997)." A syllabus is available (585 Glenwood Pl., SE, Atlanta, GA 30316. Michael also notes his recent publications: "Abuse and Theodicy in Gay Theology and Ethics," Journal of Men's Studies (1995), vol. 4, no. 2, 111-130. An Unbroken Circle: Ecotheology, Theodicy, and Ethics (Monument Press, 1996). Queering the Darkness: Theology in the Shadows(Pilgrim Press, in press).

Lee Butler (Chicago Theological Seminary) has been invited to give this year's Fall Convocation sermon at Chicago Theological Seminary. Lee says "my topic will be 'Who Has the Power?: An Exploration of the Maafa and Afrikan People.' The Maafa is the suffering, death, and destruction of Afrikan people and culture, and Afrikan with a 'k' represents the many cultures of African descent that have been spread across the globe and their reunion. My basic approach in the paper is to say that evil is a destructive force that can only be confronted/pierced by the creative force of spirituality as a revelatory expression of the Divine."

Sharon Daloz Parks (Harvard University) is working on issues in the formation of the spirituality that is now needed for leadership in public life. She has just published Common Fire: Lives of Commitment in a Complex World, co-authored with L. Daloz, C. Keen and J. Keen (Beacon Press, 1996). The book also has an accompanying video for teaching purposes.

Martha Robbins (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) was installed in the newly inaugurated Joan Marshall Chair of Pastoral Care in the Spring of 1996.

And from John McDargh (Boston College) comes this wonderful report: "I just wanted to share the glad news that I returned to Boston July 26th with the newest member of the McDargh-Dunn family--Alexander (Sasha) Peter McDargh-Dunn. He is a lively, curious, engaging five and a half year old boy--towheaded and freckled--who is convinced that all trees are made for climbing, all cats for hugging, all doors for opening, all mechanical devices for operating, and that the world of ten thousand things is his to explore.

"He is a terribly brave and resilient little guy, with a lot to have to deal with already. He has had a tough life. His mother after a long struggle with alcohol was determined by the courts to be unable to care for him and his two twin three-year old brothers and he was sent to a children's home last November with a legal determination made in February that she had to lose custody of him. He never knew his biological father and his half-father was apparently an abusive drunk. Still, he misses his village very much and bears a lot of sadness that seeps out in quiet moments.

"Already, Sash has bonded strongly to his Pappa (me), his Daddy (Tim), and his Aunt Susan (my sister) who accompanied me to Russia July 22 to do the adoption. It was quite an arduous adventure, but made better by the competence of my agency and the generosity of a former student of mine, Tom Fennell, who now lives in Moscow operating his own travel agency, and Tom's very kind Ukranian boyfriend, Dima, who together with Tom helped with some of the complexity of translation. Language is Sasha's greatest challenge, and we are trying to meet him part way, but still it is tough, and I feel his pain and frustration at not being able to communicate all that he feels and his thousand questions.

"An image I shall always carry with me. The night before we left Moscow, Sasha began to talk to us through Tom and Dima about his 'before father' who he described as having beaten him and his mother and babushka. It was very upsetting for him, and when I tucked him in bed he indicated that he wanted to hold the icons that Dima had brought for us as a gift. For nearly twenty minutes he quietly kept kissing the images and blessing himself, then tucked the icons in his bed and crawled into mine indicating that tonight he really needed me to be close. Through the night he had awful nightmares, and I felt I had my initiation as a dad. There have been other initiations as well (like the first whopper temper tantrum in Gorky Park), but in the main this is already one of the greatest graces and most profound challenges in my life, and in Tim and my seventeen years together."

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PCR Steering Committee

Sandra Lee Dixon
University of Denver
2150 S. Race St., Fl 3
Denver CO 80208
Lucy Bregman
Dept of Religion
Temple University
Philadelphia PA
Lee Butler
1360 E. 58th Street #1
Chicago, IL 60637
Kelly Bulkeley
226 Amherst Ave
Kensington CA 94708
D. Andrew Kille
160 Maro Drive
San Jose CA 94127
Christopher Ross
Dept. of Religion & Culture
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
Mary Ellen Ross
Department of Religion
Trinity University
San Antonio TX 78212

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How to Join the PCR

Your dues get you three copies of PCR News, goodies at the Friday pre-session, plus the warm glow of knowing that you're helping us distribute PCR-related information to scholars, clinicians, and clergy members interested in our work.

$15.00 Regular Membership; $10.00 Student Membership (with copy of student ID)
Checks should be payable to Person, Culture, & Religion Group. Send to: Kelly Bulkeley, Secretary/Treasurer, 226 Amherst Avenue, Kensington CA 94708;
E-mail: 76633.1555@compuserve.com

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Maintained by D. Andrew Kille
Last revised July 28, 1999