A Group of the American Academy of Religion

May/June 1998; Volume 21, no. 1-2

Kelly Bulkeley, Editor; D. Andrew Kille, Layout











PCR sessions at the 1998 AAR Annual Meeting
November 20-24, 1998 Orlando, Florida



Theory and Therapy

Work in Progress
Business Session
Critical Perspectives on the "New Age"



New Age: "'I'm Not Religious...But I'm Spiritual"

Families and Parenting: Diversity and Transitions
Discussion of From Culture Wars to Common Ground


Friday Nov 20 2:00-6:15 [AM23] S-Toucan 2

2:00 Theme: Theory and Therapy:
John McDargh, Boston College, Presiding

Spiritually-Based Psychotherapy
Trevor Watt, Canisius College

"Aboriginal Population(s) in the Mind": Race and Religion in Psychoanalysis
Celia Brickman, University of Chicago

Space: The Final Frontier
Mary Fraser, Hudson Falls, NY

4:00 Break

4:30 Theme: Dreamsharing as Religious, Therapeutic, and Educational Resource
Kelly Bulkeley, Graduate Theological Union


Saturday Nov 21 9:00-11:30 [AM69] D-Europe 4

9:00 Theme: Works in Progress:
Andrew Kille, San Jose, CA, presiding

9:45 Business Meeting:
Lucy Bregman, Temple University, presiding

10:30 Theme: Critical Perspectives on the "New Age"
Kelley Raab, Nebraska Wesleyan University, presiding

New Age Spiritualities, Cultural Extremities and Modernity
Paul Heelas, Lancaster University

Healing Mother Nature in a New Age: Ecotheology and Popular Perspective
Catherine M. Roach, Harvard University

Main Session I: Sunday Nov 22 9:00-11:30 a.m. [A86] S-Swan 2

Theme: New Age: "I'm Not Religious...But I'm Spiritual": Religion Scholars on a World of New Age Healing
Lucy Bregman, Temple University, presiding


Linda Barnes, Northeastern University
Laurence J. O'Connell, The Park Ridge Center
Megroy Anderson, Sacred Dying Foundation
Neil Gillman, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Gregory Plotnikoff, University of Minnesota

Main Session II: Tuesday Nov 24 9:00-11:30 am [A247} D-Oceanic 5

Theme A: Families and Parenting: Diversity and Transitions
Franz Metcalf, Los Angeles, CA, presiding

Choosing to Become Other: Gender Ideologies, Religious Calling and the Practice of Singleness in Indonesia
Frances S.Adeney, University of Southern California

Interweaving Selves: Toward a Psychology of Enmeshment in Hindu Families
Daniel J. Meckel, University of Chicago

Theme B: Discussion of From Culture Wars to Common Ground by Don S. Browning, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, Pamela D.Couture, K. Brynolf Lyon, and Robert M. Franklin
Kelly Bulkeley, Graduate Theological Union, presiding


Pamela D. Couture, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School
Millicent Feske, St. Joseph's University
Christopher Ross, Wilfrid Laurier University

Don S. Browning, University of Chicago

New Steering Committee Members

At the 1997 PCR business meeting Sandy Dixon stepped down after three years of service as the group's chair, and steering committee members Lee Butler and Mary Ellen Ross also concluded their three-year terms on the committee. The PCR members at the meeting thanked all three of them for their contributions to the group, particularly during last year's AAR reauthorization process.

The next item of business was the selection of new steering committee members and a new chairperson. After much discussion, and only a modest amount of arm-twisting, current steering committee member Lucy Bregman was elected to the chair position, and Franz Metcalf, Kelley Raab, and Trevor Watt were elected to fill the open committee slots.

Lucy Bregman (Temple University) has been teaching in Temple's Religion Department since 1974. She has already served a term as PCR chairperson from 1976-1979, as well as an earlier stint on the steering committee from 1982-1985. Her publications include The Rediscovery of Inner Experience (1982), Through the Landscape of Faith (1986), Death in the Midst of Life: Perspectives on Death from Christianity and Depth Psychology (1992), and First Person Mortal: Personal Narratives of Illness, Dying, and Grief (with Sara Theirmann) (1995).

Franz Metcalf has just completed his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago Divinity School, in the Religion and the Human Sciences area. His doctoral dissertation was titled, "Why Do Americans Practice Zen Buddhism?" He earned his M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union, where he wrote his thesis on "Contexts for Conversion: The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola and the Modern Rinzai Sesshin." His primary areas of interest are Buddhism, the psychology of religion, and comparative religion. His most recent publication is "Zen and the West," in Buddhist Spirituality: Ch'an, East Asian, Contemporary (1998), and he gave a paper presentation at one of the 1997 PCR sessions titled "Toward a Cultural Psychology Grounded in Object Relations."

Kelley Raab (Nebraska Wesleyan University) teaches a variety of courses in her school's religious studies department, and also teaches in the interdisciplinary women's studies program. Her research interests are primarily in feminism, psychoanalysis, and religion. She has published articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and Pastoral Psychology. She recently signed a book contract with Columbia University Press for a book to be titled, When the Priest is a Woman. The book will use a feminist psychoanalytic approach to explore the Catholic women's ordination issue, with particular attention given to the symbolism of a woman at the altar saying mass in persona Christi. She has given several papers at the AAR on gender and sacrifice which will form a portion of the book.

Trevor Watt is Professor of Religious Studies at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, where he teaches the psychology of religion. He has previously been on the steering committees of both the PCR group and the Religion and the Social Sciences section. He is currently working on how spirituality and the quest for meaning can be appropriately integrated into the supervision and training of pastoral counselors and family therapists.

A warm welcome to all of our distinguished new steering committee members! They join with continuing members Christopher Ross, Kelly Bulkeley, and Andrew Kille.

PCR-List: An E-mail Forum

If you have access to e-mail and are interested in carrying on discussion of issues of concern to PCR members and/or sharing resources and opportunities for the study of the relationships between religion, psychology, and contemporary cultures, we invite you to try


PCR-LIST was originally hosted through the AAR as part of an experiment in using electronic communications to advance the work of selected groups in the Academy. Although a significant number of people have subscribed to the list, the volume of messages is low and not likely to burden your mailbox. The list is moderated by steering committee member D. Andrew Kille, in order to ensure that postings are relevant to the concerns and interests of PCR.

PCR-LIST is intended to serve PCR members and other interested persons as a forum for discussion of issues related to our shared concern with the relationships between religion, psychology, and contemporary cultures. The list is intended to offer opportunity for announcements and information regarding conferences, calls for papers, etc.; resources and publications of interest; ongoing discussion of work in progress; and personal support and communication among PCR members.

PCR-LIST has moved! It is now hosted at E-groups.com
To subscribe to the list, send a message to:

You will receive a confirmation of your subscription, and a list of basic commands for the list. Questions? Contact D.Andrew Kille, List Manager, at revdak@worldnet.att.net


Carrie Doehring (Boston University School of Theology) has a forthcoming article in the Journal of Pastoral Psychology titled "Enlivening Models of Pastoral Care: Relating Theory to the Complex Life Experiences Depicted in Fiction."

Homer Jernigan is currently thinking about changing patterns of courtship and marriage in Singapore and Taiwan, with implications for theology and local congregations, about spirituality and aging, and about the religious implications of what is happening in "the global village" and its environment. He recommends to PCR members Caring for the Future, the Report of the Independent Commission on Population and Quality of Life (NY: Oxford University Press, 1996), calling it "a comprehensive review of what is happening globally as related to population growth and quality of life--focusing on an ethic of care as the primary concern for the future."

NEW STUDENT MEMBER: Naomi Gold (Toronto School of Theology) is a Ph.D. candidate whose work is focused on the psychoanalytic study of religion, and in particular on the theories of the object-relations school. She is examining the ways in which psychoanalytic theories have been used to interpret religion; the impulse that produces the phenomenon of a father-god; and the ways in which analytic thinkers have defined religion and its functions in the human psyche. She ultimately aims at studying the notion of revelation as a transitional phenomenon, i.e. as a phenomenon which is produced both by data which is seen to be "given" and "objective," the so-called "data of revelation," and as one which is simultaneously formed and definitively impacted by continuous human interaction. She also has interests in the Hasidic movement, the Hare Krishna movement, and various forms of American "New Thought" and "New Age" spiritualities.Welcome to PCR, Naomi!

Jeanne Stevenson Moessner (University of Dubuque Theology Seminary) is currently working on another volume on pastoral care of women with developmental issues, and is teaching a course titled "Journey to Maturity: A Theology of Adoption." She has a sermon soon to be published in the 1998 Lenten issue of The Journal for Preachers titled "The Pink Rose." The sermon is for Mother's Day, for those who have difficulty with this holiday due to childlessness, infertility, miscarriage, etc.

Linda Mercadante (Methodist Theological School in Ohio) is interested in discussing film and theology. She uses film extensively in theology classes she teaches at her seminary. Next year, she will be on sabbatical, working on a theological project and using film as a resource. She is also looking for funding and would appreciate any creative ideas. Anyone with suggestions can contact her at: The Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 3081 Columbus Pike, Delaware, Ohio 43015, or online at LAMERCAD@OWU.EDU.

Psychology and Biblical Studies Section, SBL

Many PCR members are also involved on the "other side of the aisle" in the Psychology and Biblical Studies section of the Society for Biblical Literature. As the interests of the Person, Culture and Religion group intersect with those of the Psychology and Biblical Studies section, PCR members are especially invited to attend the Psychology and Biblical Studies sessions. Sessions this year will feature one devoted to the work of Eugen Drewermann and another on "Psychological Models for Textual Interpretation." The unit welcomes registrations for the round-table discussion on the status of research in the field scheduled for session one. For registration contact: Wayne G. Rollins, Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester, Ma 01615-0005, (O) 508/767- 7574.

The section also sponsors its own online discussion group, PSYBIBS, featuring ongoing conversation regarding psychological issues and biblical interpretation. To join the E-mail PSYBIBS seminar, contact Charles T. Davis, III, Appalachian State University, (E) davisct@appstate.edu. The text of papers from previous years are also available online at ftp://listserv.appstate.edu/psybibs

Note from the Editor

My wife Hilary and I were blessed on Feb. 4 with the birth of our third child, Conor Gale Bulkeley-Krane. The happy chaos he has brought to our lives is the main reason why I could not get the winter issue of the PCR newsletter out on schedule. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused PCR members, and if Conor ever stops his impossibly adorable gooing and gurgling I promise to give him a stern talking to.

Kelly Bulkeley