Volume 30
Issue 1
Winter 2007



PCR Call for Papers

Paper proposals are invited on...

  1. Multiple selves and subjects: multiplicity, unity, and hybridity in psychological and religious conceptions of identity (incl. explorations from constructivism, trauma theory and research on trauma and identity, post-colonial explorations of hybridity and multiple identity, etc.)
  2. Negotiating religious pluralism: psychological resources for understanding (psychology-of-religion explorations of issues re: immigration, borders, fear of the other, xenophobia, mestizaje, hybridity, and religions in America: where religious pluralities flourish and clash)
  3. The psychology of moral imagination: resources for the environmental crisis (co-sponsored with Religion & the Social Sciences Section)
  4. Seeing white(ness): religious and psychological reflections on the psychopatholog(ies) of in/visible privilege
  5. Chinese religious conceptions of psyche, self, and healing (reflecting AAR's international focus on Chinese scholarship)

*Note that travel subsidies may be available from AAR - deadline for requesting these is Mar. 20.

See also SBL Psychology and Biblical Studies Section: Psychology and Bible in Practice: Clinic, Classroom and Congregation (informally co-sponsored with PCR)

PCR also welcomes proposals on other themes dealing with psychology, culture, and religion.

For more info: PCR web site www.pcr-aar.org

Method of Proposal Submission:

Proposal deadline has been extended to March 7, 2007.

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PCR Renewal!

The Person, Culture, and Religion Group has been renewed as an AAR program unit for another five year term. Tremendous thanks go to Steering Committee chairs Pamela Cooper-White and Kathleen Bishop, who crafted a compelling case on our behalf. Also crucial in the process was the work of SC chairs from past reauthorization processes, particularly Franz Metcalf and Kelley Raab in 2001 and Greg Schneider in 1996-their good works live on! And this time around we were blessed with the ultimate in "inside reviewers," namely, John McDargh. John's report to the AAR Executive Committee shone a clear, honest light on the strengths and weaknesses of the PCR, and his overall favorable endorsement of the group's work played a major role in the success of our cause.

Below is the official letter from the AAR. Two particular issues-the question of the group's name and the requirement of a 90-minute session during each conference-deserve further reflection and discussion among the PCR membership. We will plan have some open conversation about this our next business meeting when we meet at AAR in San Diego. In the meantime, members should feel free to contribute their thoughts on the listserv, and/or send comments to anyone on the SC.

Dear Drs. Bishop & Cooper-White:

At our recent meeting, the Program Committee considered your report on the Person, Culture, and Religion Group, Dr. McDargh's helpful review, and your request for renewal. A copy of the external review is attached to this e-mail. I am happy to let you know that the group has been renewed for a five-year term (2007-2011) with 2 sessions per annual meeting, 3 if co-sponsoring a session.

The Program Committee commends the important work the group is accomplishing. The committee strongly recommends that the unit rename itself to reflect its focus on researching psychology and religion as noted in the unit's self report (page 1, section A). We suggest using the name Psychology and Religion Group.

The Program Committee is mindful of the concerns expressed at this year's program unit chairs' breakfast and in the program unit report comments. The committee spent some time discussing questions about the 90-minute sessions. After careful review, the committee decided to maintain the current policy: all sections are required to host one 90-minute session and all groups that have earned an additional session by cosponsoring must host a 90-minute session somewhere in its program. The 90-minute session does not need to be the cosponsored session; it can be one of the group's regular sessions.

We encourage you to explore the possibilities. The 90-minute sessions are a perfect vehicle to explore more innovative session formats from (1) restricting a panel to two 30-minute papers; (2) posting papers in advance to focus on discussion rather than presentation; (3) topical panel discussions; (4) discussion of a book or film; and (5) presentation on teaching in the field.

The 90-minute session initiative is entering its second year of a three-year trial. The committee will evaluate its value and decide whether it will be a permanent feature of the Annual Meeting program at its December 2008 meeting.

Special attention was also paid to the best practices on the proposal review and notification process following the close of the Call for Papers each March. The program committee recommends the following best practices:

We encourage you to work in partnership as much as possible with your fellow program unit chairs.

A final note: the Program Committee is in a reflective mode with an eye toward the AAR's centennial anniversary in 2009. In light of this, we aim to assess the direction of the Annual Meeting program process, paying special interest to the interrelation of program unit topic areas, the program unit structure, and meeting policies. We are excited about this work and hope that it will simplify the meeting process and lead to better collaboration between program units.

Jack Fitzmier
Executive Director

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New Steering Committee Members

At this year's PCR business meeting two new members were elected to the steering committee, Kirk Bingaman and Lisa Cataldo. Welcome Kirk and Lisa! This means we now have six SC members, one more than the standard of five for AAR program units, but we have been granted an exception in light of the diversity of our members and the range of their scholarly activities.

Rev. Kirk Bingaman, Ph.D.

I have been a member of PCR for 10 years, and now look forward to serving on the steering committee. As director of the pastoral counseling program in the Graduate School of Religion at Fordham University, I believe that I can offer a unique perspective to the PCR group. I am a licensed mental health counselor in the state of New York, a Fellow with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. Presently I am working on a book that applies a cognitive-theological therapeutic approach to the treatment of post-9/11 anxiety.

Lisa Cataldo, Ph.D.

I'm a recent graduate, and so represent a "young scholar's" perspective. I come primarily from a Psychology and Religion (Psychology of Religion) approach, rather than pastoral counseling or pastoral theology. My study focuses mainly on the psychology of religious experience, which includes interdisciplinary connections to spirituality, theology, worship, and clinical work. I have done extensive work in ritual studies as well as Christian spirituality (also Buddhism, but less so). I'm currently very interested in issues of race, class, and gender as they manifest clinically and religiously, as well issues related to trauma and trauma theory. Clinically, I'm trained in relational psychoanalysis, and I bring this perspective to my scholarly work. My main influences within the relational tradition are intersubjectivity theory, object relations, and to a lesser extent, Kohutian self psychology. Having studied with Ann Ulanov, I am also deeply influenced by Jung, of course My own faith tradition is Roman Catholic.

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New Dues and Newsletter Structure

Two additional changes were voted at the 2006 PCR business meeting. First, the annual dues for PCR membership have been raised to $25 (regular) and $15 (student). The membership fees had not been previously raised since 1994, and the decision was made to increase the dues in order to provide better resources to pay for audio-visual equipment and refreshments at each year's annual meeting. These costs, imposed by the host city hotels, have been rising every year, and while the steering committee will continue lobbying the AAR to use its bargaining power to minimize these costs, prudence suggested that the time has come for a dues increase.

Second, the PCR Newsletter will, beginning with this issue, become an entirely on-line publication, with four issues per year. This change will save time, money, and logistical hassles, while allowing more space for member input and contributions. For anyone who would prefer to receive a paper copy of the newsletter, please contact the editor.

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News from PCR Members:

Bonnie Miller-McLemore (Vanderbilt Divinity School) announces a new publication: "In the Midst of Chaos: Care of Children as Spiritual Practice (Jossey-Bass 2006) takes up the question of faith practices within the messy, complicated activity of caring for children. It not only explores how concrete practices, such as reading, playing games, doing justice, and blessing, create space for faith in a more intentional way for both children and adults. It also pursues alternative understandings of spirituality more inclusive of children and adults who care for them, drawing on distinctly Protestant leanings toward the sanctification of the ordinary. This book builds on my prior work, Let the Children Come: Reimagining Childhood from a Christian Perspective (Jossey-Bass 2003), is part of the Practicing Our Faith series edited by Dorothy Bass, and hopes to contribute to the growing field of Childhood Studies. PS: Two new program units with which I've been involved have unfortunately kept me from getting to as many of the Person, Culture and Religion sessions as I'd like and all too often compete with them. But PCR people might be interested in knowing about and supporting, when possible, the new Practical Theology Group and the Childhood Studies and Religion Consultation, both designed to give greater attention to areas sometimes overlooked even when we assume we're addressing them through other program units."

Welcome to new member Adrian Harris (University of Winchester): "I'm in the final year of my PhD at the University of Winchester researching into embodied knowing/cognition in Eco-Pagans - contemporary Pagans who partly express their spirituality through environmental activism and rituals of resistance. I adopt two complementary perspectives, one focused on the phenomenological and experiential intimacy of embodied knowing and other on the physiological body engaged in embodied cognition. For the former I draw primarily on the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty and the anthropology of Ingold. My more physiological perspective attempts to integrate the cognitive science of Embodied Situated Cognition with the "techniques of the body" discussed by Bourdieu and Mauss. Because embodied knowing is tacit, I'm using Gendlin's Focusing as a technique to access it. I manage an e-mail discussion group on embodiment (see 'Embodiment Resources') and edit several web sites that might be of interest:

Embodiment Resources: www.thegreenfuse.org/embodiment

Embodiment Resources is part of my environmental philosophy site: <http://www.thegreenfuse.org> which includes an outdated section on my work: www.thegreenfuse.org/harris.htm

Although it's not particularly academic, my personal site may be of interest to therapists: www.adrianharris.org/

I am co-convener of the second Faith, Spirituality and Social Change Conference to be held at the University of Winchester in April 2007: www.fsscconference.org.uk

Matthias Beier (Fordham and Drew universities) recently published "On the Psychology of Violent Christian Fundamentalism: Fighting to Matter Ultimately" in a special issue of The Psychoanalytic Review (April 2006) on the psychology of religious fundamentalism, and a book review of Felicity Kelcourse's book Human Development and Faith in the Journal of Religion and Health. Matthias coordinates and teaches in the D.Min. Program in Pastoral Care & Counseling, Drew University. In the fall of 2005, he began teaching in Fordham University's graduate program of pastoral counseling, where he found Kelcourse's edited volume just right for the course on 'Human Growth and Development'. He particularly enjoyed teaching a course on 'Research Methods in Pastoral Counseling'. His book, A Violent God-Image, was published in paperback by Continuum in May 2006.

Pamela Cooper-White (Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia announces the publication of her latest book, Many Voices: Pastoral Psychotherapy in Relational and Theological Perspective (Fortress, 2006): "This book is a state-of-the-art textbook for pastoral psychotherapists/pastoral counselors at intermediate and advanced levels of clinical training and also for experienced pastoral counselors and psychotherapists in professional practice. It harvests the great potential of postmodern sensibilities to help, accompany, and support individuals, couples, and families in recognizing and healing especially painful psychic wounds, and/or longstanding patterns of self-defeating relationships to self and others."

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Related Scholarly Group:
Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS)

Information on this group was provided by Diane Jonte-Pace-thanks Diane!

Palgrave Press is offering a discount for 2007 subscriptions to Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society (PCS). The journal is issued by the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society (APCS). If interested in joining, contact Jean Wyatt, Membership and Subscriptions Manager (jwyatt@oxy.edu). An APCS membership for 2007 is $80 and that gets you a journal subscription, participation in the year's activities of APCS, and a discount registration fee for the yearly conference. The next conference is "Hope for Hard Times: Anxiety, Alienation and Activism," and it will be held Nov. 2-4 at Rutgers University. Our most recent conference, "Psychoanalysis and Social Change,"" offered an exciting mix of radical theory and practice and included panels on working with immigrants, working with asylum seekers, and politics and psychoanalysis. The conference has proven to be a consistently wonderful opportunity for academics and clinicians interested in psychoanalysis and social issues to meet and dialogue with each other.

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There will be two PCR sessions at the WECSOR meeting at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in March. WECSOR (Western Commission for the Study of Religion) is a joint gathering of the Western Region of the AAR, the Pacific Coast Region of the SBL, and the Pacific Southwest Region of ASOR. Full information is available on the WECSOR website.

A-17 Person, Culture, and Religion 1
Sunday, March 25, 2007
2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Franz Metcalf,
the Forge Institute, presiding

Session Title: "The Ongoing Conversation on Ongoing Conversion"

Lewis Rambo, San Francisco Theological Seminary, Responding

A-39  Person, Culture, and Religion 2
Monday, March 26, 2007
3:30-5:15 pm
Franz Metcalf, the Forge Institute, presiding

Session Title: “Identity in Community”

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Call For Papers:
Psychology and Biblical Studies (SBL)

AAR/SBL Annual Meeting, November 17-20, 2007
San Diego, CA

We invite any proposals for papers that address Biblical texts, themes, and figures using the concepts and interpretive tools of any field of psychology. Additionally, we are inviting papers on the following themes:

  1. Psychology and the Use of the Bible in New Religious Movements In alternative, countercultural, or simply "new" religious movements, the Bible's interpretation and use as a connector to or break from established religious traditions is often a mirror for how individuals see themselves as beings transformed by inclusion within the group. We invite papers that address the psychological significance of the use of the Bible in such groups as the Latter-day Saints, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Rastafaris, the Branch Davidians, and others.
  2. Psychology and the Bible in Practice: Classroom, Clinic, Congregation, Community Many of us have professional responsibilities wherein we talk about or teach the Bible to students, or treat clients with a Biblical faith background, or work the Bible in a religious setting, or engage with non-academics in some other fashion. We invite papers that address the ways in which having a psychological approach to Biblical literature and figures help us to do these jobs better and connect with people who may not share our interests or assumptions about these scriptures.
  3. The Aha! of a Ha!: Psychological Insights into Biblical Humor For most, the Bible is forthright and solemn, but a close yet humorous reading of a variety of scriptural passages and episodes yields a treasure trove of absurdist situations, double entendres, dark comedy, cutting satire, and deadpan putdowns. We invite papers that examine how the humor of the Bible -- both overt and veiled -- reveals the meaning of the psychological dynamics within the text and the psychological effect of the text on its readers.

Program Unit Chair: Dereck M. Daschke

To propose a paper, go to the SBL Annual Meeting Website.

More information at www.psybibs.org

Proposals are due by March 1, 2007.

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Psychology, Culture & Religion News Volume 30, Issue 1

Editor: Kelly Bulkeley; Layout: D. Andrew Kille

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