Volume 33
Issue 1
Winter 2010



Call for Papers:
2010 AAR Meeting in Atlanta

The Psychology, Culture, & Religion (PCR) Group welcomes proposals on the following themes:

  1. Trauma, Psychology, & Religion: Insights from Brain Science, Traumatology, Attachment Theory, & Other Perspectives
  2. Southern Sensibilities: Psychological & Religious Perspectives on Southern Cultures (e.g., life, literature, art, film, etc.)
  3. Who Am I Anyway?: Psychological & Religious Perspectives on Identity Formation, Artificial Intelligence, Generational/Gender/Virtual Identities, etc.

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

Method of Proposal Submission:

The Annual Meeting will take place October 30-November 1, 2010 in Atlanta, GA.


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New Steering Committee Members

The PCR group welcomes two new members of the steering committee, Alberto Varona and Pamela Cooper-White, both elected at the Montreal conference.

Dr. Alberto Varona is a clinical psychologist working in private practice in San Francisco. His theoretical influences are Object Relations theory, Intersubjective theory, and Existentialism. In addition to his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology he has a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Religion. His research interests are a blend of these educational influences. He is interested in the study of mystical states & practices, the personality depictions of god(s), and the way beliefs are constructed, developed and utilized in organizing the minds of individuals and groups. His doctoral dissertation was based on a study he conducted in which 46 graduate level clinicians performed a personality assessment on YHWH as he is depicted in two biblical texts: J & P. He currently works as Associate Professor at California Institute of Integral Studies.

The Rev. Pamela Cooper-White is the Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care and Counseling at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA, and serves on the Atlanta Theological Association ThD faculty in Pastoral Counseling. She is recipient of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors' 2005 national award for "Distinguished Achievement in Research and Writing," and the Samaritan Counseling Center of Philadelphia’s 2007 “Spirit Award” for community service. She holds Ph.D.s from Harvard University and the Institute for Clinical Social Work, Chicago, and is the author of four books, including Many Voices: Pastoral Psychotherapy and Theology in Relational Perspective (2006), Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling (2004), and The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church's Response (1995) which won the 1995 Top Ten Books award from the Academy of Parish Clergy. She has published numerous scholarly and professional articles in pastoral theology, especially in the areas of postmodern, psychoanalytic and feminist theory in dialogue with both theology and clinical practice. An Episcopal priest and pastoral psychotherapist, Dr. Cooper-White is certified as a clinical Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. She is a former Co-Chair of the Psychology, Culture, and Religion Group (2000-2008), and currently serves as Publications Editor of the Journal of Pastoral Theology.

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News from PCR Members

News from a New PCR Member:

New member Joseph Kramp (Drew University) reports: “I'm always working on projects related to psychobiography and psychohistorical studies.  I'm working on a psychobiographical study of R.W. Emerson and begin comprehensive exams at the end of the spring term.”

Other Members

From Lucy Bregman (Temple University) comes news of the publication of her three-volume edited anthology Religion, Death and Dying (Praeger 2009). She says, “Praeger Publishers aims to provide anthologies for general readers, written and edited by scholars. The first volume of Religion, Death and Dying focuses on medicalized death, and the religious traditions' responses to contemporary settings and issues for end of life care. The third volume deals with funerals and bereavement rituals, from the perspective of many different world religions as practiced in America. The middle volume covers "special issues," including essays on the death of children, care by relatives of Alzheimer's patients, AIDS and religion, and warfare. These are issues that do not fit into the current dominant pattern of discussion about religion and medicine, nor the psychologically-dominated focus in discussions of bereavement. The contributions are rich in personal anecdotes and vignettes and case examples, and my hope is that this can serve as a reference and a resource for non-specialist readers.”

Dan Merkur (Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute) notes that “2009 was a busy year for a backlog of writing to see publication:  a co-authored book, David Bakan, Dan Merkur, & David S. Weiss, Maimonides' Cure of Souls:  Medieval Precursor of Psychoanalysis (Albany:  SUNY); two online articles, "Mysticism" and "Meditation", both in Britannica Online Encyclopedia; two journal articles, "Interpreting the Sense of Badness," Psychoanalytic Review 96(6):943-982, and "The Transference onto God," International Journal for Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 6(2):146-162; a book chapter, "Psychoanalytic Contributions on the Mystical," in Jacob A. Belzen (Ed.), Changing the Scientific Study of Religion:  Beyond Freud?  Theoretical, empirical, and clinical studies from psychoanalytic perspectives (Dordrecht:  Springer, pp. 111-140); and an update "Psychology of Religion," in John R. Hinnells (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, 2nd ed. (London:  Routledge/Taylor & Francis, pp. 186-202).”

From Amod Lele (Stonehill College) comes this update: “One of my big intellectual ventures right now is my blog (http://loveofallwisdom.com), which aims to explore philosophy, psychology and religion from a variety of perspectives wider than the academy usually permits. I mentioned it at Works in Progress and I think the membership might be quite interested. Here's a list of sample blog posts that might be particularly interesting for psychoanalytically inclined readers exploring the connections between psychology and religion. Feel free to select a few, list them all, or even look at the site and find others you think members would like.”

Sue Easton (Human Events) announces the publication of her new book, Notes from the New Europe (NextGen, 2009), which gathers in one place the articles she has written for Human Events from 2007 to 2009 on European politics, culture, and religion.  Her columns can also be found online at www.humanevents.com.

Hendrika Vande Kemp (Annandale, Virginia) shares the following: “PCR members may be interested in the special issue of the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Is There a Pervasive Implicit Bias Against Theism in Psychology? (Vol. 29, No. 2, November 2009 ). The lead article is by Brent D. Slife (Brigham Young University) and Jeffrey S. Reber (University of West Georgia). The issue includes responses by James A. Alcock (Prejudice or Propaganda), Hendrika Vande Kemp (Overcoming Contradiction in the Four-Dimensional Dialectic of Action), Fiona J. Hibberd (Sham Reasoning, Humpty Dumpty, and the Burden of Proof), Kenneth J. Gergen (The Problem of Prejudice in Plural Worlds), Paul Stenner (Psychology, Religion, and World Loyalty), Robert C. Bishop (What is This Naturalism Stuff All About?), Louise Sundararajan (The Painted Dragons in Affective Science: Can the Chinese Notion of Ganlei Add a Transformative Detail?), and Frank C. Richardson (Biased Against Theism in Psychology?). It ends with the authors' reply to the comments. All of the responders are people well known in the community of philosophical and theoretical psychologists within The American Psychological Association.” Hendrika also suggests taking a look at the special issue on “Religiosity: Perspectives from Social and Personality Psychology” in the journal Personality and Social Psychological Review, volume 14, number 1 (February 2010).

From Rebecca Sachs Norris (Merrimack College) comes this: “I am happy to let you know that Toying with God, our book on religious games and dolls, is finally out.  In this book we examine the complex relationships among religion, commerce, play, politics, ritual, fun, and other aspects of contemporary culture. The book is also available from Amazon, Borders (online), and Barnes & Noble.  If you would like to receive a flyer and a discount coupon, please email me and I can send them directly to you (rsnorris@sacredgames.org).”

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Other Calls for Papers

Some of the Calls for Papers from other Program Groups of the AAR and the SBL may be of interest to members of PCR. For further information, or to submit a paper, see the AAR or SBL websites.

AAR Religion and
the Social Sciences Section

This Section especially invites proposals in relation to the following themes: 1) Obama and American politics - two years later; 2) Religion and economic crisis; 3) C. Wright Mills's The Sociological Imagination and the Study of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2000); 4) Cultural capital, social capital, and financial capital; 5) Religion online; and 6) Psychoanalysis and fieldwork in religion. Other paper or panel proposals are welcome that fit with the Section's purpose - to support scholarship at the intersection of the social sciences (including psychology, sociology, political science, economics, and cultural studies) and religious or theological studies. Topics may include the study of religious and theological questions through specific social scientific methodologies, the contribution of religious and theological approaches to the work of social scientific disciplines, and the comparative assessments of current issues by humanities-based and social scientific methods. In order to be accepted for presentation, a paper or panel proposal must explicitly state its authors' methodologies.

AAR Cognitive Science of Religion Consultation

This Consultation welcomes individual paper proposals and paper session and panel proposals on any topic related to the cognitive science of religion. For the 2010 Annual Meeting, we particularly welcome proposals on the topics of ritual, reductionism, cognitive modularity, bodily and extended cognition, and applications of Cognitive Science of Religion methods to historical or ethnographic data. We welcome proposals to be cosponsored with the Animals and Religion Consultation (especially work studying religious cognition in the context of ethology, primatology, and hominid evolution, and topics that could be linked to the work of Frans de Waal), or with the Pragmatism and Empiricism in American Religious Thought Group (especially for topics related to the centennial of William James's death). Interdisciplinary research is encouraged.

SBL Psychology
and Biblical Studies Section

The Psychology and Biblical Studies section of the Society of Biblical Literature extends an invitation to PCR members to submit paper proposals for the Annual Meeting of the SBL, November November 20-23, 2010 in Atlanta.

We invite any proposals for papers that address Biblical texts, themes, characters, and/or readers using the concepts and interpretive tools of any field of psychology.

We would particularly welcome proposals in two areas: the biblical concept of "soul" and its relationship to psychology, including recent studies in neuro-psychology; and practical applications of a psychological approach to scripture and biblical texts in academic, religious, or community contexts.

Paper proposals must be submitted to the SBL online system by Monday, March 1, 2010.

See our website at www.psybibs.org for more details, or contact the Chair, D. Andrew Kille, at psybibs@att.net.


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Thanks to Our Members

Those who have paid dues for the `09-`10 year include: Steven Bauman; Matthias Beier; Kirk Bingaman; Lucy Bregman; Eileen R. Campbell-Reed; Pamela Cooper-White; Robert Fuller; Andrea Hollingsworth; Stephen M. Johnson; James W. Jones; Felicity Kelcourse; Joseph M. Kramp; Jacqueline J. Lewis; John McDargh; Kelley Raab; Lewis Rambo; Gregory Schneider; Hendrika Vande Kemp; Lydia York; Hetty Zock

Membership dues in PCR support resources for audio-visual equipment at the Annual Meeting. These costs, imposed by the host city hotels, have been increasing steadily over the past several years. Feel the warm glow of knowing that you're helping to enhance PCR sessions, subsidize grad students' attendance at the PCR dinner and to distribute PCR-related information to scholars, clinicians, and clergy members interested in our work.

$25.00 Regular Membership; $15.00 Student Membership (with copy of student ID). Checks should be payable to Psychology, Culture, & Religion Group. Send to: Kelly Bulkeley, Secretary/Treasurer, 226 Amherst Avenue, Kensington CA 94708; E-mail: kellybulkeley@earthlink.net

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Psychology, Culture & Religion News Volume 33, Issue 1

Editor: Kelly Bulkeley; Layout: D. Andrew Kille

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