PCR Program: Atlanta 2015

PCR Pre-Sessions:

Friday, November 20, 2015

1:00 - 2:45 pm
Psychological and Religious Perspectives on Moral Injury

3:00 - 4:00 pm
Asian/Asian American Issues and Perspectives in Pastoral Theology: The Intersections of Culture and Care

In this roundtable discussion, Asian and Asian North American scholars will identify and discuss issues of pastoral theology, intercultural care, counseling, and intersectionality, pointing to current and future research trajectories.

4:15 - 6:30 pm
Documentary Film: Serving Life

The 2011 documentary "Serving Life" explores the emotional and relational impact of hospice care in Angola, a maximum security prison in Louisiana. Prisoners volunteer to care for fellow prisoners who are dying while serving life sentences. Narrated by Forest Whitaker. Moderated discussion will follow a screening of the 86-minute documentary.

7:00 - 9:30 pm
PCR Dinner

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

9:00 - 10:00 am
New Studies in Religion and Psychology  

The two papers in this session represent new work in areas of religion and psychology not covered by other PCR sessions. The first presentation takes a new historical look at two of the classic works in the early development of the psychology of religion, discussing how Starbuck and James influenced each other’s ideas about conversion, mysticism, and other aspects of religious experience. The second presentation explores the psychological and theological impact of community disasters (Hurricane Katrina is the main example here), using the work of sociologist Kai T. Erikson and others to illuminate the process of rebuilding a religious framework of meaning in the aftermath of collective trauma.

10:00-11:30 am
Works in Progress and Business Meeting

This is an open-ended session in which anyone interested in psychology, culture, and religion is invited to share their current projects and receive feedback from PCR members. Newcomers are welcome! The end of the session will shift into the business meeting of the PCR Group. The primary task at this meeting is to suggest possible topics for the Call for Papers for the 2016 AAR annual meeting, along with ideas for next year’s Friday and Saturday Pre-Sessions.

Regular Sessions:

A21-313 Saturday, November 21, 2015
4:00 -6:30 PM

Cross-Cultural and Cognitive Approaches to Changes in Sense of Self

Religion and the Social Sciences Section and Cognitive Science of Religion Group and Psychology, Culture, and Religion Group

Albert Silva, University of California, Santa Barbara, Presiding

Robert N. McCauley, Emory University
George Graham, Georgia State University
Religious Experience, Schizophrenia, and Disownership of Self

Jared Lindahl, Brown University
Meditation-Induced Changes in Sense of Self Reported by American Buddhists: History and Phenomenology

Willoughby Britton, Brown University
Meditation-Induced Changes in Sense of Self Reported by American Buddhists: Neurobiology and Cross-cultural Psychiatry

Ann Taves, University of California, Santa Barbara
Shifts in Sense of Self in the Production of the Book of Mormon and A Course in Miracles

A22-134 Sunday, November 22, 2015
9:00 - 11:30 AM

Help, Harm, or Resistance? Psychological and Religious Practices of Caregiving in a Neo-Liberal Society

Pamela Cooper-White, Union Theological Seminary, Presiding

Jessica Van Denend, Union Theological Seminary
Neoliberalism's Empathy and the Denial of Complicity and/or Commonality with the Suffering Other

Richard Coble, Vanderbilt University
Chaplain as Cyborg: Negotiating Care in a Neoliberal Age

Melinda McGarrah Sharp, Phillips Theological Seminary
Locked in Disbelief: Reading Michelle Alexander and Jessica Benjamin to Loosen Resistance in the Bonds of Love

Cedric Johnson, Wesley Theological Seminary
Fanon, Freud, and Foucault: Towards an Integrative Approach to Soul Care in the Neoliberal Age

Mary Clark Moschella, Yale University
Joyful, Spiritual Resistance: A Case Study

A22-207 Sunday, November 22, 2015
1:00 -2:30 PM

Healing Between Religion and the Secular in North America

North American Religions Section and Psychology, Culture, and Religion Group and Religions, Medicines, and Healing Group and Secularism and Secularity Group

Emily Wu, Dominican University of California, Presiding

Shenandoah Nieuwsma, University of North Carolina
Between “Religion” and “the Secular:” Negotiating Healthcare “Spirituality’s” Place in the Twenty-First Century

Ira Helderman, Vanderbilt University
“Religion” and “Secular” in U.S. Psychotherapists’ Interface with Buddhist Traditions

Justin Stein, University of Toronto
The Impact of Different Framings of Reiki’s "Spirituality" on Access to U.S. Healthcare Sites

Katie Givens Kime, Emory University
The Buffered Addict: Beneath the “Religious or Not?” of Twelve-Step Programs

Albert Silva, University of California, Santa Barbara

A22-318 Sunday, November 22, 2015
5:00 -6:30 PM

Society Without God? "Existential Health" and Alternative Frameworks for Meaning-Making

Storm Swain, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Presiding

Carrie Doehring, Iliff School of Theology
A Critical Phenomenological Pastoral Theological Method for Responding to Suffering in Ways That Respect Religious Differences 

Jonathan Stotts, Vanderbilt University
Homo Religiosus, Homo Proiciendus: Meaning-Making as Projection or Sublimation?

Annhild Tofte Haga, University of Oslo
Dialogues and Conflicts between Images of Jesus and Experiences of Being Oneself in Life Story Narratives: An Example of Dialogical Self Theory as an Analytical Tool in Empirical Research on Images of God

In Memoriam: Don Capps

On August 27, Donald E. Capps, professor emeritus of Pastoral Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, was killed in an automobile accident in Princeton. Capps was 76 years old, and still active as a lecturer, writer, and editor.

His books include The Poet’s Gift: Toward the Renewal of Pastoral Care (Westminster John Knox, 1993), The Child’s Song: The Religious Abuse of Children (Westminster John Knox, 1995), Agents of Hope: A Pastoral Psychology (Wipf & Stock 2001), and Re-Calling Ministry (co-authored with James Dittes) (Chalice, 1999).

See more at Planet Princeton.

Membership dues

Remember, the easiest way to pay PCR dues is via PayPal. We have an account under the name of the Psychology, Culture, and Religion Group, and you can send funds directly to that account.

Members paid so far in 2014-2015 cycle:

Lucy Bregman
Sandra Lee Dixon
Richard J. Dykstra
Kathleen Gregory
James W. Jones
Felicity Kelcourse
Insook Lee
Dan Merkur
Storm Swain
Katherine Wiebe

Other AAR/SBL Sessions of Interest

Several other groups and presenters are working on topics related to PCR interests. Below are sessions from groups that have a history of overlap with the PCR group. You may not be able to attend any of these sessions, but you might want to contact participants working on topics related to your studies. You might also find ideas at these sessions for future collaborations, or illustrations of what you think does or does not work well in AAR programming. If you think other groups or sessions should also be highlighted for the PCR group, please let us know.



Sunday, November 22, 2015
3:00 PM-4:30 PM

Contributions to Social Scientific Theory in the Study of Religion

Ann B. McClenahan, Boston Theological Institute, Presiding

The work of sociologists Max Weber, Bruno Latour, philosopher C. S. Pierce, and theologian Bernard Lonergan is explored in three papers proposing theoretical insights for the study of religion and spirituality. The papers variously examine Latour's definition of religion, the metaphysical frames of Peirce and Lonergan, and Weber's separation of spheres to shed light on historical and contemporary problems in the social scientific study of religion.

Trine Anker, MF Norwegian School of Theology
Geir Afdal, MF Norwegian School of Theology
In a Hybrid Voice: Latour on Religion

Cyril Orji, University of Dayton
The Contributions of C.S. Pierce to the Social Scientific Methodologies and the Academic Study of Religions


A23-127 Monday, November 23, 2015
9:00 AM-11:30 AM

Dismantling Mass Incarceration 

Christine Hong, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Presiding

The papers in this session address various ways in which practical theological scholarship explicates the complex problems of U.S. mass incarceration, including the social injustices that have both helped create mass incarceration and been exacerbated by mass incarceration. The first paper takes the current #KellyOnMyMind campaign as its point of departure. The second paper argues that practical theology offers a useful corrective theo-ethical lens to mass incarceration, and, ultimately, calls for a shift from prison reform to that of prison abolition. Turning the attention from an emphasis on prison ministry toward the transformation of congregational culture, the third papers describes how communities of faith have responded to the injustice of the prison industrial complex by welcoming returning citizens into their communities. The fourth paper draws upon practices of the Eucharist as a basis for presenting an alternative vision of justice that stands in opposition to mass incarceration.

Hannah Adams Ingram, University of Denver
Letters Like Prayers: Appealing to the Gods of the Parole Board 

Brandy Daniels, Vanderbilt University
Practical Theology and the Shift from Prison Reform to Prison Abolition: The Liberation of Theo-Ethical Reflections on Incarceration 

Unregistered Participant
Transforming the Hardest of Hearts: Criminality and a Theology of Prison Education 

Amy Levad, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis
The Eucharist, Justice, and Dismantling Mass Incarceration

Cognitive Science of Religion Group

A23-221 Monday, November 23, 2015
1:00 PM-3:30 PM

How We Got This Way: Cognitive and Evolutionary Approaches to Religious Ideology

Robert C. Neville, Boston University, Presiding

Ideology is everywhere. Religion is often implicated centrally in ideological questions, but how do cognitive and personality variables affect religious ideology? What are the mechanisms through which religion affects ideological postures? The papers in this panel address these questions using cognitive scientific, personality psychology, and evolutionary approaches. Collectively, the papers describe a model of religious ideology that tracks collectivist-individualist differences across a landscape of evolutionary possibilities. These approaches inform a uniquely predictive interpretive heuristic for understanding cross-culturally consistent differences in conservative/liberal morals, cognitive style, religious beliefs, and personality variables, applied to settings as diverse as Evangelical Christian North America and Muslim Turkey. These papers add substantially to understanding of the cognitive, social, and behavioral roots of religious ideology, and in so doing offer a compelling point of contact between the cognitive science of religion and contemporary social realities.

Jonathan Morgan, Boston University
Sevil Hacaoglu, Istanbul University
Catherine Caldwell-Harris, Boston University
Ayşe Ayçiçeği Dinn, Istanbul University
Cosmopolitan Ideology and Religiosity in Istanbul: How Cultural Context Shapes the Relationship between Cognitive Style and Religion 

Wesley J. Wildman, Boston University
Introducing the Multidimensional Religious Ideology Scale 

Connor Wood, Boston University
The Biotechnology of Group Formation: A Durkheimian Account of Conservative and Liberal Morals in Religion 

Aimee Radom, New York Psychoanalytical Society and Institute
Religious Analogs of Secular Ideology: An Empirical Validation of a Three-Factor Model 

Business Meeting:
Claire White, California State University, Northridge
Travis Chilcott, Iowa State University

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Psychology and Biblical Studies Section at SBL

See the Psybibs website for updates: www.psybibs.org

Session Title

Date and time


S23-343: Biblical Selves in Public and Private

Monday, November 23, 2015
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM Location TBD

Barbara Leung Lai, Tyndale University College and Seminary (Ontario), Presiding

Mette Bundvad, University of Copenhagen
At Play in Potential Space: Reading King Qohelet’s Building Experiment with Winnicott 

Stuart Lasine, Wichita State University
Jonah’s Complexes and Our Own: The Roles of Character and Situation in Judging Biblical Personages 

Jim Wilson, Asbury Theological Seminary
Dualing Daniels: Evidence Favoring the Unity of the Book of Daniel 

Ilona Rashkow, Stony Brook University
Inclusion, Exclusion, and Group Stability in Jewish Rituals: Biblical and Contemporary

Kamila Blessing, Blessing Transitions Consulting and Mediation Services
Femineity in the Gospel of John 

S24-136: Bible and the Brain

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM Location: TBD

Jay Ellens, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Presiding

Heather A. McKay, Edge Hill University
Reading the Bible as Fiction or Soteriological Myth. How the Human Brain Engages with the Bible 

Adam Tune, The Catholic University of America
A Bodyguard of Lies: Deception in Samuel-Kings 

David A. Bosworth, Catholic University of America
Deities as Mothers and Fathers: Evolutionary Psychology and the Study of Ancient Texts 

Dan Merkur, University of Toronto
Review of Rick Strassman’s DMT and the Soul of Prophecy 

Business Meeting