SSCS at the AAR Annual Meeting (At a Glance PDF)

Denver, Colorado
November 16-20, 2018

Sessions of the Christian Spirituality Group of the AAR

Friday, November 16

This year, we won’t be having a preceding Friday afternoon session, but instead have set that time aside for the Board to meet for a Summit so as to reflect on our mission and identity as a scholarly society as we move past our first 25 years.

Society dinner
If you're coming to the AAR/SBL in Denver, please plan to join us for our Society dinner, Friday 16 November, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy. Registration is now open at Eventbrite. Please be sure to make your reservation by Friday 9 November. (You may also cancel reservations by that date.) As usual, the Society is subsidizing all dinners, but if the dinner cost is still too high for you, pay-what-you-can scholarships are available for members with financial need. Please write to Anita Houck; don't let finances keep you from enjoying the company of other members and their guests.

Friday November 16 (P16-504)
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Crestone Ballroom Salon A, Third Level of the Embassy Suites (about .4 mile from Maggiano's)
After dinner, we'll gather for our annual plenary session. Steven Sandage of Boston University will speak on the important topic of "Christian Spirituality, Mental Health, and Psychology: Conversations and Collaborations across Disciplines." The Society's own Claire Wolfteich and Carter Haynes will serve as respondents, and there will be time for conversation in small groups on interdisciplinary collaborations in our field. While we won't have a formal reception this year, there will be a chance for members to continue the conversation afterward at a local establishment.

Sharing publications
During the Friday evening session, we’ll have a table where members can share their recent publications and learn more about each other’s work. Please bring copies of recent books and articles for a table display; simply set up your contribution and then take it with you at the end of the evening.

Saturday, November 17
9:00-11:30 AM
Centennial Ballroom C at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center
Presidential AddressPilgrimage: Spirituality on the Move, Bernadette Flanagan, SSCS President
SSCS Business Meeting, Glen Scorgie, SSCS Vice President/President-elect presiding

Emerging Scholars Lunch
Saturday 18 November, after the annual meeting; details TBA.
For information about the SSCS Emerging Scholars Group for graduate students and recent graduates, contact:

George Faithful or Shannon McAlister.

Founders’ Circle Prize Presentation (P17-203)
Saturday 17 November, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Torrey's Room, Lobby Level of the Crowne Plaza Downtown, 1450 Glenarm Pl

Sessions of the Christian Spirituality Group of the AAR

Christian Spiritual Classics and Trauma, Evil, and Illness (A17-308)
Saturday - 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Convention Center-Mile High 4F (Lower Level)

Michael O'Sullivan, Spirituality Institute for Research and Education, Presiding

This session explores the question of evil and suffering, the practice of spiritual affliction, and the imagery of wounds as signs of grace.

  • Tara Soughers, Plainville, MA: Wounded Bodies: Teresa of Avila's Spirituality of Suffering
  • Aline Gram Lewis, Graduate Theological Union, The Power of the Symbol in Julian of Norwich’s Parable of the Lord and the Servant
  • Francis X. McAloon, Fordham University, Disability Studies, Ignatian Spirituality, and Gerard Manley Hopkins: “Spiritual Affiliation” as Both Spiritual Practice and Goal for Those Living with Chronic Illness

Business Meeting
Margaret Benefiel, Shalem Institute For Spiritual Formation, and Glenn Young, Rockhurst University, presiding

Christian Spirituality and Suffering (A18-308)
Sunday 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Convention Center-Mile High 4B (Lower Level)

Beringia Zen, Avila University, Presiding

This session explores the relationship between suffering, homelessness, and Christian spirituality; the effects of a spirituality of martyrdom on end-of-life care; and the way the Christian spiritual tradition can decrease the social suffering of mental illness.

  • Travis Pickell, University of Virginia, Re-Thinking Agency and Identity at the End-Of-Life: Baptism, Eucharist, and the "Spirituality of Martyrdom"
  • William B. Whitney, Azusa Pacific University & Karen Kim, Azusa Pacific University: Suffering and Mental Illness: The Work of the Spirit and Psychological Perspectives on Social Suffering
  • Paul Blankenship, Graduate Theological Union, Wounds of Love: Christian Spirituality, Suffering, and Homelessness

Joint Session of the Christian Spirituality Unit and the Religion and Ecology Unit:
Eco-Reformation (Cascade Books, 2016): Toward the Next 500 Years (A19-209)
Monday - 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Convention Center-203 (Street Level)

Timothy Robinson, Brite Divinity School, Presiding

The 2016 volume Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril, ed. Lisa E. Dahill and James B. Martin-Schramm (Cascade Books), brings together contributions from sixteen notable Lutheran theologians, ethicists, biblical scholars, and practical theologians, arguing that the insights and spiritualities of Reformation traditions can and must contribute to the “ecological conversion” to which Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ has called all humans. What aspects of Lutheran (or any other) tradition must die, as no longer helpful in the face of these crises? What new forms of spirituality and practice are called for? This panel will engage these questions through the contributions in the volume, providing critical and constructive readings of those texts to stretch the discourse of what a Lutheran spirituality can contribute in unprecedented and chaotic times, toward a habitable and flourishing planet (or, perhaps, simply toward human survival itself), over the next 500 years.

Leah Schade, Lexington Theological Seminary
Jacob Erickson, Trinity College, Dublin
Mark S. Brocker, St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Jacob Sherman, California Institute of Integral Studies

Lisa E. Dahill, California Lutheran University

Meetings: 201320142015, 2016, 2017, 2019

Please check our website in the months to come for further details about the sessions and dinner arrangements.