SSCS at the AAR Annual Meeting

San Diego, California
November 22-26, 2019

AAR Meeting Information

SSCS @ AAR: At a Glance

All are welcome at our SSCS events; please invite your friends and colleagues to join us! 
Advance registration is required by Tuesday 12 November (any terrestrial time zone) for Friday events and Saturday’s Emerging Scholars dinner. 
For Friday events, please visit the Friday Eventbrite page and click on Tickets.
For the Emerging Scholars dinner on Saturday, visit the ES Evenbrite page and click on Tickets. 

Friday, November 22
A Contemplative Experience of the Oceanside Environment
2:30-5:30 p.m.
Smee Hall Room 100
Point Loma Nazarene University (Campus Map)
3900 Lomaland Drive
San Diego, CA 92106
The University is a short cab ride from the Convention area, and participants not taking the 2:30 bus are welcome to join the session late. Parking on campus is very limited, since we’re visiting during homecoming weekend. The map below shows the nearest parking structure, but it may be easier to park off campus and walk to Smee Hall.

2:30 p.m.     Bus Departure from Convention Center
At the Convention Center, we'll gather by bus pick-up A, outside the Exhibit Hall, by 2:30, and we'll arrange cars to the University. We'll be driving to Smee Hall at Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego 92106, and meeting in Room 100.

If you didn't reserve a place ahead of time, feel free to meet us at the University. If you'd like to come by the Convention Center at 2:30, we'll be glad to bring you in one of our cars if we have room.

Please feel free to dress comfortably for a 45-minute walk around campus (mostly on pavement). We'll have snack bars available and encourage you to bring a water bottle.

3:00 p.m.    Welcome, Conversation, and Contemplative Tour of the Campus

Rebecca Laird, Point Loma Nazarene University
Dianna Anderson, Point Loma Nazarene University
Douglas S. Hardy, Nazarene Theological Seminary
Andrew K. Lee, Graduate Theological Union
Shannon M. McAlister, Fordham University

We’ll gather in Smee Hall 100 for conversation; then Rev. Dr. Rebecca Laird, Professor of Christian Ministry and Practice, will lead a contemplative tour of the beautiful campus of Point Loma Nazarene University. Dr. Laird will introduce us to the campus’s religious history, and Dr. Dianne Anderson of the University’s Biology department will help us explore its natural environment. The afternoon, graciously hosted by the School of Theology and Ministry, will include time for both conversation and individual reflection. Those who prefer not to walk are welcome to enjoy quiet or conversation in the meeting room or elsewhere on campus.

Snack bars will be provided. Comfortable clothing and a water bottle are encouraged.

5:30--7:30 p.m.: Society Dinner at Edgewater Grill
861 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 232-7581

  • Tickets required by 12 November: $42 for members, $47 for their guests, with need-based scholarships available. Go to our Eventbrite page and click on Tickets.
  • The dinner includes appetizers and entrée; vegan and allergen-free entrees are available on request. A cash bar will also be available. Dessert and coffee are included, though we hope you'll instead join us for the free-for-members dessert reception at Eclipse Chocolate! Need-based, pay-what-you-can scholarships are available on request; please e-mail Anita Houck.
  • If you’d like to sponsor a dinner for an Emerging Scholar, we suggest you add a donation to the Society when you renew your membership through Johns Hopkins. (We pay a fee on all transactions on Eventbrite, and payments on Eventbrite won’t generate a tax receipt.) If you’d like to make a donation to the Society and aren’t renewing this year, please e-mail Johns Hopkins University Press. Donations can also be made through the Eventbrite page if you prefer.

7:00 p.m.: “Eating Food, Tasting Justice: Compassionate Eating as Spiritual Praxis”
Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter, Ph.D., University of San Diego
In his remarks, Rev. Dr. Carter will discuss how using compassion-based spiritual practices forms and informs his notions of environmental justice, food justice, and theological anthropology. Drawing on African American cultural narratives and traditional foodways, he will share how he has come to answer one of the most pressing questions for Black (and other) Christians: “what should soul food look like today?”
8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.  Reception at Eclipse Chocolate Bar and Bistro
2145 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104
Reservations required by 12 November; free for members, $7 for their guests. Go to our Eventbrite page and click on Tickets.
Join us for a dessert reception at Eclipse Chocolate in honor of Anita Houck, to express appreciation for her many years of service as the Society's  Secretary/Treasurer. Eclipse is known for its delicious fair-trade, organic chocolate and locally sourced food. The reception (free for members, $7 for their guests) will include cupcakes (vegan, gluten-free, and non-chocolate options included), Eclipse’s amazing drinking chocolate, and a glass of wine or beer (with chocolate pairing on request). Additional food, drink ($5 happy hour applies all night), and chocolates will be available for purchase. Members will coordinate ride-shares from Edgewater Grill to the event and back to the convention area.


Saturday, November 23

Spiritus Editorial Board Meeting - 
7:30-8:00 a.m., Grand Hyatt – Pier Room

Presidential Address and Annual Members’ Meeting (P23-109)
All are welcome!
9:00 a.m.-noon, Convention Center-24A (Upper Level East)
Presiding: Timothy Robinson, Brite Divinity School, President-elect

9:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.    2019 Presidential Address
Glen G. Scorgie, Bethel Seminary San Diego, President
“The Diffusion of Christian Mysticism: From the Medieval Rhineland to Contemporary China”
The global history of Christian spirituality is, from one vantage point, the fascinating story of how various Christian spiritual themes, practices and experiences have traveled through time, diffused across geographic regions, and taken root in new settings. Inevitably, such elements of Christian spirituality themselves morph as they adapt to new traditions and contexts, and embrace local wisdom. As a case in point, this presentation explores the journey of Christian mysticism from the medieval Rhineland to parts of contemporary China, via rather unexpected carriers—populist Protestant preachers, Holiness evangelists and missionaries shaped by the Keswick Movement.   

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.    Annual Meeting

Founders’ Circle Prize Essay Presentation (P23-300)
All are welcome!
3:30-4:30 p.m., Hilton Bayfront-Indigo H (Second Level)
Presiding: Rachel Wheeler, University of Portland
Presenting: Heather M. DuBois, Florida State University
“The Spirituality of a Pluralist: A Theological Reading of Connolly’s Why I Am Not a Secularist”

Emerging Scholars Dinner
5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Toscana Cafe & Wine Bar
238 Fifth Avenue 
San Diego, CA 92101 
Emerging scholars (graduate students, those within six years of graduation, and those in their first six years of employment) pursuing the study of spirituality are invited to share conversation at an informal dinner, with costs subsidized by the Society. Tickets required by 12 November through our ES Evenbrite page. Please send additional questions to Emerging Scholars Coordinators Kyle Schenkewitz and Rachel Wheeler ( Thanks to them and Savoy Stevens for arranging this year’s dinner!


Sunday, November 24

Board of Directors Meeting
1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Hilton Bayfront, Sapphire Boardroom


Social hosted by Oblate School of Theology’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Spirituality
Saturday, November 23
6:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Striders San Diego
100 J Street (at 2nd Avenue)
All SSCS members are invited to a casual social celebrating the publication of Mysticism and Contemporary Life: Essays in Honor of Bernard McGinn. Open bar and light hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Sessions of the Christian Spirituality Unit of the AAR
Saturday, November 23, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 303 (Third Level)
Water, Christian Spirituality, and Indigenous Spirituality

Sunday, November 24, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire 411A (Fourth Level)
Liberation: Perspectives from Christian Spirituality

Monday, November 25, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Hilton Bayfront-Aqua F (Third Level)
Spirituality and Human Relations: Perspectives from the Social Sciences


Previous meetings: 201320142015, 2016, 2017, 2018