2018 Annual Meeting, Nov 17-20

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Annual Meeting! Plan to join your colleagues in Denver November 17-20. Register Now!

2019 Regional Meetings

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Southeastern Region

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Member Notes

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Books and Major Publications

Dyron Daughrity, Pepperdine University

Rising: The Amazing Story of Christianity's Resurrection in the Global South, Fortress Press, 2018. Pundits regularly declare that Christianity is dying. Its golden age of influence is long gone in Western Europe, and similar trends are happening in North America. But while it slowly dies in the West, Christianity has been coming to life in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Now immigrants, refugees, and missionaries from the Global South are bringing their vibrant faith back to the Western world, and often in surprising ways.

William Elison, University of California, Santa Barbara

"At Home in Filmistan" is a literary essay, currently accessible online in the June/July issue of the Believer. It tells the story of "Vikas," a spirit medium belonging to the Warli tribal community of western India, who makes his home inside a Bollywood studio. Vikas's life at Filmistan is also explored in a more conventionally ethnographic mode in the book The Neighborhood of Gods, forthcoming this fall from University of Chicago Press.

Patricia Jung, President-Elect, Society of Christian Ethics

Sex on Earth As It Is in Heaven: A Christian Eschatology of DesireSUNY Press, 2017. This work is part of a growing chorus of theological voices raised in support of erotic desire. Although most theologians have concluded that there will be no experience of sexual desire and delight in the world to come, Patricia Beattie Jung critically examines the historical traditions and biblical rationales for this teaching. She defends an alternative claim that there will be a healed and glorified experience of sex in heaven based on a compelling account of the Christian hope for bodily resurrection.

Patricia Jung, President-Elect, Society of Christian Ethics

Sex & Gender: Christian Ethical Reflections, co-edited with Mary Jo Iozzio, Georgetown University Press, 2017. Sex and Gender: Christian Ethical Reflections contains some of the subject's most important analyses in recent decades. The collection covers a wide range of topics: same-sex marriage, sexual minorities and biblical interpretation, sex and power, sexual harassment and sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS and prevention strategy, the military and masculinities, mobile porn and sexting, human trafficking, moral discernment, and more. Contributors represent various theological traditions and draw on scriptural texts as well as such disciplines as philosophy, sociology, psychology, and the life sciences.

Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Shaw University Divinity School

Baptized Rage, Transformed Grief, Wipf and Stock, 2017. Life comes with ups and downs, including the trauma of loss, death, and grief. Grief is an equal opportunity employer: all human beings know some type of loss; expected and unexpected; overwhelming and life changing. This book is a cornucopia of poems that express deep, volcanic rage amid significant loss; such rage can be creative. The triumph of processing grief  is that it results in transformation. One can overcome grief after going through the angst & agony. Baptized Rage, Transformed Grief is a dance of words, an invitation to give oneself permission to delve deeply into processing loss, to process grief, and come through as an authentic, whole self.

Margo Kitts, Hawai'i Pacific University

Martyrdom, Self-Sacrifice, and Self-Immolation: Religious Perspectives on SuicideOxford University Press, 2018. This collection analyzes foundational legends and theologies related to religiously sanctioned suicide. It examines the contradicting religious perceptions of suicide as a cowardly or heroic. It also features essays from experts in religious traditions from around the world.

Margo Kitts, Hawai'i Pacific University

Elements of Ritual and ViolenceCambridge University Press, 2018. Ritualized violence is by definition not haphazard or random, but seemingly intentional and often ceremonial. It has a long history in religious practice, as attested in texts and artifacts from the earliest civilizations. It is equally evident in the behaviors of some contemporary religious activists and within initiatory practices ongoing in many regions of the world. Given its longevity and cultural expanse, ritualized violence presumably exerts a pull deeply into the sociology, psychology, anthropology, theology, perhaps even ontology of its practitioners, but this is not transparent.

Elaine Allen Lechtreck, Independent Scholar

Southern White Ministers and the Civil Rights MovementUniversity Press of Mississippi, 2018. Based on interviews and personal memoirs, Southern White Ministers and the Civil Rights Movement traces the efforts of clergymen who--deeply moved by the struggle of African Americans--looked for ways to reconcile the history of discrimination and slavery with Christian principles and to help their black neighbors. While many understand the role political leaders on national stages played in challenging the status quo of the South, this book reveals the significant contribution of these ministers in breaking down segregation through preaching a message of love.

Zeyneb Sayilgan, Virginia Theological Seminary

The Companion to Said Nursi Studies, co-editor, Pickwick Publications, 2017. This work is dedicated to the thought and ideas of Said Nursi (1876–1960), one of the most prominent Muslim theologians of the twentieth century. This volume is the most substantial overview in English of the inspiration of Said Nursi and his masterpiece the Risale-i Nur.

Zeyneb Sayilgan, Virginia Theological Seminary

Faithful Neighbors: Christian-Muslim Vision and Practice, ChurchPublishing, 2016. Based on the strong, on-going work of the Center for Anglican Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary, Faithful Neighbors outlines an introduction to the rationale for interfaith work through both theological and practical viewpoints, using stories from real experiences of interfaith cooperation to offer encouragement, inspiration, and practical steps to do the same.

Lavanya Vemsani, Shawnee State University

Modern Hinduism in Text and Context, Bloomsbury, 2018. This book brings together textual and contextual approaches to provide a holistic understanding of modern Hinduism. It examines new sources - including regional Saiva texts, Odissi dance and biographies of Nationalists - and discusses topics such as yoga, dance, visual art and festivals in tandem with questions of spirituality and ritual. It addresses themes and issues yet to receive in-depth attention in the study of Hinduism. It shows that Hinduism endures in texts and also in the context of festivals and devotion, and that contemporary practice, devotional literature, creative traditions and ethics inform the intricacies of a religion in context. 


Melissa M. Wilcox, University of California, Riverside

Queer Nuns: Religion, Activism, and Serious ParodyNew York University Press, 2018. This book offers an engaging look into the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, queer activists devoted to social justice. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence make up an unlikely order of nuns. Self-described as “twenty-first century queer nuns,” the Sisters began in 1979 when three bored gay men donned retired Roman Catholic nuns’ habits and went for a stroll through San Francisco’s gay Castro district. The stunned and delighted responses they received prompted these already-seasoned activists to consider whether the habits might have some use in social justice work, and within a year they had constituted the new order. 

Career Transitions

Thomas Tweed, University of Notre Dame

Thomas Tweed, past president of the AAR, has been appointed founding director of the Rafat and Zoreen Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs.