e-Bulletin November 2007

Message from the Executive Director


Greetings from the Luce Center in Atlanta!  In this issue of the e-Bulletin you will find information about AAR elections, the Annual Meeting in San Diego, AAR award programs, and news about new funding for our Theological Programs Initiative.  If you have any questions about these or other AAR matters, please feel to visit our website (www.aarweb.org) or give our staff a call at 404-727-3049.  Looking forward to seeing next month in San Diego, I remain


Jack Fitzmier

AAR Election Results

We have successfully concluded our elections for AAR Vice President, Secretary, and Student Director.  Ann Taves has been elected Vice President; Michel Desjardins has been elected Secretary; Nichole Phillips has been elected Student Director.  Please join the Board and the Executive Staff in congratulating these friends, and in thanking Sheila Davaney, David Ratke, and Annie Blakeney-Glazer for their willingness to stand for election.

AAR Receives Luce Foundation Planning Grant

The Henry Luce Foundation has granted the AAR a planning grant in the amount of $29,555.  This grant will allow a Planning Committee of scholars with expertise in the theology of religious pluralism and comparative theology to meet in December in Atlanta to craft and plan summer seminars on the theology of religious pluralism and comparative theology.  Working under the guidance of the Theological Education Steering Committee, the task of the Planning Committee will be to craft a major grant proposal for delivering these seminars. The Planning Committee is composed of John Thantamanil, Vanderbilt Divinity School (Principal Investigator); Frank Clooney, Harvard Divinity School; Peter Ochs, University of Virginia; Mark Heim, Andover Newton Theological School; Jeanine Hill Fletcher, Fordham University; and Anantanand Rambachan, St. Olaf College.

Annual Meeting

Take advantage of discount 2008 AAR Annual Meeting costs by registering during Early Bird Registration!  If you register online on the AAR website during the dates of the 2007 AAR Annual Meeting, November 16-20, you will receive a special discount on the 2008 Annual Meeting registration price.  Early Bird Registration will open Friday, November 16 at 1:00 pm.  Come by the AAR booth (Booth 502 in the Exhibit Hall), the free Cyber Café in the Exhibit Hall, or register from any other Internet location anywhere in the world to enjoy the savings.  Housing will not be available at this time; Early Bird registrants will be contacted in the spring about hotel reservations. You must be a renewed 2008 AAR member to register for the 2008 meeting. See your membership status at the bottom of this e-Bulletin.

San Diego Fire Update:  There are no active fires in the City of San Diego.  As of Friday, October 25, the mayor re-opened all neighborhoods of San Diego. The downtown and local hotels have returned to normal occupancy levels as the fire evacuees have returned home.  Hotel room reservations made for a stay at the Annual Meeting will be honored with no problem. Business, hotels, shops, attractions, and restaurants are open.  Business in San Diego is quickly returning to normal. 

Re-Vamped Online Program Book just in time for the Annual Meeting!  The online Program Book has been streamlined for ease of use.  Room locations, updates/corrections, and abstracts are consolidated together to make it easier to find what you are seeking at the Annual Meeting.  It represents the most up-to-date Annual Meeting program schedule.  The online Program Book can also be downloaded to your PDA.

Name badges are in the mail for pre-registrants. Pick up a badge holder onsite and head directly for sessions and exhibits. If you have not received your badge before leaving for San Diego, you can pick one up at Registration, in the Registration area of the San Diego Convention Center (Hall F&G Foyer). If you lost your name badge, a replacement costs $5 at the NAME BADGES registration booth.

Annual Meetings Program At-A-Glance and Book of Abstracts will be available in the registration area of the San Diego Convention Center as well as the lobbies of the San Diego Marriott and Marina and the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotels. The Program At-A-Glance lists all sessions, updates, corrections, and room locations.  Please note that room locations are not printed in the Program Book.  Directions to Annual Meeting venues can be found online on the Annual Meeting Directions page.

Religious Observance Information for San Diego can be found online on the Religious Observance page. AAR is pleased to offer a Prayer Room in the San Diego Convention Center, Room 27B; this space is reserved for people of all faiths who need a moment of prayer, quiet reflection, or meditation.

Onsite Annual Meeting registration hours

  • Friday, November 16 1 pm-6 pm
  • Saturday, November 17, 8 am-5 pm
  • Sunday, November 18, 8 am-5 pm
  • Monday, November 19, 8 am-5 pm
  • Tuesday, November 20, 8 am-10 am

San Diego has gorgeous weather in November. Visit the Weather Channel to check the forecast online.

In the Field: As you make your Annual Meeting plans, please remember to check In the Field for additional events that will be held during the Annual Meeting in San Diego. To make a submission to In the Field, please visit its submission page.


Excellence in Teaching Award

Nominate a colleague for the AAR’s Excellence in Teaching Award. The AAR’s Committee on Teaching and Learning accepts nominees for its annual award, which recognizes the importance of teaching and honors outstanding teaching in the field. The deadline for nominating someone is January 10, 2008. See details at on the Excellence in Teaching Award page.

Materials from Excellence in Teaching Award winner Stacey Floyd-Thomas are now posted online on the Excellence in Teaching Award page. Floyd-Thomas will give her lecture at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 18, at 3:00 pm - 4:30 p.m. in CC-30C.

Martin E. Marty Award

To nominate someone for the AAR's Martin E. Marty Award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the public understanding of religion by those whose work speaks to the public as well as to scholars, please see the Martin E. Marty Award page online. Deadline: January 25, 2008.

Research Grant Awards

We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2007-2008 research grants. Awards will fund 12 individual and collaborative research projects. For a list of winners, please see the Research Grant Awards page online.

Especially for Students

Annual Meeting

Student Members interested in attending the ATLA Career Alternatives or Wabash Student-Teacher luncheons at the Annual Meeting must RSVP by November 15, 2007.

Check out the other Especially for Students events at the Annual Meeting.

Students who became members of the AAR for the first time in 2007, and who will be attending the Annual Meeting in San Diego, are warmly invited to the annual New Members' Continental Breakfast with members of the Board of Directors (Session A18-1; check the Program Book for the location.)

Fellowship Opportunity

The Ford Foundation will award grants to pre-doctoral students, $21,000 to students writing dissertations, and $40,000 to post-doctoral students at U.S. colleges and universities who demonstrate excellence, a commitment to diversity, and a desire to enter the professoriate. View the website of the Ford Foundation for more information.


  1. Message from the Executive Director
  2. AAR Election Results
  3. AAR Receives Luce Foundation Planning Grant
  4. Annual Meeting
  5. Awards
  6. Especially for Students
  7. Your Membership Status


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