Remembering Dr. Michelle Tooley

Dr. Robbie Pinter, a friend and colleague of Michelle Tooley from her days at Belmont University, has graciously permitted me to share this tribute.
Michelle Tooley, professor of Religion and Peace Studies at Berea College, died on May 26 after a two year struggle with melanoma. At Belmont, she was Professor of Religion and served on numerous student and faculty committees, including the first Faculty Senate and Tenure, Leave and Promotion. She was also instrumental in beginning service learning theory and practice at Belmont.
Michelle spoke with a prophetic voice. When Belmont first acquired the ability to email the whole campus, she publicized the “Hunger and Homelessness” event that she organized by writing, “Christians must work to change the lives of the poor. The Bible is very clear on that.”
Michelle was a life-long advocate for the poor and voiceless, having worked with such agencies as Witness for Peace and Bread for the World–she served on the national boards of both groups as well as working personally with those in need.
In Berea, her work with the historic Union Church (instrumental in the Underground Railroad as a “stop”) allowed for students from Iraq to come to Berea to study and escape persecution. Michelle was not satisfied with working only for changes in policy for the poor and marginalized. She lived with them, learned their language, and shared her deep Christian hospitality by opening her own home to those in need.
One of Michelle’s passions at Berea was working with the Model Africa Union which competes yearly in Washington, D.C. Her former students now serve in several African governments, as well as in the American government. This year’s group had just completed its latest competition when she was last hospitalized in March.
Michelle had the ability to discern an ethical approach to the world’s problems, and then talk, teach, and write about it in a way others could understand. In 2014, Michelle co-wrote Ethics as if Jesus Mattered about Southern Seminary professor Glen Stassen. Her research was on Religion, Ethics, and Society, with particular focus on peace building, migration, and human rights.
Michelle’s life came from one source– a deep place of love for God and for others. She made lives better in Louisville, Nashville, Berea, Liberia, Iraq, the Sudan, Mexico, Macedonia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Michelle’s profound love, reflecting God’s love, continues to spread throughout the world.

2016 Call for Papers

The call for papers for our 2016 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, is printed and attached below. Send in those proposals!

Call for Papers 2016

Call for Papers 2016

Call for Papers 2016
SECSOR 2016

Come and join us in Atlanta, GA for the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR) Regional meeting on March 4–6, 2016!

The following sections and program units invite members/participants who wish to present a paper or coordinate a session to submit the Proposal Submission Form available on the SECSOR website (http://secsor.org) along with proposals to the appropriate section chairs by October 5, 2015. Proposals should consist of a 1-2 page description of the presentation unless otherwise requested in the call for a particular section.

Each member/participant is limited to ONE (1) proposal, although a member may submit the same proposal to multiple sections. If a member submits a proposal to multiple sections, the relevant sections must be ranked as first or second choice on the Proposal Submission Form. Proposals for joint sessions as listed in the call should be sent to all involved section chairs, as directed, but do not have to be ranked.

Please note that, unless otherwise indicated, papers must be of such a length as can be presented within twenty (20) minutes, typically. Planned use of audio-visual equipment must be noted on the submission form. SECSOR will provide only a limited number of AV rooms with screen, cart, and power cords. Presenters must bring their own projection, audio, and other support equipment. It is imperative that we have all information concerning AV equipment on the proposal forms in order to insure presentations have the support needed. It is not possible to accommodate AV needs once meeting room assignments have been determined.

The copying of handouts is the responsibility of the presenter. All program participants must be registered for the meetings.

Paper Prizes and the SBL Regional Scholar Award

Members/participants are reminded that four paper prizes are awarded at every meeting of SECSOR. Prizes are given by SECSOR to the best undergraduate paper submitted; and by each of the three societies (AAR, SBL, ASOR) for the best graduate paper submitted.

All undergraduate papers, which must be received no later than December 15, 2015, are automatically considered for the Undergraduate Paper Prize.

Graduate students who wish to be considered for the AAR or SBL Graduate Student Prize must notify the chair of the section that has accepted their paper, and submit to that chair a paper of no longer than 12 pages no later than January 15, 2016.

Graduate students who wish to be considered for the Joseph A. Callaway award from ASOR must submit to the ASOR chair a paper of no longer than 12 pages by January 15, 2016.

SBL members presenting to one of the SBL sections who have defended their dissertation between March 2012 and March 2016 are encouraged to apply to be considered for the SBL Regional Scholar Award. For more information on the requirements for consideration, please contact Dr. Annie Tinsley: (annietinsley14@gmail.com).

(ASOR) Archaeology and the Ancient World

Themes: (1) Presidential Address; (2) Current Excavations: Reports from the Field; (3) Text and Artifact: Integrating Literary Sources and Material Culture; (4) Open Session: papers are invited on topics related to archaeology and religion. Please send your proposal or complete paper (required of first-time presenters) to Byron R. McCane (mccanebr@wofford.edu). Student papers will be considered for the Joseph A. Callaway Award.

(AAR) Bible and Modern Culture 

Themes: (1)  Open call for papers broadly relating to the Bible and Modern Culture. (2) “Ritual/Cultural Practices:  Holy Texts, Holy Actions, Holy Lives.”  We welcome proposals on this broad theme of interaction with the Holy, including those dealing literature, literary or historical analysis, biography, current or historical aspects of culture, anthropology or sociology, etc. Send proposals for the above two sessions to Professor Brian Mooney (brian.mooney@jwu.edu) or Dr. Finbar Benjamin (fbenjamin@oakwood.edu) (3).  Co-sponsored session with New Testament and Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. We seek papers on the following: Biblical Studies has often been on the forefront of using new methods and theoretical designs to read ancient texts. We seek papers that analyze the current state of interpretation and hermeneutics, with an emphasis on the theory, application, and critique of new methods. Send proposals for this session to Dr. Randall Reed (reedrw@appstate.edu).

(AAR) Black Cultures and the Study of Religion Call for Papers

Themes: (1) The Black Cultures and the Study of Religion Group welcomes papers that deal with the relationship between hip hop and religion, especially in the context of Southern-based hip hop, Atlanta hip hop culture, and so forth. We seek papers that address the connections between black religiosity and hip-hop culture in response to ongoing accusations of hip hop as nihilistic. (2) Joint session. The Black Cultures and the Study of Religion, in collaboration with the Women, Gender, and Religion Group, welcome papers that address and interrogate the performance of race and gender in contemporary popular media. We seek papers that examine this intersection in film, music, television series, and so forth. We especially invite papers that deal with the depictions of race and gender in the work of Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC’s Scandal. Send paper proposals to Joseph Winters (jwinter6@uncc.edu) and Richard Coble (richard.r.coble@vanderbilt.edu) Send questions and proposals to Joseph Winters, UNC Charlotte (jwinter6@uncc.edu) and Jamil Drake, Emory University (jamil.drake@emory.edu)

(AAR) Constructive Theologies

Themes: (1) joint session with Philosophy of Religion and Religions of Asia on “apophasis within or across religions”; (2) joint session with Religion and Ecology on the ecohermeneutics of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical scheduled for release this year; (3) open call for papers relating theologies of social location to the 2016 SECSOR theme “Translation and Context”. Submit all proposals to Steven R. Harmon, Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, (sharmon@gardner-webb.edu) and Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo, Wake Forest University (elizabeth.gandolfo@gmail.com). *For the joint session on apophasis within or across religions, please include also Lisa Battaglia lbattagl@samford.edu), Rachel Pang (rhpang@davidson.edu), and Nathan Eric Dickman (nedickman@yhc.edu); for the joint session on the ecohermeneutics of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, please include also Todd LeVasseur (levasseurtj@cofc.edu) and Jefferson Calico (jcalico70@gmail.com).

(AAR) Ethics, Religion, and Society

Themes: Proposals on all topics will be considered, but the following topics are encouraged: (1) a joint session with Islam and with Religions of Asia on immigration and religion; (2) ethics and interreligious dialogue in America; (3) violence and non-violence in cultural context; (4) world religions, disability studies and health. All submissions are encouraged to consider and pay close attention to issues pertaining to the balance between theory and applied ethics.  Submit proposals to Sally Holt, Belmont University (sally.holt@belmont.edu) and Michael Stoltzfus, Valdosta State University (mjstoltz@valdosta.edu). In addition, for the joint session with Islam and with Religions of Asia and Ethics, Religion and Society also send proposals to Eleanor Finnegan (finneged@gmail.com), Lisa Battaglia (lbattagl@samford.edu) and Rachel Pang (rhpang@davidson.edu).

(SBL) Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Themes: (1) The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament section invites proposals for two open sessions, particularly regarding this year’s theme of “translation and contexts.” (2) In addition, we request proposals related to the reception history of biblical texts. We are especially interested in papers exploring how biblical texts have been received in fiction, art, music, and film. How does the translation of biblical texts into these new contexts produce new meaning? (3) A final session will focus on commentary writing and include an invited panel discussion with Carol Newsom and Choon-Leong Seow regarding the future of the commentary. Send proposals for open sessions to co-chairs: Phillip Michael Sherman (Phillip.Sherman@maryvillecollege.edu) and Jim West (jwest@highland.net).

(AAR) History of Christianity

Themes: We invite proposals that relate the history of Christianity to the theme of the 2016 meeting, “Translation and Contexts.” Proposals may deal with any period of history and may be conducted from any methodological or theoretical starting point; the theme “Translation and Contexts” may be construed broadly. There will be four sessions. (1) Joint session with Religion and Law entitled, “Conflict and Consensus: Christianity, Civil Rights, and Religious Freedom in the United States.” (2) Joint session with Philosophy of Religion and Method and Theory on “Gadamer and Ricoeur: Thinking Through Translation and Interpretive Contexts.”* (3) Session on “Translation and Contexts in the History of Christianity.” (4) Open call. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to send proposals, provided that the proposal includes the name and contact information of a faculty member who agrees to mentor the student as needed. Send questions and proposals to Thomas J. Whitley, Florida State University (twhitley@fsu.edu). *For the joint session on Gadamer and Ricoeur, please send proposals to Nathan Eric Dickman, Young Harris College (nedickman@yhc.edu).

(AAR) Islam

Themes: Proposals on all topics in Islamic Studies are welcome, but submissions on the theme of  “translation” and the following are especially invited: (1) “Immigration and Religion” as part of a joint panel with Religions of Asia and Religion, Ethics and Society; (2) “Historical Texts/Modern Contexts,” which invites papers which broadly interpret connections or disconnects between scholarship or data from the past and contemporary contexts in scholarship and/or in teaching; (3) “Conversations in Islamic Studies: The Study Qur’an,” which invites discussants for a conversation about the implications and contributions of the The Study Qur’an: A New Translation and Commentary being published by HarperOne.  Submit proposals to Eleanor Finnegan, University of Alabama (edfinnegan@ua.edu) and Roshan Iqbal, Agnes Scott College (roshan.iqbal.05@gmail.com). In addition, for the join session with Religions of Asia and Religion, Ethics and Society also send proposals to Sally Holt, Belmont University (sally.holt@belmont.edu), Michael Stoltzfus, Valdosta State University (mjstoltz@valdosta.edu), Rachel Pang, Davidson College (rhpang@davidson.edu), and Lisa Battaglia, Samford University, (lbattagl@samford.edu).

(AAR) JUDAISM

Proposals addressing any topic in Biblical/Early Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism, or Contemporary Judaism will be considered, but proposals are especially sought on the following themes: 1) Contemporary Judaism—any topic related to Judaism in the present day; 2) Rabbinic Judaism—any topic related to rabbinic themes, texts, or historical periods; and 3) Second Temple Judaism—any topic, but special consideration given to proposals pertaining to writings among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Submit all paper proposals by email to Michael Fuller, Lee University, mfuller@leeuniversity.edu, and Samuel Kessler, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, skessler@unc.edu.

(AAR) Method and Theory in the Study of Religion

Themes: (1) The Culture on the Edge collective has produced a number works in publishing, social media and conferences. The participants including Russell McCutcheon, Craig Martin, Monica Miller, Steven Ramey, Merinda Simmons Leslie Smith and Vaia Touna have created a collective with increasing visibility in the American Religious Studies scene. We seek papers that engage this body of work—which comprises an attempt to extend the application of our fields scholarship to other areas of cultural critique—either through critique, analysis or extension. (2) How has the notion of “spirituality” been shaped in popular and academic literature? This panel seeks papers that investigate explanations of religious or non-religious “spirituality” from a theoretical perspective. We especially encourage papers that examine the development of “spirituality” as a category, and that attend to the theories or methods used in studies of spirituality.” Send papers for these sessions to Dr. Randall Reed (reedrw@appstate.edu) and Dr. Laura Ammon (ammonll@appstate.edu).

(3) Co-sponsored session with New Testament and Bible and Modern Culture. We seek papers on the following: New Testament has often been on the forefront of using new methods and theoretical designs to read ancient texts. We seek papers that analyze the current state of interpretation/hermeneutics, with an emphasis on the theory, application, and critique of new methods. Send proposals for this session to Dr. Randall Reed (reedrw@appstate.edu)

(4) Co-Sponsored Session with History of Christianity and Philosophy of Religion. We seek papers on the following: “Gadamer and Ricoeur: Thinking through Translation and Interpretive Contexts”? Send proposals for this session to Dr. Eric Dickman (nedickman@yhc.edu)

(SBL) New Testament

Themes: The New Testament section for the 2016 SECSOR conference invites paper proposals for the following sessions: (1) In keeping with the theme, Translation and Contexts, papers focusing on the role of context(s) (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, disability, etc.) in translation, especially as it relates to issues of inclusive language in the New Testament. (2) Papers engaging the theme of Powers and Principalities and/or discussing characterization in the New Testament. (3) An open call for papers in any area of New Testament studies. (4) A joint session with Bible and Modern Culture and Method and Theory in the Study of Religion: Biblical Studies has often been on the forefront of using new methods and theoretical designs to read ancient texts. We seek papers that analyze the current state of interpretation/hermeneutics of the New Testament with an emphasis on the theory, application, and critique of new methods. Send proposals for NT sessions to Annie Tinsley (antinsley@shawu.edu) and Kathy Barrett Dawson (kathy@kathybarrettdawson.org). Proposals for the joint session should also be sent to Randy Reed (reedrw@appstate.edu).

(AAR) Philosophy of Religion

Themes: Proposals on all topics in Philosophy of Religion will be considered, but the following session themes are encouraged: (1) a joint session with Religions of Asia and Constructive Theologies on “apophasis within or across religions;”* (2) a joint session with Methods and Theories and History of Christianity on “Gadamer and Ricoeur: Thinking through Translation and Interpretive Contexts;”** (3) an open call for presentations in any area of philosophy of religion, but submissions are particularly encouraged that address the conference theme: “Translation and Context.” For all sessions, please send proposals to Nathan Eric Dickman (Young Harris College) at nedickman@yhc.edu. *For the joint session on apophasis within or across religions, please include Lisa Battaglia (lbattagl@samford.edu), Rachel Pang (rhpang@davidson.edu), Steven Harmon (sharmon@gardner-webb.edu), and Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo (elizabeth.gandolfo@gmail.com). **For the joint session on Gadamer and Ricoeur, please send proposals to Nathan Eric Dickman.

(AAR) Religion and Ecology

Themes: All proposals that deal with the interface of religion and ecology/nature will considered but those addressing the 2016 theme of “Translation and Context” are encouraged: (1) a joint session with Constructive Theologies on the ecohermeneutics of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical scheduled for release this year; (2) ecocriticism of nature-based narratives in popular texts (movies, books, video games, cartoons); (3) the translation of sustainability into urban contexts via religious environmentalist adaptive lifestyles; (4) Revelation through Art: imagining religion/environment intersections through Performance and Studio Art. Send questions and proposals to Todd LeVasseur, College of Charleston (levasseurtj@cofc.edu), and Jefferson Calico, Eastern Kentucky University (jcalico70@gmail.com). For the joint session between Religion and Ecology and Constructive Theologies also send proposals to Steven Harmon, Gardner-Webb (sharmon@gardner-webb.edu) and Elizabeth Gandolfo, Wake Forest University  (elizabeth.gandolfo@gmail.com)

(AAR) Religion and Law

Theme: Religion and American Law. All proposals related to religion and law will be considered, but we particularly invite papers addressing: (1) The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). (2) Sincerely-held religious belief. (3) Tolerance, pluralism, and the law. (4) Recent Supreme Court decisions such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Holt v. Hobbs. (5) Conflict and Consensus: Christianity, Civil Rights, and Religious Freedom in the United States (joint session with History of Christianity) As evidenced by Indiana’s recent Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the relationship between “religious freedom” and other notions of “human rights” or “civil rights” is far from settled. We invite papers that explore the evolution of religious freedom in Christian history and American history during the last fifty years. Send proposals to Brad Stoddard (bstoddard@mcdaniel.edu) and Mike Graziano (grazmike@gmail.com). If you are proposing a paper or panel for the joint session with History of Christianity, please indicate this in your e-mail.

(AAR) Religion, Culture, and the Arts
Themes: All papers related to Religion, Culture, and the Arts will be considered. Special consideration will be given to papers or panels related to the following themes: (1) Narrative Form and Authenticity in Religion, Culture, and the Arts; (2) The Creation of Transnational Identity in Art, Music, and Culture; (3) Atlanta and Southern Religious Culture and Arts; (4) Open call. Please submit proposals to both section chairs, Cara Burnidge (burnidge@gmail.com) and Andrew McKee (am13ag@my.fsu.edu).

(AAR) Religions in America

Themes: Papers in all areas of Religions in America will be considered, but special consideration will be given to the following themes: (1) Religion, place, and the city; (2) Religion and materialism; (3) Religion, civil rights, civic activism. Email proposals to the Religions in America Section to Dr. Monica Reed (mcreed@lsu.edu) and Joshua Fleer (jfleer@fsu.edu).

(4) With the Teaching and Learning Religion section, we issue a joint call for papers that explore the question “How should instructors approach teaching about controversial religious groups?” Papers that focus on controversial American religious groups will receive special consideration, e.g., the Nation of Islam, the Klan, Westboro Baptist Church, the People’s Temple, etc. Proposals to this joint session should be submitted with copies to both Sections. Email proposals to this joint session to Dr. Monica Reed (mcreed@lsu.edu) and Joshua Fleer (jfleer@fsu.edu) with copy to Drs. Jodie Lyon (lyon@uga.edu) and Derrick Lemons (dlemons@uga.edu).

(AAR) The Religions of Asia

Themes: (1) In conjunction with the 2016 theme, “Translation in Context,” we solicit proposals on the issue of translation broadly conceived: translation, translation studies, the movement across cultures and other boundaries, and so forth; (2) A joint session with Islam & Religion, Ethics, Society on “Religion and Immigration;”* (3) A joint session with Philosophy of Religion & Constructive Theologies on “Apophasis within or across Religions;”** (4) Asian Religion and Popular Culture; (5) Open call. Send questions and proposals to Lisa Battaglia, Samford University (lbattagl@samford.edu) and Rachel Pang, Davidson College (rhpang@davidson.edu). *For the joint session on Religion and Immigration please include Michael Stoltzfus, Valdosta State University (mjstoltz@valdosta.edu), Sally Holt, Belmont University (sally.holt@belmont.edu), and Eleanor Finnegan, The University of Alabama (finneged@gmail.com). **For the joint session on Apophasis within or across Religions, please include Nathan Eric Dickman nedickman@yhc.edu, Steven Harmon (sharmon@gardner-webb.edu), and Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo (elizabeth.gandolfo@gmail.com).

(AAR) Teaching and Learning Religion Themes:

(1) Joint Session. In cooperation with the Religions in America section, we call for papers that explore the question “How should instructors approach teaching about controversial religious groups?” Papers that focus on controversial American religious groups will receive special consideration, e.g., the Nation of Islam, the Klan, Westboro Baptist Church, the People’s Temple, etc. Proposals should be submitted with copies to both Sections. Email proposals to Drs. Jodie Lyon (lyon@uga.edu) and Derrick Lemons (dlemons@uga.edu) with copy to Drs. Joshua Fleer (jfleer@fsu.edu) and Molly Reed (mcreed@lsu.edu);

(2) An invited panel will consider Parker Palmer’s claim that “ultimately we teach who we are.” Panelists will discuss how their own personal religious beliefs factor into their teaching, and the extent to which they reveal their faith perspectives to their students. Special attention will be paid to the ways that pedagogical context (public university, seminary, private faith-affiliated school) determines appropriate ways to incorporate educators’ faith identities into the classroom. Panelists are invited. Chair: Dr. Jodie Lyon;

(3) Open call. The Teaching and Learning Religion section invites proposals (papers or a panel) that join innovative teaching practice with the scholarship of teaching and learning. Proposals should be submitted with copies to both Sections. Email proposals to Drs. Jodie Lyon (lyon@uga.edu) and Derrick Lemons (dlemons@uga.edu). Chair: Dr. Derrick Lemons.

(SECSOR) Undergraduate Research

Students at institutions in the Southeast Region are invited to submit papers for the Undergraduate Sessions, sponsored by SECSOR. Open to all topics, the sessions will be composed of the papers considered the best submissions by an interdisciplinary committee. Students should submit completed papers that reflect original student research of an appropriate length for presentation (approximately 12 double-spaced pages). No paper over 15 double-spaced pages, regular size font, will be considered; one submission per student. On a cover page, please include contact information for the student and a faculty sponsor who has reviewed the submission. Electronic submissions preferred. Send submissions by December 15, 2015, to Lynn R. Huber, Elon University (lhuber@elon.edu). Note: Undergraduates may submit proposals to other sections as well.

(AAR) Women, Gender and Religion

The Women, Gender and Religion Section foregrounds issues of women’s studies, gender, and sexuality, whether in critical analysis of and dialogue with religious traditions or texts; in the promotion of the perspectives, insights, and experiences of marginalized persons; or in the ongoing effort to theorize difference so that lives and systems may be changed. Themes: (1)

Open call for proposals; (2) Proposals that constructively engage the subject of sexual violence (especially on campus) through texts, ethics, theology, history, or other means; and (3) Proposals that consider the intersections of race and masculinity/ies. Email proposals to Vicki Phillips

(phillips_v@wvwc.edu) and Richard Coble (richard.r.coble@vanderbilt.edu). (4) A joint session. With Black Cultures and the Study of Religion, we welcome papers that address and interrogate the performance of race and gender in contemporary popular media. We seek papers that examine this intersection in film, music, television series, and so forth. We especially invite papers that deal with the depictions of race and gender in the recent work of Shonda Rhimes, creator of Scandal. For this co-sponsored session, send paper proposals to Joseph Winters (jwinter6@uncc.edu), Richard Coble (richard.r.coble@vanderbilt.edu), and Vicki Phillips (phillips_v@wvwc.edu).

2015 Program Draft, Revised

Program Draft 1-27 is now available. There are still some presiders’ names missing and some sections that have not confirmed the session of their business meeting. If there is a question mark or “xx” in your section, please forward me the correct information!
Corrections should be sent to me at ED@secsor.org. Thank you!
–Sandra Hack Polaski, Executive Director

Hotel Registration for March 6-8, 2015 (Nashville, Tennessee)

Our 2015 meeting is scheduled for the Nashville Airport Marriott, 600 Marriott Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37214. The room rate is $119/room/night (plus 15.25% tax and $2.50 city occupancy fee), available for the nights of March 5, 6, and 7 (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), as well as for three nights prior to and after the official conference dates, should you wish to spend more time in Nashville.

To make hotel reservations as a conference participant, please use the following link, established by Marriott exclusively for the SECSOR conference:

SECSOR Hotel Registration

The cutoff date for registration is 5:00 PM., Thursday, February 12, 2015. Please make your reservations before this date to get the group rate; the “standard rate” for these rooms is significantly higher!

Thank you to our 2014-2015 institutional supporters!

 

Berea College
Campbell University
Candler School of Theology
Duke Divinity School
Lee University
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Louisiana State University
Millsaps College
Pfeiffer University
Presbyterian College
Transylvania University
University of Alabama
University of North Carolina at Asheville
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Virginia Tech
Wingate University
Winthrop University

SECSOR Paper Deadline Reminder and Form

Remember that the deadline to submit paper proposals for the March 6-8, 2015, SECSOR meeting in Nashville, Tennessee is coming up on Monday, October 6. Your 1-2 page description of your proposed paper, along with the Proposal Submission Form, should be sent to the appropriate section chair as described in the Call for Papers (see below). Please be sure to follow specific instructions in the call for the section in which you want to present!

Download the Proposal Submission Form in PDF here. Proposal Submission Form PDF
Download the Proposal Submission Form in Word here. Proposal Submission Form in Word

A PDF version of the 2015 Call for Papers is available here. Call for Papers 2015

2015 SECSOR Call for Papers

Call for Papers
SECSOR 2015

Come and join us in Nashville, TN for the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR) Regional meeting on March 6-8, 2015!

The following sections and program units invite members/participants who wish to present a paper or coordinate a session to submit the Proposal Submission Form available on the SECSOR website (http://secsor.org) along with proposals to the appropriate section chairs by October 6, 2014. Proposals should consist of a 1-2 page description of the presentation unless otherwise requested in the call for a particular section.

Each member/participant is limited to ONE (1) proposal, although a member may submit the same proposal to multiple sections. If a member submits a proposal to multiple sections, the relevant sections must be ranked as first or second choice on the Proposal Submission Form. Proposals for joint sessions as listed in the call should be sent to all involved section chairs, as directed, but do not have to be ranked.

Please note that, unless otherwise indicated, papers must be of such a length as can be presented within twenty (20) minutes, typically. Planned use of audio-visual equipment must be noted on the submission form. SECSOR will provide only a limited number of AV rooms with screen, cart, and power cords. Presenters must bring their own projection, audio, and other support equipment. It is imperative that we have all information concerning AV equipment on the proposal forms in order to insure presentations have the support needed. It is not possible to accommodate AV needs once meeting rooms assignments have been determined.

The copying of handouts is the responsibility of the presenter. All program participants must be registered for the meetings.

PAPER PRIZES AND THE SBL REGIONAL SCHOLAR AWARD

Members/participants are reminded that four paper prizes are awarded at every meeting of SECSOR. Prizes are given by SECSOR to the best undergraduate paper submitted; and by each of the three societies (AAR, SBL, ASOR) for the best graduate paper submitted.

All undergraduate papers, which must be received no later than December 15, 2014, are automatically considered for the Undergraduate Paper Prize.

Graduate students who wish to be considered for the AAR or SBL Graduate Student Prize must notify the chair of the section that has accepted their paper, and submit to that chair a paper of no longer than 12 pages no later than January 15, 2015.
Graduate students who wish to be considered for the Joseph A. Callaway award from ASOR must submit to the ASOR chair a paper of no longer than 12 pages by January 15, 2015.

SBL members presenting to one of the SBL sections who have defended their dissertation between March 2011 and March 2015 are encouraged to apply to be considered for the SBL Regional Scholar Award. For more information on the requirements for consideration, please contact Dr. Vicki Phillips: (phillips_v@wvwc.edu).

(ASOR) Archaeology and the Ancient World
Themes: (1) Presidential address; (2) A session on Place and Pilgrimage (joint session with AAR Religions of Asia and SBL Hebrew Bible/Old Testament); (3) A session focusing on the parting of the ways between Judaism and Christianity; (4) One open session focused on excavation reports and other archaeological subjects. Please send your proposal or complete paper (required of first-time presenters) to Chair: James Riley Strange (jrstrang@samford.edu). Student papers will be considered for the Joseph A. Callaway Award.

(AAR) Bible and Modern Culture
Themes: (1)“Narrative: Discovering or Creating Meaning.” Papers are sought which deal with all aspects of narrative from literary, linguistic, or historical perspectives, (2) Papers are invited on various aspects of the Bible and modern culture, including: literary criticism and the Bible; modern cultural studies; the Bible, war and violence; healing and wholeness; the culture of science in interaction with religion; popular media, music, and sacred stories/texts; contextual and minority hermeneutics in America; and Jesus and popular culture, etc. (3) Open call. Papers on diverse themes relating to the Bible and modern culture are welcome, including those dealing with the conference theme of disability. Please submit one-page proposals to Professor Brian Mooney, Johnson & Wales University (brian.mooney@jwu.edu) or Dr. Finbar Benjamin, Oakwood University (fbenjamin@oakwood.edu).

(AAR) Black Cultures and the Study of Religion
The Black Cultures and the Study of Religion Group welcomes papers in three areas: (1) The effects of womanist thought and practice in the church, the academy, and the broader social world. Papers may examine the tensions, layers, and possibilities within womanist thought as well as its contemporary relevance in the face of racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, ableism, and empire. (2) The “prophetic” criticisms of President Obama by Cornel West and Tavis Smiley. Papers may address the relationship/tension between the role of the prophet and the role of the leader of an empire, the so-called crisis of black leadership, the instability of black identity, and the rhetoric of the post-racial. Send questions and proposals to Joseph Winters, UNC Charlotte (jwinter6@uncc.edu) and Jamil Drake, Emory University (jamil.drake@emory.edu). (3) D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film, Birth of a Nation, for a joint session with the Religions in America section (send these paper proposals to Joseph Winters [jwinter6@uncc.edu] and Josh Fleer [jfleer@fsu.edu]). Papers may address the ongoing significance of this film 100 years after its release, especially for thinking about race, gender, nation, and religion.

(AAR) Constructive Theologies
Themes: (1) Invited panel responding to Amos Yong’s work on theology and disability, with response from Professor Yong. (2) “Theological Anthropologies” (open call). Proposals engaging theological anthropologies with implications for theological reflection of disability are encouraged, but this session is not limited to papers making such connections. Submit all proposals to Steven R. Harmon, Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity (sharmon@gardner-webb.edu).

(AAR) Ethics, Religion, and Society
Proposals on all topics will be considered, but the following topics are encouraged: (1) a joint session with Islam and with Philosophy of Religion on theory and practice of inter-religious dialogue; (2) integration of spiritual practices and health care; (3) disabled veterans, the V.A. and suicide; (4) a joint session with Religion and Ecology: “From Oakridge to Fukushima: The Ethics of Nuclear Power.” All submissions are encouraged to consider and pay close attention to issues pertaining to the balance between theory and applied ethics. Submit proposals to Sally Holt, Belmont University (sally.holt@belmont.edu) and Michael Stoltzfus, Valdosta State University (mjstoltz@valdosta.edu). In addition, for the joint session with Islam and with Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, Religion and Society also send proposals to Rizwan Zamir (rizamir@davidson.edu), Eleanor Finnegan (finneged@ufl.edu), and Nathan Eric Dickman (nedickman@yhc.edu). For the joint session between Religion and Ecology and Ethics, Religion, and Society also send proposals to Todd LeVasseur (levasseurtj@cofc.edu) and Jefferson Calico (jcalico70@gmail.com).

(SBL) Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
Themes: (1)The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament section invites proposals for two open sessions. (2) In addition, a joint section with New Testament will have an invited panel on disability studies and the Bible. (3) A final session will celebrate the careers of Drs. Doug Knight and Jack Sasson. We invite proposals for papers which interacting with their scholarly work. Send proposals for open sessions to co-chairs: Phillip Michael Sherman (Phillip.Sherman@maryvillecollege.edu) and Jim West (jwest@highland.net ). In addition, for the joint session on disability studies and the Bible, also send proposals to Doug Hume (doug.hume@pfeiffer.edu) and Annie Tinsley (annietinsley14@gmail.com).

(AAR) History of Christianity
We invite proposals that relate the history of Christianity to the theme of the 2015 meeting, “Disability.” Proposals may deal with any period of history and may be conducted from any methodological or theoretical starting point; the theme “Disability” may be construed broadly. There will be three sessions, one relating to myth-making, a session relating to disabilities and the history of Christianity, and a third joint panel with Method and Theory of Religion on Pierre Bourdieu and the History of Christianity. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to send proposals, provided that the proposal includes the name and contact information of a faculty member who agrees to mentor the student as needed. Send questions and/or proposals to Erin Roberts, University of South Carolina (erinroberts@sc.edu) and Thomas Whitley, Florida State University (twhitley@fsu.edu).

(AAR) Islam
Themes: Proposals on all topics in Islamic Studies are welcome, but submissions on the theme of the 2015 SECSOR meeting (i.e., “Disability”) and the following are especially invited: (1) “Islam and the Theory and Practice of Inter-religious Dialogue,” as part of a joint panel with Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, Religion and Society emphasizing the theoretical, historical, social and ethical dimensions of Muslim encounters with “the religious other”; (2) “Religion, Law and Islam” examining debates surrounding Shariah within western societies (including the US) and the role of Shariah in the construction of Islam as a religion; (3) “Conversations in Islamic Studies: American Islam” This session invites discussants and participants for a conversation on American Islam with Professor Juliane Hammer about the implications and contributions of her latest edited volume Cambridge Companion to American Islam. Submit proposals to both Eleanor Finnegan, The University of Alabama (finneged@gmail.com) and Syed Rizwan Zamir, Davidson College (rizamir@davidson.edu). In addition, for the joint session with Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, Religion and Society also send proposals to Sally Holt, Belmont University (sally.holt@belmont.edu), Michael Stoltzfus, Valdosta State University (mjstoltz@valdosta.edu), and Nathan Eric Dickman (nedickman@yhc.edu). For the joint session with Religion and Law also send proposals to Brad Stoddard (bradlstoddard@gmail.com) and Mike Graziano (grazmike@gmail.com).

(AAR) Judaism
Proposals addressing any topic in Biblical/Early Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism, or Contemporary Judaism will be considered, but proposals are especially sought on the following themes: (1) Contemporary Judaism—any topic related to Judaism in the present day; (2) Rabbinic Judaism—any topic related to rabbinic themes, texts, or historical periods; and (3) Second Temple Judaism—any topic, but special consideration given to proposals pertaining to Wisdom and/or Apocalyptic in Jewish writings of this period. Submit all paper proposals by email to Michael Fuller, Lee University, mfuller@leeuniversity.edu,, and Samuel Kessler, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, skessler@unc.edu.

(AAR) Method and Theory of Religion
The Method and Theory Group requests proposals for the 2015 meeting on the following topics: (1) Response of/to Millennials and Religion. We seek papers that explore either the religious expression of millennials, analyses of millennials’ religious trends or ways established religious organization are attempting to attract millennials. (2) Millennials and Pedagogy (co-sponsored with the Teaching and Learning Group). We seek papers that explore pedagogical challenges that come from teaching millennials as well as innovative techniques designed to better address millennials. (3) Undergraduate Research in Method and Theory. The section welcomes papers from undergraduates that deal specifically with the analysis or the application of Method and Theory to some aspect of Religion. Undergraduates must include in their proposals the name of a faculty mentor who is sponsoring their proposal. (4) Open Session, papers that address issues in the Method and Theory of Religion or apply it to an aspect of Religion are welcome. Send proposals to Laura Ammon, Appalachian State University (AmmonLL@appstate.edu) and Randy Reed, Appalachian State University (reedrw@appstate.edu).

(SBL) New Testament
The New Testament section for the 2015 SECSOR conference invites paper proposals for the following sessions: (1) In line with the conference theme, papers that focus on disabilities and/or engage methodologies related to disability studies and the New Testament. (2) Papers that engage with the theme of the Kingdom of God, especially as this theme intersects with topics such as healing and disability, immigration, or post-colonialism. (3) An open call for papers in any area of New Testament studies. (4) Papers that engage the intersection of Second Temple Judaism and/or Early Christianities with Hellenism. (5) In addition, a joint section with Hebrew Bible will have an invited panel on disability studies and the Bible. To submit a proposal to the New Testament section, please fill out the conference proposal form at the link below; you may cut and paste your abstract into the link.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SmitDW31YoEc91Je58hhuBB6pUiN7CFYNjV1ak3N96A/viewform If you have difficulties, you may also email the conference proposal form and a copy of your abstract to secsornt@mpaymer.net. In addition, proposals for the joint session should also be emailed to Phillip Michael Sherman (Phillip.Sherman@maryvillecollege.edu) and Jim West (jwest@highland.net).

(AAR) Philosophy of Religion
Proposals on all topics in Philosophy of Religion will be considered, but the following session themes are encouraged: (1) a joint session with Islam and with Ethics, Religion, and Society on “theory and practice of inter-religious dialogue;”*(2) a joint session with Asian Religions on “philosophy of religion and religious diversity;”** (3) a session on bridging analytic and continental philosophy of religion for religious studies; and (4) an open call for presentations in any area of philosophy of religion, but submissions are particularly encouraged that address the conference theme: “Disabilities.” For all sessions, please send proposals to Nathan Eric Dickman (Young Harris College) at nedickman@yhc.edu. *For the joint session on inter-religious dialogue, please include Sally Holt (sally.holt@belmont.edu) and Michael Stoltzfus (mjstoltz@valdosta.edu), and Rizwan Zamir (rizamir@davidson.edu) and Eleanor Finnegan (finneged@ufl.edu). **For the joint session on religious diversity, please include Warner Belanger (Warner.Belander@gcsu.edu) and Lisa Battaglia

(AAR) Religion and Ecology
The Religion and Ecology Section is excited to announce a call for presentations that deal with the interface of religion and ecology/nature. Session outline and calls are as follows: (1) Sustainable Development and the Social/Ecological Trap of Poverty. (2) Music, Ritual, and Ecology. (3) Joint session with Religion, Ethics, and Society–From Oakridge to Fukushima: The Ethics of Nuclear Power. (4) Open Call. Send questions and proposals to Todd LeVasseur, College of Charleston (levasseurtj@cofc.edu), and Jefferson Calico, Eastern Kentucky University (jcalico70@gmail.com). For the joint session between Religion and Ecology and Religion, Ethics, and Society, also send proposals to Sally Holt, Belmont University (sally.holt@belmont.edu) and Michael Stoltzfus, Valdosta State University (mjstoltz@valdosta.edu).

(AAR) Religion and Law
This session seeks: (1) panels or individual papers that address any aspect of the intersection between religion and law (emphasis on the United States, but we will also review papers that address these issues in international contexts). Possible topics include (but are not limited to) legal definitions of religion (or lack thereof), the history of First Amendment jurisprudence, religious freedom and the rights of corporations, theory and method in the study of religion and law. (2) “Religion, Law and Islam,” as part of a joint panel with the Islam section, examining Shariah within western societies, the role of Shariah in the construction of Islam as a religion, and anti-Shariah laws. Send proposals to Brad Stoddard (bs10g@my.fsu.edu) and Mike Graziano (grazmike@gmail.com).

(AAR) Religion, Culture, and the Arts
The Religion, Culture, and the Arts section seeks papers and panel proposals for the 2015 Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion. All papers related to Religion, Culture, and the Arts will be considered. Special consideration will be given to papers or panels related to the following themes: (1) Disability and/or Disability Studies in Religion, Culture, and the Arts; (2) Transnationalism and Identity Formation in Art, Music, or Culture; (3) Sacred Texts as Literature or Art; (4) Open call. Please submit proposals to both section chairs, Cara Burnidge (burnidge@gmail.com) and Andrew McKee (andyrmckee1@gmail.com). Religion, Culture and the Arts will also host a joint session with Religions in America. Proposals related to Religion and Music in America, especially Nashville’s Gospel and Country music industry, are encouraged. To submit to this joint session, please send proposals to Joshua Fleer (jfleer@fsu.edu) and Cara Burnidge (burnidge@gmail.com).

(AAR) Religions in America
Papers in all areas of Religions in America will be considered, but special consideration will be given to the following themes: (1) In cooperation with the Religion, Culture, and the Arts section, papers that explore the theme of religion and music in America. Special interest will be given to papers about Nashville and/or Gospel and Country. All proposals on religion and music will be considered. (2) In cooperation with the Black Cultures in the Study of Religion section, papers that explore the theme race, religion, and film.The year 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Birth of a Nation. (3) In cooperation with the Teaching and Learning Religion section, papers that explore the theme “Learning Curves: The Challenges of Teaching about Religions in America.” Proposals should be submitted with copies to both Sections. Please send proposals to Joshua Fleer (jfleer@fsu.edu), Monica Reed (mcreed@lsu.edu), Reginaldo Braga, Jr. (rpb7@columbia.edu), and Derrick Lemons (dlemons@uga.edu). (4) Open call: Proposals that advance theoretical or methodological approaches in the study of North American Religions. Please send proposals to Joshua Fleer (jfleer@fsu.edu) and Monica Reed (mcreed@lsu.edu). In addition, for the joint session with Religion, Culture and the Arts, please also send proposals to Cara Burnidge (burnidge@gmail.com). For the joint session with Black Cultures in the Study of Religion, please also send proposals to Joseph Winters (jwinter6@uncc.edu). For the joint session with Teaching and Learning Religion section, please also send proposals to Reginaldo Braga Jr. (rpb7@columbia.edu) and Derrick Lemons (dlemons@uga.edu).

(AAR) Religions of Asia
Themes: (1) In conjunction with the 2015 theme, “Disability,” we solicit proposals on the issue of disabilities in Asian religions in religious texts, traditions, law/practice, ritual, and religious community. (2) A joint session with Philosophy of Religion on “philosophy of religion and religious diversity.”* (3) Place and pilgrimage in Asian religions (a joint session with AAR Religions of Asia and SBL Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) (4) Music in Asian religions. (5) Open call. Send questions and proposals to Lisa Battaglia, Samford University (lbattagl@samford.edu) and Warner Belanger, Georgia College (warner.belanger@gcsu.edu). *For the joint session on religious diversity, please include Nathan Eric Dickman (nedickman@yhc.edu).

(AAR) Teaching and Learning Religion
For the 2015 meeting, we offer the following calls for papers for joint sessions with Religions in America and Method and Theory of Religion, and one open call solo session. (1) Joint session: In cooperation with the Method and Theory of Religion section calls for papers that explore the theme “Millennials and Pedagogy.” We seek papers that explore pedagogical challenges that come from teaching millennials as well as innovative techniques designed to better address millennials. (2) Joint session: In cooperation with the Religions in America section calls for papers that explore the theme “Learning Curves: The Challenges of Teaching about Religions in America.” (3) Open session: Proposals (papers or a panel) that join innovative teaching practice with the scholarship of teaching and learning. Email proposal for the joint session on “Millennials and Pedagogy” to Reginaldo Braga Jr. (rpb7@columbia.edu) and Derrick Lemons (dlemons@uga.edu) with copy to Randall Reed (reedrw@appstate.edu) and Laura Ammon (AmmonLL@appstate.edu). Email proposals for joint session on “Learning Curves: The Challenges of Teaching about Religions in America.” to Reginaldo Braga Jr. (rpb7@columbia.edu) and Derrick Lemons (dlemons@uga.edu) with copy to Joshua Fleer (jfleer@fsu.edu) and Monica Reed (monicacreed@lsu.edu). Email proposals for the Open Session to Drs. Reginaldo Braga Jr. (rpb7@columbia.edu) and Derrick Lemons (dlemons@uga.edu).

(AAR) Women, Gender and Religion
The Women, Gender and Religion group provides a space for scholars to foreground issues of women’s studies, gender, and sexuality, whether in critical analysis of and dialogue with religious traditions or texts; in the promotion of the perspectives, insights, and experiences of marginalized persons; or in the ongoing effort to theorize difference so that lives and systems may be changed. To that end, we have (1) an open call for papers on any topic that falls within the scope of the group; and (2) a call for papers that treat the intersection of gender studies and disability studies. Examples include engagement with the vibrant strains of queer and feminist work on ability; exegesis of gender and healing narratives in sacred texts or testimonies; understandings of crisis and/or violence around gender or sexuality; consideration of rhetorics and ethics surrounding medical issues for transgender or intersex individuals; and exploration of the conflation of gender or sexual difference with disability. Email proposals to Vicki Phillips (phillips_v@wvwc.edu) and Richard Coble (richard.r.coble@vanderbilt.edu).

Undergraduate Research
Students at institutions in the Southeast Region are invited to submit papers for the
Undergraduate Sessions, sponsored by SECSOR. Open to all topics, the sessions will be
composed of the papers considered the best submissions by an interdisciplinary committee.
Students should submit completed papers that reflect original student research of an appropriate
length for presentation (approximately 12 double-spaced pages). No paper over 15 double-spaced
pages, regular size font, will be considered; one submission per student. On a cover page,
please include contact information for the student and a faculty sponsor who has reviewed the
submission. Electronic submissions preferred. Send submissions by December 15, 2014, to Lynn
R. Huber, Elon University (lhuber@elon.edu). Note: Undergraduates may submit proposals to
other sections as well.

Student Award Winners

Congratulations to Kari Edwards, graduate student at the University of Mississippi, who won the graduate student paper prize for her paper “‘Equal Space with Adam and Eve’: Tennessee’s Genesis Bill of 1973 and the 50th Anniversary of the Scopes Trial.”

Congratulations to Carolina Patterson Seigler, undergraduate student at Furman University, who won the undergraduate student paper prize for her paper “Engaging the Sextospirita: Social Inaction and a Vocabulary of Neutrality in LGBT+ Communities of Faith.”

Submissions for 2015 graduate student paper prizes are due by December 15, 2014 to the section chair who accepted the paper for the program. Undergraduate paper submissions are due by January 15, 2015 to the Undergraduate Research Section Chair.