Divinity School, University of Chicago 1025 East 58th St. Chicago IL

Divinity School, University of Chicago
1025 East 58th St.
Chicago IL 60637
May 20, 2014
Dear SSCS Colleagues,
At the end of the academic year I’m writing you about two important issues in the life of
the SSCS for the remainder of 2014: the annual meeting of the Society, and the ongoing search
for a new editor for Spiritus.
I. November SSCS/AAR/SBL Program
As one of the related Scholarly Organizations of the American Academy of Religion, the
SSCS will, as usual, meet in conjunction with this year’s AAR/SBL Annual Meeting in San
Diego from November 21 to 25. The program committee (Elisabeth Koenig, Barbara Quinn,
Glen Scorgie, and Anita Houck) deserves our gratitude for the work they have done in putting
together a rich and rewarding group of sessions. Our thanks also go to Tim Robinson and Glenn
Young, the Co-Chairs of the AAR Christian Spirituality Group, for all their work on the sessions
jointly sponsored with the AAR.
Our two pre-AAR/SBL sessions will be held on the campus of the University of San Diego. As
always, all are welcome to our sessions, so please invite your colleagues to join us. Please check
our website and listserv in the months to come for further details about the sessions, dinner
arrangements, and shuttle bus service to and from campus. If you’re not yet on our listserv,
please consider subscribing, either through our website or by contacting Anita Houck at
[email protected]
a. Friday Afternoon Experiential Session (3:00-5:00 p.m.): A Contemplative View of
Ecology. We will begin our session with a walking tour of the canyon that lies behind
the USD campus. Dr. Michael Mayer, chair of the USD Department of Biology, will
help us reflect on the changing conditions of the land and challenge these changes
present to us. We will then move to a conversational reflection on The Blue Sapphire of
the Mind: Notes For a Contemplative Ecology led by author Douglas Christie.
b. SSCS Dinner (5:30-6:45 p.m.): Members and their guests are invited to share a catered
dinner on campus (cost approximately $30-$35, advance reservations required). The
campus dining hall and pub are open to the public and available for more casual dinners,
and some off-campus restaurants are within walking distance.
c. Friday Evening Session (7:00-9:00 p.m.): Contemplation in the World: The Socially
Transformative Effects of Practice. We are deeply grateful to Louis Komjathy of the
University of San Diego and the AAR Contemplative Studies Group for his
d. Reception (9:00-10:00 p.m.): Light refreshments provided.
Saturday Morning Session (9:00-11:30 a.m.)
This will include my Presidential Address, “The Future of Past Spiritual Traditions,” to be
followed by the annual SSCS Business Meeting presided over by our new President, Lisa Dahill.
Sessions of the Christian Spirituality Group of the AAR
a. The Bible and Climate Change: The Twentieth Anniversary of Bill McKibben’s
The Comforting Whirlwind of God: God, Job, and the Scale of Creation (1994)
(Saturday 1:00-3:30 p.m.)
Presider: Barbara Rossing (Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago)
Panelists: Ched Myers (Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries); Kathryn Schifferdecker
(Luther Seminary); Theodore Hiebert (McCormick Seminary)
Respondent: Bill McKibben
b. Christian Spirituality and the Cognitive Sciences: An Emerging Conversation
(Sunday 9:00-11:30 a.m.)
Presider: Claire Wolfteich (Boston University)
Remya Nair (California Institute of Technology), Andrea Beckum (Fuller
Theological Seminary), Michael Spezio (Scripps College), Mark Graves (Fuller
Theological Seminary), Warren Brown (Fuller Theological Seminary), Kevin
Reimer (Azusa Pacific University)
Community of the Downwardly Mobile: Scientific Study of Kenotic Habitus
in L’Arche
Mark Graves (Fuller Theological Seminary), Andrew Dreitcer (Claremont School
of Theology), Remya Nair (California Institute of Technology), Kevin Reimer
(Azusa Pacific University), Brent Field (Princeton University), Michael Spezio
(Scripps College)
Heartfulness as Mindfulness: Imitatio of Affectivity and Perspective in
Christian Contemplative Practice
Sam Hole (University of Cambridge)
The Significance of John of the Cross’s Account of Contemplative
Ascent for a Theory of the Loving Transformation of the Emotions
Andrea Hollingsworth (Berry College)
The Architecture of Apophasis: Exploring Options for a Cognitive
Scientific Interpretation of the Via Negativa
Business Meeting: Glenn Young (Rockhurst University), presiding
c. Perspectives on Spiritual Direction: Historical and Contemporary (Sunday
3:00-4:30 p.m.)
Presider: Janet Ruffing (Yale Divinity School)
Janna Gosselin (University of Southern California)
Julian of Norwich as a Spiritual Director: Julian’s Theodicy of Soul
Christopher Johnson (University of North Dakota)
The Role of Spiritual Direction in Mediating a Contemplative Classic: Fr.
Nikon Strandtman, Gerald Palmer, and the English Philokalia
David Crawley (Laidlaw College)
Co-Authoring Stories and Faith and Hope: Narrative Approaches to
Spiritual Direction
II. Search for a New Editor for Spiritus
The Ad-Hoc Search Committee for a new Editor for Spiritus has five members: B. McGinn
(Chair), L. Dahill, S. Chase, P. Sheldrake, and W. Wright. After our initial letter to the SSCS
membership (2/15/2014), the Committee received two self-nominations and ten nominations by
other members over the course of two months. The persons nominated by other members for the
most part respectfully declined to have their names go forward. Over the past month the
committee has pursued discussions with several candidates. These negotiations are proceeding,
but some important issues remain under review, especially concerning the amount of institutional
support the new editor may be given by his or her institution. We sincerely hope to be able to
present a name to the Governing Board and the Editorial Board of Spiritus before the November
Looking forward to seeing you in San Diego,
Bernard McGinn, President
Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus