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American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 19-22, 2022 in Denver, CO

Faculty members in the Department of Religious Studies will be presenting and participating in panel discussions on a wide range of interdisciplinary topics at the 2022 American Academy of Religion annual meeting. Here is a sampling of topics:

Dr. Brian Clites is the organizer and will preside over a panel on “Clergy Sexual Abuse: Catastrophe, Trauma, and Trust.”

Dr. Timothy Beal will preside over the Publications Committee Reception: Networking with AAR Publication Editors

Dr. Joy R. Bostic will be the respondent for the “Relational Cosmologies and Mystical Practices for Ecological Repair”; and chairing the “Queerness and the Mystical Body”.

Dr. Deepak Sarma will be a panelist on two sessions: Bioethics and Religion: Vaccine Religious Exemptions and Pandemic Ethics; and Drugs & Religion roundtable.

Dr. Jonathan Tan will be on the Society of Biblical Literature panel discussion Revelation panel Vernacular: A Discussion with Jean-Pierre Ruiz about His Work and Future of the Study of Revelation and Scriptures


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Dr. Brian Clites, Curran Center Award Winner, Explores Healing Power of Voice

There is healing power in using your voice.

That was one of the lessons of “A Theology of Voice: VOCAL and the Catholic Clergy Abuse Survivor Movement,” an article by Brian Clites, Ph.D., chosen by Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies in May as the winner of its third annual New Scholars essay contest.

The article traces the origins of VOCAL (Victims of Clergy Abuse Linkup), which was among the first and most prominent advocacy organizations for American survivors of childhood clergy sexual abuse. It was a predecessor of the currently active SNAP, (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), and was notable, Clites said, because its leaders explicitly recognized the spiritual dimensions of the abuse they suffered, which they called “soul murder.”

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AI, Tech, and the End of the Anthropocene: A Virtual Conversation, Wednesday, November 17, 2021 – 9:00-10:00 a.m. (MST)

Human impact on the environment may be reaching a tipping point. The extractive nature of artificial intelligence (extraction of natural resources, of personal data, and of global labor) may be accelerating the crisis. What values might help us reframe our relationship to the environment and to technology in this new phase of human life? Join Kate Crawford, one of the world’s leading figures in AI and ethics, and Tim Beal, a technologically savvy scholar of religious values, in a conversation moderated by Philip Butler, an expert in AI and Black posthumanism.
Click HERE to register.

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Dr. Wanda Pillow- Troubling Intimacies: Sacajawea & York as National Subjects, October 27, 2021

Troubling Intimacies focuses on the unique subjects of Sacajawea and York, an Indigenous woman and a Black man, indentured and enslaved participants in the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition. The Corps expedition is revered as an iconic example of American identity. Yet the presence of Sacajawea and York have been problematic for how the expedition is narrated, understood, taught, and marketed. Is the Corps a site of remorse or celebration? What happens when we retrace the expedition alongside complex relations of gender, slavery and conquest?  And how do we do intersectional scholarship that is intersectional?

Sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program

October 27, 2021 at 4:30 PM

Clark Hall Room 206
11130 Bellflower Road

Registration requested.  Click HERE to register.

This lecture will also be live-streamed at


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Timothy Beal, international expert in religious studies, named Distinguished University Professor

Timothy Beal, the Florence Harkness Professor of Religion, will be honored as a Case Western Reserve University Distinguished University Professor during convocation on Aug. 25 for his preeminent research, leadership, and commitment to students. Beal is a “model humanist,” according to Joy K. Ward, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. As an international expert in Biblical literature, religion in America, critical theory, and religion in culture, Beal has 17 published monographs, 43 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and nine single-authored books.

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