Conference update from program chair

At the first of May the call for papers for the 2016 conference in Pittsburgh has come to an end. And you have been responding massively! At a first glance, the harvest looks great: interesting papers and posters from all over the world, focusing on the con-texts, texts and textures of hopeful teaching today. “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out,” wrote the Czech president Vaclav Havel. As a hope-driven educationalist and theologian I like this quote. It is all about staying concentrated on the deeper meaning of things happening in the world, in society and school. It is all about the decision not to give up on the deeper quality of an “examined way of life” (Aristotle), on the human capacity both to connect with and to transcend daily life in light of human dignity.

What we need in this troubled world are great teachers, who are compassionate and intelligent. The former Archbishop of Milano, Cardinal Carlo Martini, argued that future leaders will need to develop “spiritual muscles”: the will to understand cognitively but above all spiritually the challenges of the world and the power to respond with mind, heart and soul. This is an enormous challenge. But I am hopeful we will get there. In this respect, I am looking forward to reading more in depth the REA-proposals for November. But above all I am eager to see the faces again of the REA-members again and to listen to their stories, to their scholarship and to the fragments of hope they will be bringing to the table of learning in Pittsburgh.

Very best wishes for a good summer (at least for those on the Northern hemisphere…) from your president-elect, Bert Roebben.

P.S. Do not forget to fill out our membership questionnaire: we want to hear your voice!

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Childhood, faith and the media

The symposium on ‘Childhood, Faith and the Media’ is a plenary of the Leverhulme Trust-funded ‘Faith on the Air: a religious educational broadcasting history’ project at the University of Worcester. This one-day conference will provide an opportunity to engage in research-informed discussion of issues in religious broadcasting for children and young people in historical and contemporary perspective.

There are three confirmed keynote speakers: Professor Stephen Parker from the University of Worcester, the lead investigator of the ‘Faith on the Air project; Aaqil Ahmed, the Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC; and Lat Blaylock, RE Adviser at RE Today Services and editor of RE Today magazine.

In addition, there will be an exhibition about the history of religious education broadcasting on display for the duration of the symposium. The cost for the day, including lunch and all refreshments, will be £45.00 The call-for-papers is now open and proposals are invited on any aspect of the interfaces of childhood, faith and the media, especially in relation to radio, television or by digital means.

More information is available online.

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Assistant Director, Pluralism Project

Harvard University’s Pluralism Project is hiring an assistant director based in Cambridge, MA. More details are available online.

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Adjunct position in Christian education

Lexington Theological Seminary is seeking adjunct faculty to teach courses during 2016-2017 in its online Master of Divinity program that integrates intellectual, spiritual and practical dimensions of congregational life and leadership.  We specifically seek a person or persons to teach required and elective courses in Christian education.  Ph.D. or ABD is expected; but significant experience in congregational ministry and advanced knowledge of the relevant literature will be considered.  Candidates must demonstrate abilities to apply their discipline to contexts of ministry.  Candidates must also demonstrate strong technological skills and pedagogical experience that have prepared them to teach in an LMS environment (with discussion boards, chat rooms, online quizzes, online community formation, etc.), to create online audio-visual PowerPoint presentations, and to use other web tools to enhance course interaction.  For information about LTS, including the current roster of required and elective courses offered in Christian Education, see

Applicants should email a curriculum vitae and a letter of application, and have two letters of reference emailed to Richard D. Weis, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, at:  Applications received by May 20 will receive the greatest consideration.

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Brill announces new series in theology in practice

Brill announces a new series — Theology in Practice — edited by Bonnie Miller McLemore and Elaine Graham, and with our own editor, Joyce Mercer, as a member of the editorial board. The series promises to:

explore and reconstruct the centers and margins of practical theological discourse. The series will be marked by interdisciplinary conversations with related fields, such as feminist, liberation, or systematic/constructive theologies, while also exploring new domains, such as comparative/interreligious, sexual, postcolonial, post-Christian, and critical racial-ethnic studies. Concerned with ministry and religious leadership, it will address multiple expressions of Christianity, fostering the development of cognate research in other religions and in secular formations that take practice, action, and performance as central concerns.

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Contemporary Religious Context Assistant Professor

The School of Religion, Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University invites applications for a Tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor with specialization in the Contemporary Religious Context, with a preferred starting date of July 1, 2016.

We are seeking a specialist who uses social-scientific methods in the study of Religion with an emphasis on innovative religious movements. Some examples of the type of work that potential candidates might be undertaking include:

  • studying the presence and role of religion in the media, particularly digital media;
  • religion as a cultural phenomenon that extends well beyond affiliation with a single specific religious tradition;
  • research in the growing cultural phenomenon of people who self-identify beyond the bounds of specific religious traditions, such as those who identify as Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR) or as having an interest in religion but having no specific religious affiliation (“Nones”)

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent degree completed at the start date of the appointment. The main criteria for selection are academic and teaching excellence. The successful candidate will provide evidence of high quality scholarly output that demonstrates potential for independent research leading to peer assessed publications and the securing of external research funding, as well as strong potential for outstanding teaching contributions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and an ongoing commitment to academic and pedagogical excellence in support of the department’s programs. Candidates must provide evidence of an ability to work collaboratively in an interdisciplinary and student-centred environment. The successful candidate will be required to make substantive contributions through service to the department, the Faculty, the University, and/or the broader community. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

This position is subject to final budgetary approval by the University. The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ persons. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. To comply with federal laws, the University is obliged to gather statistical information as to how many applicants for each job vacancy are Canadian citizens / permanent
residents of Canada. Applicants need not identify their country of origin or citizenship; however, all applications must include one of the following statements: “I am a Canadian citizen / permanent resident of Canada”; OR, “I am not a Canadian citizen / permanent resident of Canada”. Applications that do not include this information will be deemed incomplete.

A complete application consists of:  a cover letter (including one of the two statements regarding Canadian citizenship / permanent resident status specified in the previous paragraph);  a current Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications);  a statement of research interests;  a statement of teaching interests and experience (including teaching outlines and evaluations if available); and,  Three letters of reference to be sent directly to Cheryl O’Shea, School of Religion, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6. The deadline for applications is 4 April, 2016. Applicants are encouraged to send all documents in their application package electronically as PDFs to Cheryl O’Shea at, although hard copy applications may be submitted to: Cheryl O’Shea Assistant to the Director The School of Religion Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario CANADA K7L 3N6

The University will provide support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant’s accessibility needs. If you require accommodation during the interview process, please contact Cheryl O’Shea in The School of Religion, at or 613-533-2109. Academic staff at Queen’s University are governed by a Collective Agreement between the University and the Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA).

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CFP for AKRK meeting in September 2016

The “Arbeitsgemeinschaft Katholische Religionspädagogik und Katechetik”
(AKRK – Association of Scholars in Catholic Religious Education and
Catechetics) is an international association of religious education
scholars from German-speaking countries, working at universities,
teachers’ colleges, theological academies and similar institutions.
Researchers from other countries are frequently participating in the AKRK’s
work as well.

The AKRK announces its Annual Meeting to be held in Augsburg (Germany),
September 8-11, 2016. The meeting theme is: “„Rendez-vous mit der
Realität. Religionspädagogischer Umgang mit herausfordernden Zeichen der
Zeit” (“Rendez-vous with reality. Dealing with the challenging signs of
the times”). Main topics are “inclusion”, “fundamentalism” and
“non-denominational students”. The program, call for papers and further
information can be found on

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2016 Proposal Process now open

The proposal submission process for our 2016 annual meeting — Pittsburgh, PA from the 4-6 of November — is now open. This year we are accepting proposals in Research Interest Group, Workshop, and Poster Presentation formats. There will be a particular emphasis on, and support for, Poster Presentations. You can propose a presentation in our process without being a member, but will need to join the association if your proposal is accepted through our blind peer process.

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John Dewey celebration

The John Dewey Society will be celebrating the Centennial of the publication of John Dewey’s magisterial Democracy and Education in Washington DC on April 7 and 8, 2016. The Centennial Conference will take place the historic Thurgood Marshall Center – where Thurgood Marshall and his NAACP colleagues developed the legal strategies for victory over school segregation in Brown v. Board. The center is located at: 1816 12th St NW, Washington, DC 20009. More details are available online.

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Visiting asst. prof. in spirituality

The Department of Theology at the University of Portland seeks a Visiting Assistant Professor in Spirituality for a one-year position, for the 2016-17 academic year. Candidates must be rooted in the Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions. PhDs preferred; the minimum requirement is ABD status. Teaching load is four courses each semester, which includes three lower division courses (either Introduction to Theology, Bible Past and Present, or both) and an upper division or graduate course in Spirituality. Please submit letters of interest, CV, and three letters of reference to Dr. Will Deming via Hire Touch at

Located at 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR, 97203-5798, the University of Portland stands in the tradition of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and prepares ethical leaders who respond to the needs of the world and its human family. Founded in 1901, the University of Portland is a private, comprehensive, Catholic university with a mission of teaching and learning, faith and formation, service and leadership. The University of Portland is an Equal Opportunity employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation or other categories protected by law. For more information, please visit our website at

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