Religious Education and Imagination

The primary theme for the November REA Annual Meeting 2015 is “Connecting, Disrupting, Transforming: Imagination’s Power as the Heart of  Religious Education.” I invite you to think of this theme in relation to your own life and ministry. Specifically, I ask you to consider: Within your areas of work and academic interests (focusing on religious education in schools, faith communities, higher education, or some other setting), how has or how can a focus on the power and life-giving possibilities of imagining open up new horizons or spark creative energy for religious education?

The secondary theme for the annual meeting is “Imagination as the Heart of Religious Education.” We have come together at our past annual meetings to explore educational and religious educational themes in imaginative ways. In preparing for our annual meeting, I invite you to go beyond what we have done in the past, and to reflect upon imagination as the heart of religious education. Additionally, I ask you to consider how a focus on the role of imagination in religious education can enable us to connect with one another across the divides created by our diverse, social and religious contexts and our many differing religious educational interests. I invite you to envision the REA Annual Meeting 2015 as a celebration of the field of religious education, and a celebration of our common commitment to imagining the potentially life-giving and transforming power of religious education within the church and the world.

Beyond the foci on “The Power of Imagining” and “Imagination as the Heart of Religious Education,” I invite you to consider the following specific themes:

  • Teaching and Imagination in a Global, Postmodern Age,
  • Reaching out Imaginatively to Contemporary Youth and Young Adults,
  • Interreligious Education and Imagination,
  • Imagination and the Educational Use of New Information Technologies, and
  • The Contemporary Environmental Crisis as a Challenge to the Religious Imagination

As critically important issues of the times in which we live, these themes will be explored in the annual meeting Plenary Sessions. As you consider submitting a RIG, Colloquium, Workshop, or Poster proposal, I suggest that these might be especially relevant topics for our REA Annual Meeting 2015.

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