Brain Matters

neuroscience, creativity, and diversity

REA Annual Meeting 2011

4-6 November, Toronto, Ontario

REA2011 Call

Call for Papers


2011 Annual Meeting of the Religious Education Association

(An Association of Professors, Practitioners, and Researchers in Religious Education)

November 4-6, 2011, Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel & Suites Toronto, ON.

THEME:  Brain Matters:  Neuroscience, Creativity, and Diversity

From President-Elect and Program Chair Dean Blevins:

Ten years after the original “Decade of the Brain,” new insights in biology, neuroscience, and brain studies continue to inform and at times confound our understandings of cognition, creativity, and educational practice.  Within this growing body of social and scientific discovery, theologians, philosophers, and neuroscientists, along with educators, counselors, and religious practitioners face a myriad of questions around the relationship between religious experience and cognitive neuroscience.  This annual meeting will provide an opportunity for diverse engagement in exploring this relationship both in formal education strategies and in formational practice.  The association welcomes proposals for research papers, colloquia, and workshops that address such questions as:

  • How will insights in neuroscience shape our future understanding of God, personhood, religious experience, belief formation, pluralism, and interreligious dialogue?
  • How does neuroscience influence educational practice, fostering both creativity and stable environments for learning in higher education and community formation?
  • How might neuroscience shape basic models of pedagogy and spiritual formation in the shaping of religious and moral character?
  • How do we identify and overcome early “neuro-myths” perpetuated by incomplete or inaccurate views of brain based learning?  What models can we trust?
  • What are the implications of diverse yet scientifically based modes of cognition including studies in temperament and multiple intelligences?
  • How might neuroscience influence the religious expressions of different traditions, age groups, cultures, ethnicities, genders, socio-economic groups, nationalities, and sexual orientations, creating a broader place for public discourse between science and religion and overcoming the impasse between then within some religious traditions?

Guidelines for Submitting Proposals

Step 1: determine the type of proposal

Once you have an idea of a topic that interests you, determine which type of proposal you wish to submit.

There are three types of presentations at the annual meeting.

Research Interest Group (RIG). A finished paper of publishable quality is presented and discussed among a group of conference participants. If your proposal is accepted, the final paper must be submitted by September 1st in order to be posted in the REA Annual Meeting Proceedings.

Colloquium. Emerging research, research-in-progress that may lead to a publishable paper, or current practices and programs is presented to and discussed among a group of conference participants. Since this format is less formal than the presentation of a paper, conference participants come to hear a presentation and then are led in discussion. While the early submission of an outline is encouraged, it is not necessary.

Workshop. A highly interactive session engaging conference participants in scholarly and practical resources or approaches supporting the multiple practices of religious education. These sessions are facilitated and led by the presenter. They may increase awareness or enhance performance of specific religious education practices. The contexts for these practices vary widely and may include faith communities, classrooms, or other settings. While the early submission of an outline is encouraged, it is not necessary.

Step 2: write your proposal

The proposal begins with an approximately 150 word abstract. You then have an additional 1,000 words to make the case for your proposal.

  • For RIG papers, include main points, methodology (e.g., literature-based, qualitative or quantitative research, historical, or insights from our community of practice), and a selected bibliography (e.g., two or three primary sources grounding your work).
  • For colloquia, include main concepts/issues, methodology for addressing the topic, generally the sources grounding the presentation, and the status of the research at the time of the proposal.
  • For workshops, include context, main concepts/issues, practice(s) being addressed, context of those practices (e.g., faith community, higher education, wider community, schools), outline of the workshop (sequence of topics and methods), resources presented and used.

Step 3: submit your proposal

Proposals must be submitted by 2 May 2011. All proposals must be submitted through the following REA web-link

*We are no longer accepting submissions for the 2011 Annual Meeting

Proposals sent by other means will not be considered.

Step 4: wait for notification of acceptance

Notification of your proposal’s acceptance status to the Annual Meeting program will be sent by Monday, 6 June 2011.

Participation requirements at the Annual Meeting:

  • You do not have to be a member of REA to submit a proposal. However, if selected to present, presenters must renew for upcoming membership year as well and register for the meeting.
  • Persons may submit no more than two proposals in response to the Call for Papers.

Audiovisual Requests:

The REA recognizes the importance of using digital equipment during presentations. However, a limited number of meeting rooms are supplied with LCD projector. No laptop computers will be provided by the event. Participants must bring their own laptop computer. We also encourage participants to bring or share a personal or departmental LCD projector to run any powerpoint presentations. Analog equipment such as overhead projectors, etc., are available to rent at the participant’s cost. There is a place to note audiovisual needs in the proposal submission process.

Important Additional Information Regarding Research Interest Group Papers:

Research Interest Group presenters will receive a copy of the Guidelines for Contributors to the journal Religious Education. Your Proceedings must be no longer than 3000 words (plus references), single spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman Font, 1” margins all around. (Presenters of Colloquia and Workshops are not required to contribute a paper although they may wish to submit material for posting on the website for participants in their groups.)

Completed RIG papers for the program must be received in electronic format (‘doc’ or ‘pdf’) by the Executive Secretary Lucinda Huffaker (reaappre [at] msn [dot] com) no later than 16 September 2011. PAPERS NOT RECEIVED BY THAT DATE WILL NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE PROCEEDINGS AND WILL BE CANCELED FROM THE ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM. Unless otherwise requested, all papers will be posted on the website prior to the meeting. Proceedings will be distributed to participants as they register at the meeting.

By 16 January 2012, RIG papers that were presented at the meeting may be revised and submitted to the Call for Papers Committee, which will act as a peer review jury for the conference issue of Religious Education. Selected papers are recommended for possible publication and sent to the editor of the journal, who then makes the final selection.


For questions about the Call for Papers, please write to:

Rodger Nishioka
Chair of the Call for Papers Committee
Columbia Theological Seminary
Decatur, GA
nishiokar [at] ctsnet [dot] edu

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