Invitation to participate in research on religious didactics

Prof. Dr. Martin Rothgangel at Universität Wien and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Riegel at Universität Siegen are seeking other research scholars in religious education (defined here as scholars with a PHD) who are willing to complete a research survey on the topic of the formative effects on research in religious education in the school context. More information is available online. Please participate if you meet their criteria, and do so prior to June 30th.

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Research working group in children’s spirituality

The Children’s Spirituality Research & Innovation Hub is looking for scholars and reflective practitioners who are interested in contributing to fresh, contemporary understandings of the spiritual lives and development of children from birth to age 12. We are organizing small groups of scholars from diverse fields to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects, as well as seeking individuals or collaborators who want to pursue independent research projects. To learn more about our Research Working Groups and/or Independent Research Grants and review our Request for Proposal and Application guidelines, please visit our website or email us.

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REA Pop-Up Session: Transformative Instructional Practices for Religious Education

A year of a pandemic, a hasty shift to virtual and online education, racial injustice, and polarization in U.S. politics and religious communities, calls on religious educators to consider instructional practices and modes of assessment that promote the aim of religious education and respond to the challenges posed by these events.

Join us in the upcoming REA Pop-Up session, Transformative Instructional Practices for Religious Education, on Thursday, June 10, 2021, at 8 PM EST. This session will offer a space to discuss the aim of religious education and liberative instructional strategies and assessments that, in flowing from the nature of religious education, can promote its aim of forming God’s people for mission.

Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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Reminder: May 18th AAPI solidarity round table

Please remember that we are hosting a roundtable for those who wish to be in solidarity with AAPI people against anti-Asian racism, including ways for REA to continue to support its members in this work on Tuesday, May 18th from 7-8:30pmET. You must register in advance to receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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Assoc. Dean Community Life at Wesley

Wesley Theological Seminary invites applications and nominations for the position of Associate Dean for Community Life.

The ideal candidate for the position will possess a minimum of a Master of Divinity degree, and a DMin degree is preferred. Ordination and an active participation in the life of the church is required, and extensive pastoral experience is preferred. In addition, candidates should have a demonstrated record of administrative experience, as well as an appreciation for diversity and cross-cultural competency. Teaching opportunities may be available for the candidate with the academic credentials and teaching competency. The Associate Dean for Community Life reports to the Dean.

The Associate Dean for Community Life’s general responsibilities include administration and development of community life, implementation of programs that prepare students for ministry, liaison between students and faculty, address students needs and concerns, and crisis management. The Associate Dean administers the Community Life office and supervises the student services staff who are direct reports. This team is comprised of the Program Administrator and Executive Assistant for Community Life, Director of the Writing Center, Residential Life, Food Services, Program Coordinator for Student Care, and other staff that provide student services.

More details are available online (search under administrative openings).

Applications and nominations will be accepted until an Associate Dean for Community Life is selected, but to ensure optimal consideration, interested parties should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names of three references by May 1, 2021. Please send to: associatedeansearch2021 [at] wesleyseminary [dot] edu

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May 13th Symposium: Dr. Sarah Tauber

Please join us in marking and celebrating the legacy of Rabbi Dr. Sarah Tauber. We will gather virtually on May 13th (please RSVP for the appropriate access information).

The untimely 2020 passing of Rabbi Dr. Sarah Tauber calls for a consideration of the meanings of her bridge-building scholarship and teaching. In this vein, mentors, colleagues, collaborators and students have assembled to offer a testament to her contributions in and beyond academia:

Dr. Jenny Haddad Mosher of the REA will shed light on Rabbi Dr. Tauber as colleague and interfaith bridge-builder.
Dr. Elliot Ginsburg will consider Rabbi Dr. Tauber in her capacity as academic seeker and Aleph rabbinical-school-student-mentee.
Rabbis Blair and Phreddy Nosanswich will call attention to Rabbi Dr. Tauber as graduate school Jewish Education professor and educator.
Maciej Kawalski will engage Sarah in her capacity as screenwriter and memorializer.
Dr. Joshua Krug and Rabbi Jonathan Lipnick will respond, and Dr. Rebecca Shargel will moderate.

Thus, we will begin to understand what Rabbi Dr. Tauber offered scholarship, and beyond. At the end of the session, there will be time for questions, insights, and reflection. There will also be additional contributions and offerings to mark a beloved Jewish education scholar, colleague, teacher, and friend. The symposium is occurring in the context of the Network for Research in Jewish Education 2021 conference, and is co-sponsored by REA, Aleph, and Opening Doors.

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Asst Prof of Religion, Newberry College

The Department of Humanities at Newberry College, in Newberry, SC seeks an Assistant Professor of Religion (tenure track) with expertise in Theology or Practical Ministry and Race to begin August 2021. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to teaching intersectional and global perspectives. An initial duty of the position will be to participate in the design and implementation of a new bachelor’s degree in African American Studies. Teaching load will be 4/4, including at least two first-year-level classes each semester. The successful candidate will demonstrate a history of working with diverse populations and engaging students through personalized pedagogies to be active participants in their learning. As well, the candidate will have alternative strategies to help students grasp material and build confidence in their abilities.

Details available online.

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REA statement on racism and hate crimes against Asian Americans

The Religious Education Association condemns anti-Asian racism, and the shooting of eight people including six Asian American women in Atlanta on March 16th, 2021. The tragic and senseless murder in a violent hate crime is the result of anti-Asian racism which targeted Asian women. The act of anti-Asian racism was aided and abetted by gun violence, another ongoing tragedy in the United States. The lack of strong gun policies in the United States continues to shock and horrify people. We are enraged as more people continue to become victims of gun violence in Boulder and elsewhere. We need legislators to implement serious gun control policies. 

Racism against Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) has a long and invisibilized history in the United States. The Page Act of 1875 was the very first American anti-immigration law aimed at preventing Chinese women from immigrating to the U.S because of hypersexualization. The Chinese Exclusion Act followed in 1882. The roots of anti-Asian racism lie in white supremacy and US trans-Continental militarism as well as pernicious Orientalism, hypersexualization, and fetishization of Asian women. This has been fostered in American culture, media, and academia. We witnessed this trope in comments denying the racism of the perpetrator after the targeting and murder of these six Asian American women among the eight killed in Atlanta. We are at a moment where we urgently need to call out and work against the ways Asian and Asian American people and especially women continue to be erased in our institutions and classrooms today. 

As an international association of Religious Educators, we are committed to teaching with the understanding that life is sacred. As such it is a travesty to erase, invisibilize, and objectify any person in our human family.  We are in solidarity with our colleagues who are Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders. We name the ways their stories have been invisibilized in both the public sphere and in academe. We commit ourselves to growing in solidarity with AAPI and with all BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) communities. We encourage our guild to reach for greater amplification of AAPI scholars and voices in academic studies and research. We counter historic invisibilization with the explicit act of visibilization in our work with Asian American colleagues and students. We counter the white supremacist distortion of AAPI women throughout history and in academe by amplifying their lives and their scholarship. 

As a professional association of educators, researchers and practitioners, we call upon our membership to educate for change in our society and dedicate ourselves to the collective work of eradicating white supremacy and hate. We call upon our members to commit to solidarity and consider joining these calls to action and learning as part of our common understanding:

As acts of commitment and love, remember their names:

Xiaojie Tan
Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez
Daoyou Feng
Paul Andre Michels
Soon Chung Park
Hyun-Jung Kim (Grant)
Yong Ae Yue
Suncha Kim

Board of Directors of the Religious Education Association
Patrick B. Reyes, Ph.D.
V. Rev. Anton C. Vrame, Ph.D.
Rev. Heesung Hwang, Ph.D.
Rev. Kathy Winings, EdD
Rev. Denise Janssen, Ph.D.
Jos de Kock, Ph.D.
Rev. Almeda M. Wright, Ph.D.
Rev. Boyung Lee, Ph.D.
Rev. Dr. Christine J. Hong
Lucinda Allen Mosher, Th.D.
Hosffman Ospino, Ph.D.
Min. Gina A .S. Robinson
Rev. Jose R. Irizarry, Ph.D.
Rabbi Hanan A. Alexander, Ph.D.

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April eREACH now available

The latest edition of our newslettereREACH (electronic Religious Education Association Clearing House) — is now available. It’s full of details about our July 5-9 annual meeting, as well as a strong statement from the REA Board condemning anti-Asian hatred, and urging action against white supremacy.

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Director, Lutheran Theological Center in Atlanta

“Grounded in our purpose and priorities, the home area of Christian Community and Leadership (CCL) helps the ELCA reach and engage new, younger, and more diverse people, welcoming them into the Christian faith. To this end, we will energize and engage our core membership and work with the whole of the ELCA to recruit, develop and deploy the leadership, both lay and rostered, that the church needs to fulfill its purpose of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and building the church.”

This is a full-time, deployed position based in the Atlanta, GA area and near the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) Campus.

The position will:

Create a national leadership center for a new, younger, and more diverse church.
Lead and recruit participants for non-degree and degree programs in theological education and spiritual growth among rostered leaders, candidates for rostered ministry, and lay leaders with an intentional focus on African Descent pedagogies and in the development of African Descent leaders and communities.
Equip all leaders for the gospel-centered work of doing justice and dismantling racism and systemic oppression; and
Deepen relationships with Historically Black communities of faith, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA.

More details are available online.

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