Newman Symposium CFP

Regis College, Canada, Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities Department announces a Virtual Symposium on the First Anniversary of the Canonization of Saint John Henry Newman and 75th Anniversary of the first Newman Symposium at Regis College, October 23, 2020.

Conference Theme: Newman: Scholar, Convert, Reformer, Cardinal, Saint

Keynote Speaker: Dr. John Dadosky, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Details and the call for proposals (deadline August 15th) are available.

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New Executive Secretary!

The Board of the Religious Education Association is pleased to announce that Dr. Lakisha Lockhart, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary, has agreed to be our next executive secretary starting as of July 15, 2020. Dr. Lockhart takes up this role following the retirement of Dr. Lucinda Huffaker, who has agreed to remain in a consulting role through October.

The search committee for the REA executive secretary consisted of co-chairs Mary Young and Jack Seymour; members Maureen O’Brien, Gina Robinson, and Josh Lunde-Whitler; and ex-officio member Hanan Alexander.

They presented the following recommendation to the Board of the REA, who enthusiastically voted to accept it:

In conducting our search, the committee spoke with the REA president and current executive secretary to determine a job description; advertised for the position; solicited recommendations and applicants; reviewed applicants; determined three finalists; reviewed references; interviewed all; and determined a recommendation. We were delighted with all applicants and we are enthusiastic about this recommendation of Dr. Lakisha Lockhart.

The criteria we examined in our search included the following: knowledge of and vision for REA; perspective on religious education and the roles of the field; commitment to the inclusive vision of REA – international, interreligious, and intercultural; administrative skills including planning, communicating, supervision, finances, and team-building; technological proficiency; and pedagogical creativity.

Dr. Lockhart is an energetic, creative, practical theologian and religious educator. She evidenced a refreshing familiarity with religious institutions and the academy as well as the potential public impact of our field. She is sensitive to people who work in these areas and is aware of the challenges many younger educators face to build a career in the midst of cultural change. Her vision for what REA can become is rich with creativity, relevance, optimism, and adaptive change. She shares the commitments of REA to a widening and inclusive vision of our association and its potential impact.

We were impressed by her pedagogical creativity (e.g. play, embodiment, and use of technology). She offered concrete examples of how REA members could draw on our own extensive and diverse practices of teaching and learning to enhance our annual REA meetings as well as our ongoing collaborative work. She had constructive suggestions of how to enhance our interactions throughout the year.

Moreover, we believe that Dr. Lockhart will assist us all in REA to focus our attention on the current state of our field while encouraging us to envision additional ways we can live out our mission and vision. We are confident that she will work hard to ensure that the multiple voices in our community are heard and connected with the community, including those of younger, under-represented, international, and interreligious scholars and practitioners.

Her personality, professional manner, gifts as a young scholar, and passion for the values of REA make her a welcome recommendation for the position of REA Executive Secretary.

Photo credit: Forum for Theological Exploration

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Support Survey of Children’s Ministries

Researchers connected with Union Presbyterian Seminary are interviewing ministry leaders to listen and learn about the ways you have been connecting with children ages birth to 12 and their families since the COVID-19 pandemic began. They hope to talk with leaders from a diverse set of congregations within mainstream Protestantism. If you are interested in being interviewed, please complete this short form with basic information about you and your congregation by June 30: Should you experience difficulties with the online form, please contact RundmanDawn [at] gmail [dot] com for an email version.

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Churches Online in a Time of COVID

A number of religious education scholars from around the world are collaborating in an international survey seeking to learn what churches are doing in this time of pandemic. You can find more information online (in multiple languages) or by contacting Mary Hess directly.

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Some Timely Resources…a Start

One of the purposes of the REA website is to share resources in the field of religious education, and now is certainly a time that we need to be made aware of good resources for transformative learning, teaching in times of crisis, and acting for justice.  As a follow up to REA’s Statement On the Murder of George Floyd, the REA Board wanted to make resources available that would advance work against systemic oppression. A wealth of resources are currently being generated and disseminated to the public, so the REA Board thought it might be helpful to highlight resources in our field on race, racism, violence, and black culture, especially the excellent work being done by scholars in religious education.  Please add to the brief start that I will make here by posting your own or recommending your colleague’s books, articles, web pages, blogs, or other resources.

Trouble Don’t Last Always: Emancipatory Hope Among African American Adolescents, by Evelyn Parker.  Pilgrim Press, 2003.

Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood, by Patrick B. Reyes. Chalice Press, 2018.

Reset the Heart: Unlearning Violence, Relearning Hope, by Mai-Anh Le Tran. Abingdon, 2017.

From Lament to Advocacy: Black Religious Education and Public Ministry, edited by Anne Streaty Wimberly, Annie Lockhart-Gilroy, and Nathaniel West. Wesley’s Foundery Books, 2020.

United Against Racism: Churches for Change. National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, with chapters by Chuck Foster, Mary Hess, Denise Janssen, Callid Keefe-Perry, Randy Litchfield, Mary Elizabeth Moore, and more. Friendship Press (2018).

Resources from Race and Grace workshop. Mary Hess.   

Please add to this from your top reads!

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CFP: Possibilities for Research in RE

The journal Religions (an open access journal by MPDI) is seeking papers for a Special Issue that will provide a look at important research in religious education that is taking place in diverse areas of the globe and from multiple perspectives. The Special Issue will allow contributors to provide a wide-angle look at critical issues that the field of religious education can and should address in order to make a decided contribution to faith communities and religious educators in a wide range of contexts. Issues and questions that may be presented range from defining a faithful life in a post- coronavirus world and addressing the questions of the coming generations on the impact of religious education on environmental concerns, challenges to justice and equality, economics, religious education and faith in a digital online world, insights into teaching and learning, and the possible influence of neuroscience.

Deadline for manuscript submissions is October 1, 2020. More information is available from Dr. Kathy Winings, Unification Theological Seminary; 4 West 43rd Street, NYC, NY 10036, USA, k [dot] winings [at] uts [dot] edu

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Religious Education in a Time of Crisis: Invitation to a Catholic Community of Practice Conversation

The past few months have brought serious disruptions and challenges to all of us in our religious education efforts, in academic and practitioner settings alike. The pandemic and abrupt shifts it has caused for our teaching, communication and ministry, and more recently, the murder of George Floyd and growing urgency for antiracism efforts—all of these summon us to engage our gifts, imaginations and passions in religious education in transformed contexts and with new questions. Catholic religious educators are called to bring the particular resources of our tradition to these “signs of the times.”

Catholic Community of Practice members, and other interested REA members, are invited to a Zoom conversation to explore together our emotions, insights and emerging strategies in these critical times. We’ll gather on Monday, June 22, 12:00-1:30 PM, Eastern US Time. If interested, please email COP convener Maureen O’Brien at obrien [at] duq [dot] edu for the Zoom link, and to contribute ideas and questions for our time together.

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REA Statement on the Murder of George Floyd

[This statement was issued on June 4, 2020. It is also available as a PDF document.]

REA Statement on the Murder of George Floyd
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
May 25, 2020

The Religious Education Association condemns the killings of Black men, women, and children in the United States of America by police and vigilantes. We condemn the white supremacy and the anti-Blackness that took seed at the earliest formations of this nation. We condemn the police killings, brutality, and weaponizing of whiteness, white privilege, and power we have seen in U.S neighborhoods, on campuses, and streets. The taking of Black lives must stop.

As an international association of religious educators, we are committed to education as a beacon of action and power to change the world. As teachers, we have witnessed this transformational power. We know and believe that faith and education together can change people and bring about justice. We know there is power in faith and education to dismantle systemic and structural racism. We know there is power in faith and education to help us reimagine a new world. A world in which we know, see, and treat everyone as made in the image of the divine.

We are in solidarity with Black scholars and their communities in our midst. We have a responsibility to speak and act. The leadership, scholarship, and lives of incredible Black men and women have shaped our guild from the inside out. We ask our members to look inward at the ways some of us have been complicit through actions and silence. We ask our members to take inventory of the ways some of us have weaponized whiteness and put the burden on the most vulnerable to teach the real histories and racist realities.

We ask our members around the world to attend to Black religious educators’ and Black students’ voices, lives, and work. This is one way out of many that we can work together to actively dismantle the anti-Black racism rooted in the institutions where we teach, lead, and serve. Internalize and amplify the scholarship of our Black colleagues and mentors. Cite them and make space for them. Teach, share, and center their work.

As an association, we acknowledge that we have more work to do. We commit to striving for change with courage. We commit to dedicating our collective work to purging the white supremacy and anti-Blackness within us and outside of us.

We invite our global membership to join us in reading and saying the names of the Black men and women murdered by the hatred that gave rise to white supremacy and its agents. We bear witness. We remember, and we rage at their loss. Black Lives Matter.

Say their names:

…and the countless names and stories we will never know.

Signed June 4, 2020,

Committee on Religious Education in Public Life and the Global Community

Christine Hong

Lakisha Lockhart

Michael Shire

Board of Directors, Religious Education Association

Hanan Alexander
Boyung Lee
Kathy Winings
Patrick Reyes
Tony Vrame
Jos De Kock

Christine Hong
José Irizarry
Denise Janssen
Hosffman Ospino
Gina Robinson
Sarah Tauber
Almeda Wright

Mary Hess (ex officio)
Lucinda Huffaker (ex officio)
Joyce Mercer (ex officio)

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REA 2020 Postponed

After careful consideration of all of the issues, the REA Steering Committee has decided to postpone our annual meeting to July 6-9, 2021.

In doing so we realize there are many things that will have to change, but we feel very strongly that the REA community does its best work — both in scholarship and teaching — when we are able to gather in person.

So, please mark your calendars right now to come to St. Paul, MN July 6-9, 2021.

Many more details will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead, including some special events that will take place during what would have been our meeting in November.

peace — and may all of you stay well!

Hanan Alexander, President, REA board

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Theology in Practice seeking book proposals

Theology in Practice extends the horizons of the discipline and scholarship of practical theology. It promises to enrich the academic discourse and supply material of interest to scholars and professional graduate students. Books in the series will be in conversation with scholarship in the discipline and reflect engagement with diverse voices in the field (e.g., gender, race, international). They will feature developments in the theories of practice, experience, culture, and action that define the discipline, while also attending to the close study of lived faith and theologically significant practices. Authors will range from senior scholars presenting mature research to young scholars pursuing promising fresh avenues. The series is also open to edited volumes on emerging topics. Audiences will be practical theologians and other interested scholars and graduate students in established and emerging geographical, institutional, and religious contexts.

For more information regarding the series and possible submissions please contact Brill’s Acquisitions Editor for Theology and World Christianity, Tessel Jonquière (mail to: jonquiere [at] brill [dot] com).

Please help us to share this information — here is a flyer you can use.

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