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The AAR in Chicago

November 29, 2008

I was fortunate to attend the meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) – held this year in Chicago. I have attended the meetings once before – in Toronto in 2002 when they were combined with the Society of Biblical Literature.
One of the first sessions I attended was a Wildcard session on Apocalypticism – The End Is Not What It Used to Be: The Taming of the Apocalyptic Movements in American Religions, chaired by a friend of mine, Julius Nam of Loma Linda University. Ginger Hanks Harwood of La Sierra University was one of the presenters.
apocalypticism

From L to R: Kenneth G. C. Newport (Liverpool Hope University), Ginger Hanks Harwood (La Sierra University), Grant Underwood (Brigham Young University), Richard Landes (Boston University), and Julius Nam (Loma Linda University).

The second session I attended with a SDA connection was a session sponsored by the Psychology, Culture and Religion group which focussed on a play called “Red Books” written & directed by Mei Ann Teo, artist in residence at Pacific Union College. The session was presented by A. Gregory Schneider (Pacific Union College), and Mei Ann Teo, and was titled, “Knowing through Becoming- Exercises in Documentary Theater: Reflections on Red Books: Our Search for Ellen White”.

The title refers to the books of Ellen G. White which were (and still are) published as red-bound hardcover books:

egw-book

The session was interactive & very interesting. You can purchase the DVD of the play here. There were many. many other sessions on everything from Street Side Memorials, to the Reformation, to Black Gospel Music.  It was good to meet others interested in the study of religion. The publishers were there in force also & while I did try to restrain myself, I came home with the following pile, a rather eclectic mix:

books

From Eerdmans I picked up the new edition of Prophetess of Health by Ronald Numbers as well as the new biography of William Miller: God’s Strange Work by David L. Rowe. I have started reading the latter & will post a review in due time.

On Sunday evening I attended the Adventist Graduate Student Reception. It was great to meet new people including Trisha Famisaran and Ron Pickell of the Adventist Christian Fellowship of the North American Division. After the meal some of us walked to Millennium park. Here’s the group in front of this cool stainless steel bubble sculpture:

grad-students

2 comments

  1. Thanks for posting the pics, Jeff. It was great to spend time together in Chicago. I’m looking forward to your review of David Rowe’s book.

    One thing – at the end of the first paragraph, you say Ginger is from LLU. She is, as you noted elsewhere, teaching at LSU.

    Merry Christmas!


  2. Thanks for the correction Julius, I’m embarrassed that crept in.



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