When the world’s largest gathering of scholars interested in the study of religion gathered November 20-23 in San Antonio, members of the Perkins and SMU communities were well-represented.  The 2021 Annual Meetings, hosted by the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, featured more than 1,000 academic sessions, workshops, meetings, receptions, tours and other events.  Most events were held in person, along with a limited number of virtual sessions. Perkins and SMU faculty, staff and students spoke, presided or served as panelists at more than a dozen events during the gathering. They included:

Friday, November 19, 2021

Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society Unit
Theme: Legacy, Leverage, and Political Leadership:
Black Women’s Activism and Building Collective Futures
Karen Baker-Fletcher, Southern Methodist University
Four Black Women Activists and the Power of Resilience: Coretta Scott King, Ruby Sales, Patrice Khan Cullors, and Angela Davis

Religion and Popular Culture Unit
Theme: The Gospel According to Bono: A Critical Conversation Around Neoliberal Religion
Jill DeTemple, Southern Methodist University, Panelist

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Christian Systematic Theology Unit and Baylor University Press
Theme: Book Panel Discussing N.T. Wright’s History and Eschatology:
Jesus and the Promise of Natural Theology
Natalia Marandiuc, Southern Methodist University, Presiding

Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies
Theme: Buddhist-Christian Reflections on Nationalism
Ruben L.F. Habito, Southern Methodist University, Presiding

Evangelical Studies Unit and Religion and the Social Sciences Unit
Theme: Evangelicism, Science, and Inequality
Lane Davis, Southern Methodist University
Institutionalizing a Pandemic: Texas Methodists’ Progressive Response to the 1918 Flu

Public Understanding of Religion Committee and Religion and Public Schools: International Perspectives Unit
Theme: Teaching about Religion in Texas Public Schools:
Historical and Legal Perspectives and a Case Study
Mark A. Chancey, Southern Methodist University
Bible Literacy Bills and the 2006 Texas Bible Course Law

Women and Religion Unit and Women’s Caucus
Theme: Re-engaging Praxis: A Call for Action
Haley Feuerbacher, Southern Methodist University
The Economics of Purity and Marriage: Towards a Communal and Postcolonial Christian Ethics of Sex Positivity Inspired by and Indigenous Women’s Land Rights Movement

Synoptic Gospels
Theme: Traditional Approaches, Fresh Questions
Abraham Smith, Southern Methodist University, Presiding

Women in the Biblical World / Feminist Hermeneutics of the Bible
Theme: Fostering Intersectionality and Dialogic Practices in the Classroom:
Pedagogical Approaches in Womanist/Feminist/Queer Biblical Studies
Susanne Scholz, Southern Methodist University, Presiding

Anthropology of Religion Unit
Theme: Pandemic Religiosity: What Ethnography Reveals About Adaptation, Experimentation, and Failure
Marie Purcell, Southern Methodist University
Uncertain Certainties about Worship: First Baptist Dallas Copes with the Pandemic

Postcolonial and Biblical Studies
“Advancing to the Ends of the Earth”: Lamenting Domination in 1 Maccabees (Kelley Coblentz Bautch) and Colonial Babel (Jeremiah Cataldo)
Susanne Scholz, Southern Methodist University, Respondent

Sunday, November 21

Graduate Student Committee

Theme: Confronting Poverty and Inequality as Scholars (and Students) of Religion
Lane Davis, Southern Methodist University
The Poor Are Always with Us: The Apathy of Religion in Modern American Progressivism

Manchester Wesley Research Centre and Pentecostal Theological Seminary
Theme: Social Engagement in the Holiness and Pentecostal Traditions
Priscilla Pope-Levison, Southern Methodist University
Fallen Women, Fallen Society: The Social Engagement of Holiness and Pentecostal Rescue Homes

Homiletics and Biblical Studies
Theme: Review of O. Wes Allen’s The Preacher’s Bible Handbook
Abraham Smith, Southern Methodist University, Panelist
Wesley Allen, Southern Methodist University, Respondent

Bible in America
Kelsey Spinnato, Southern Methodist University
Excised and Flattened: The Matriarchs in US Children’s Bibles

Monday, November 22

African Religions Unit, Bioethics Unit, Religion in Southeast Asia Unit, and Religions, Medicine, and Healing Unit
Theme: Faith in a Time of COVID-19: Religion & Public Health Measures
Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Southern Methodist University
Trauma Texas-Style: International Students Facing Both a Pandemic and Natural Disaster

Christian Systematic Theology Unit
Theme: Healing, Hospitality, Transformation, and Flourishing
Business Meeting: Natalia Marandiuc, Southern Methodist University, Presiding

African-American Biblical Hermeneutics
Theme: Have Not Our Weary Feet: Honoring the Work of Randall C. Bailey
Abraham Smith, Southern Methodist University, Panelist

Latina/o Religion, Culture, and Society
Theme: Latinx/Asian Religious Confluences
Business Meeting: Ángel Gallardo, Southern Methodist University, Presiding

Teaching Religion Unit
Theme: Teaching Tactics
Jill DeTemple, Southern Methodist University
Five Things: Creating Connection and Engagement While Discouraging Polarization in a Graduate Seminar

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Homiletics and Biblical Studies
Theme: Preaching Against the Grain
Wesley Allen, Southern Methodist University, Presiding