SARTS Annual Meeting & Events 2013

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We hope you will join SARTS in Baltimore this November for any or all of these events.

We hope you will join SARTS in Baltimore this November for any or all of these events, held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Invite others - download our meeting flyer.


Friday, November 22

Reception Honoring Robin Jensen (P22-406)
7:00-9:00 PM, Renaissance Harborplace Maryland Ballroom A

Join the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies (SARTS) for its annual reception. This year we will honor out-going SARTS president, Robin Jensen (Vanderbilt Divinity School), who will give a brief presentation on her current work. Members and non-members welcome.


Saturday, November 23

Board Meeting
7:30-8:45 AM, Marriott Inner Harbor Grand Ballroom East

Business Meeting of the Society (P23-3)
9:00-9:15 AM, Marriott Inner Harbor Grand Ballroom East

2012-13 Fellow Presentations (P23-3)
9:15-10:45 AM, Marriott Inner Harbor Grand Ballroom East

  • Paul Ryan Bonfiglio (Emory University) "Reading Images, Seeing Texts: The Role of Visual Literacy and Visual Thinking in Ancient Israelite Religion"
  • Lisa DiFranza (Columbia College) "The Living News: Shelter"
  • Ada Focer (Boston University) "motive Magazine Recovery and Promotion Project"
  • Michael Brandon McCormack (Vanderbilt University) "The Art of Prophesying: The Prophetic Tradition, Hip Hop Aesthetics, and the Cultural Production of The Cornell West Theory"
  • Virginia Wiles (New Brunswick Theological Seminary) "A Habit of Surprise: Comedy as a Strategy for Interpreting Scripture"

10:45-11:00 AM

Panel: “Orpheus Revisited: Can Arts Ever Lead Theology? And where?” (P23-117)
11:00 AM-12:30 PM, Marriott Inner Harbor Grand Ballroom East

Chair: Kim Vrudny, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn. (USA)

Frank Burch Brown, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis (USA)
Larry Bouchard, University of Virginia (USA)
Maeve Heaney, Australian Catholic University (Australia)
Russell Re Manning, University of Aberdeen (Scotland)

Respondent: David Brown, University of St. Andrews (Scotland)

Orpheus, in ancient mythology, used music and poetry to exercise sacred powers, with consequences sometimes marvelous, sometimes tragic. What are the powers of artistry with respect to theology? What does art potentially offer, and potentially receive, in the theological realms (whether Hades or Heaven, or Earth in transformation)? Frank Burch Brown's opening paper poses questions and answers that grow out of his own work as a musician and theologian of aesthetics, drawing also on the proposals of British theologian David Brown. Panelists are Catholic as well as Protestant, with expertise in the arts, theology, and ethics.

Board Meeting
12:45-2:30 PM, Marriott Inner Harbor Grand Ballroom East

Tour of the Walters Art Gallery
3:00-5:00 PM, 600 N Charles St, Baltimore MD 21201

Join SARTS for a tour of the Walters Art Gallery, one of the world's major museums with significant holdings in religious art. The tour will be theological in nature and led by board members Robin Jensen and Jaime Lara. We will meet at the front desk of the gallery at 3:00 PM. The tour is open to the public but limited to 25 participants. To register, please contact Kayla Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . (The Basilica of the Assumption, which is near the gallery, is architecturally and historically significant. SARTS recommends that attendees stop by the Basilica on their way to the gallery or sometime during their time in Baltimore.)


Monday, November 25

Christian Systematic Theology Section (A25-303)
4:00-6:30 PM, Convention Center-310

Theme: "A New Way of Doing Theology": David Brown and the Practices of Art and Faith
Ellen T. Charry, Princeton Theological Seminary, Presiding
David Brown, Respondent