Health worker report on faith collaborations in the US

This report of a one-day workshop discussed how folks working in the health sector might positively work together with “faith-based health assets.” Conversations included an overview of community faith-based assets and how they relate to population health, health improvement, evidence-based efforts, and more. Published by the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the pre-publication version is available as a free download.

Read online.

Posted in Booknote, Educational resource, Web resource

First Book Workshop – Application Call – Deadline 9/6/19

Do you know of a recent dissertation (maybe yours!) that bridges religion and health in the ancient world? Is the author (maybe you) busy in (or looking for) a teaching job while hanging between a finished dissertation and “The Book.” Need input and wisdom from other scholars in the field? Want a roundtable feedback with peers to help turn it into a book? If the answers are YES, please consider the following application:

ReMeDHe First Book Workshop – May 2020, Chicago, IL
(directly prior to the North American Patristics Society annual meeting)


The international working-group ReMeDHe (Religion, Medicine, Disability, and Health in late antiquity) invites applications for its 2020 First Book Workshop. The workshop gives two early-career scholars the opportunity to receive feedback on their dissertation (or draft of their first book), as well as tips on publication, from senior and junior colleagues who work on similar topics, sources, and questions.


  • Authors pre-circulate their drafts for all participants to read in advance of the workshop.
  • The morning of the workshop will be broken into two sessions, one for each author. Each session begins with brief opening remarks by the author and a formal response by a senior scholar before the floor is opened up to feedback from other participants. Overall, participants focus on identifying the major strengths and contributions of the draft, prioritizing areas for revision, and offering publication strategies.
  • The afternoon will again be broken into two sessions, one for each author. These sessions are dedicated to clarifying and expanding on ideas raised in the morning session, providing additional feedback, and fielding lingering questions.
  • For each workshop session, a participant will be assigned to take notes, freeing up the authors to fully engage in the conversation
  • The organizing committee will work with authors to identify scholars to invite as formal respondents and participants (approximately 15 total).
  • The workshop strives to be collegial and supportive. Our overarching goal is to strengthen the emerging scholarship on health, healing, and medicine, as well as to support junior scholars.


  • Applicants should be working on their first academic monograph on a topic that fits within the interdisciplinary scope of the ReMeDHe working group (i.e., related to religion, and health, healing, medicine).
  • Applicants should have a polished full draft of their dissertation (or draft monograph) ready to circulate by January 2020.


  • Deadline for applications: September 6, 2019
  • Notification of applicants: late September
  • Deadline for circulating drafts: late January 2020
  • Workshop: late May, directly prior to the North American Patristics Society annual meeting (in Chicago).

 Costs Involved

  • There is no cost for participating in the workshop. (Should participants wish to stay for the North American Patristics Society annual meeting, they will need to secure their own funding for NAPS membership and conference registration fee.)
  • We have received a small grant and are awaiting notification about another larger grant that may be able to subsidize some costs for participants (i.e., travel, accommodations for the workshop date). Funding will be prioritized for the authors whose drafts will be workshopped. We will do our best to ensure that anyone who wishes to participate but who has limited/no institutional funding, is able to do so.


  • Apply using this Qualtrics form:
  • The application includes:
  • Abstract of the project: summary of the main argument and of the logical moves of each chapter (500 words, Word or PDF file)
  • The names of five late antique scholars (not on your dissertation committee) whose scholarship has been particularly instructive to your work and who would be appropriate scholars we could invite to respond to your draft
  • A bulleted list of the disciplines, subfields, and scholarly conversations with which your monograph engages
  • Your projected timeline (e.g., completion of dissertation, anticipated completion of a polished full draft, projected timeline to submit for peer review, target date for publication, etc.)
  • Applications will be reviewed by a set of ReMeDHe Board members, listed at the top of the page here
  • Application deadline: September 6, 2019


Should you have any additional questions about the workshop or the application, please feel free to be in touch with Prof. Kristi Upson-Saia,

Should you like to inquire about the experience of being an author whose monograph is workshopped, please feel free to be in touch with Prof. Julie Kelto Lillis,


Posted in Educational resource, News, Upcoming Event

Kippers posted from here; and other summer reflections

Definitely my favorite image so far this summer.

A few more summer favorites, a bit closer to home:
~~~   maritime roses ready soon to harvest for rose hip jelly:
beach buckets:

child and dog sandprints

seagull at breakfast:

summer acorns:

padlock on the ferry:

Posted in Photo essay

Food, Health & The Body: Duke Collaborative Calls for Applications

The Reimagining Health Collaborative (RHC), part of Duke Divinity School’s Theology, Medicine, and Culture Program, is accepting applications for its 2019 cohort: Food, Health, and the Body.  In 2019-2020, the RHC invites churches and Christian communities to explore the deep interconnections of food, health, and Christian faith. The application deadline is August 2, 2019.

Food connects us to our bodies, to each other, and to the earth. A whole-person, whole-community approach to food is central to Christian faith. At its best, food is a source of connection, health, and celebration. But too often, food is a source of disconnection, inequality, and shame….READ MORE





Posted in Educational resource, News, Upcoming Event

CFP: Religion & Public Health in Environmental Research

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health invites paper submissions for a forthcoming special issue on religion and public health. Deadline for submissions: December 2, 2019. Learn more here. Download the flier here or at the journal website. The editors warmly encourage papers on relevant connections that reach creatively beyond their suggested keywords.



About the photos: The Berlin TV tower (Fernsehturm), built in East Berlin in 1964, during the systematic atheism of Socialist rule, ironically shone a cross from the center (seen at left from the Berlin Wall) due to the natural process of sunlight on the reflective components, which Christians in the west dubbed “The Pope’s Revenge.” At right is the tower as seen on a smoggy day in the rain. Click on images to view enlarged.


Posted in Educational resource, News, Upcoming Event, Web resource

Thank you, Ellen Aitken: Updated

I posted this originally in 2014, when I first learned of the tragic death to very aggressive cancer on June 14 of that summer of Ellen Bradshaw Aitken. This post is a slightly updated “remembering again,” adding a few more links that have appeared in the interim (see below). Ellen was an ordained Anglican/Episcopal priest, Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, and a scholar in the connections between classical traditions and early Christian history. She was also instrumental in helping the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to shape its work in Faith and Globalisation, now present at McGill and in over 30 universities worldwide. Read the Tony Blair Foundation’s tribute. Read more about the Foundation’s Faith and Globalisation Initiative, and its Teaching Network.

I first met Ellen in the year we both began our studies at Harvard Divinity School. We shared a heritage of families who had been early Americans/Canadians forced into political/economic exile and torn identities across the same border. At conferences we would always share a few words and I was ever encouraged by her peace and the way she radiated quiet wisdom. I saw her last at about 4 AM one Easter morning a few years ago, when she and her husband had driven down from Montreal for the annual holy week celebrations and Easter vigil/resurrection service at the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) in Cambridge, Mass, where we were both members of the Fellowship. Here is a link to a 2011 sermon she preached at SSJE, “Reflections on a Rule of Life” which concludes with her fitting call for “sharing in the mystery of death and resurrection.”

View the online memorial tribute to Ellen from her colleagues and friends. Also another here from the Episcopal Church Foundation.

View her 1982 thesis from Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies, and a tribute by her former teacher, Professor Gregory Nagy.

Posted in Reflection

Patristic Studies in Boston: July 14-19, 2019

The Pappas Patristic Institute of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology is pleased to announce the thirteenth annual Summer Program in Patristic Studies (July 14-19, 2019). View program announcement pdf and registration form. Below is the detailed summary provided by Program Director, Dr. Bruce Beck (also on the announcement). Please share with any you know who might be interested!

This is a unique opportunity to study and discuss classic Patristic texts through small group-study brief faculty lectures.  The intended audience for the program includes theology and religious studies students at the masters and undergraduate levels, clergy, interested lay people, and undergraduates with an interest in learning more about the Church Fathers.  Doctoral-level students are also encouraged to participate, or to apply for teaching fellowships.

Morning (9:15-12:15 – choose one)

  1. Restoring Relationships: Guilt and Forgiveness in the Fathers, Dr. George Tsakiridis
  2. The Desert Fathers: Stories and Sayings for Contemporary Life, Dr. Sean Argondizza-Moberg
  3. Wealth and Poverty in John Chrysostom: An Anti-Prosperity Gospel, Dr Samantha Miller
  4. Emotions in Early Christian Ascetical Literature, Dr. Despina Prassas

Afternoon (2:00 – 5:00 – choose one)

  1. The Church in the Apostolic Fathers, Dr. Bruce Beck and Dr. Jim Skedros
  2. Theodicy: The Church Fathers on the Victory of God, Dr. David Goodin
  3. The Ascending Pilgrimage: the Spiritual Life according to Irenaeus of Lyons, Dr. Don Springer

The program goes from Sunday evening, July 14, through Friday afternoon, July 19.  Housing is provided on campus in the campus dormitory from Sunday evening through Friday night.  If you would prefer to stay in a hotel, please let me know so that we can facilitate your accommodation at a nearby hotel. Each course will be offered daily during a three-hour session.  Each participant will have the opportunity to take two courses (see below for more details on the schedule and methodology).

To register for the program, and select your courses, please fill out the web registration form here. Please address any questions about the program to Dr. Bruce Beck at Registration fees are not due until the beginning of the program, July 14, 2019.

Program Fees:

  • Registration (includes lunch and breaks):                       $300
  • Dormitory Room and Board (for 6 nights, Sun – Fri, and meals)       $300

Program Details:

  • Goal: to provide the opportunity for in-depth, group study of significant theological topics of contemporary relevance based on selected writings of the ancient Church.
  • Primary Audience: Masters-level students of theology, divinity, or similar programs who wish to further their knowledge of the writings and practices of the early Church. All others interested in coming are also welcome to apply.
  • Pedagogical Method: each course will study primary patristic texts organized topically.  Each class period has three types of learning; 1) the instructor provides an overview of the texts being studied, including their historical contexts and relevance for the class; 2) the class divides into small groups of 6-8 persons led by Teaching Fellows who are doctoral students; 3) the instructor offers a 20-30 minute lecture followed by further discussion with the entire class.
  • Structure of Program

o   Check in Sunday afternoon between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m.  Orientation and opening presentation will be Sunday evening after dinner.

o   Sessions will be held Monday through Friday per the above schedule.

o   Sessions will consist of group, text-study sessions led by faculty along with doctoral-level teaching assistants.

o   Each session will be 3 hours, consisting of

  • 15 minutes introduction of the texts by instructor
  • 90 minutes group study led by instructor and teaching fellow
  • Break (30 Minutes)
  • 45 minutes lecture and further discussion

o   Each participant will choose two courses of study for the week.   Each course will meet 5 times (once each day).

Founded by a generous grant from the late Stephen Pappas and his wife Catherine, the goal of the Pappas Patristic Institute is the advancement and promotion of eastern patristic studies in the service of the academy and of the Church.

Posted in Educational resource, News, Upcoming Event