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In Memoriam: Hall Peebles, 1931–2012

Hall Peebles, member of AAR from 1988 to 1997, passed away on Thursday, January 5, at the age of 81. A native of Augusta, Georgia, Hall taught at Wabash College from 1958 until his retirement from the College in 1998. Peebles graduated from the University of Georgia with a philosophy major; and he later attended Yale University, where he received his bachelor’s of divinity degree, his master’s in theology, and PhD in theology.

Born January 9, 1930, Hall and his wife, Emma, had three sons, David, John, and Mark. Arriving at the College as an instructor in the religion department, he received tenure in 1964 and was named a full professor in 1977. In 1980, he was named the Edgar Evans Professor of Religion. Peebles taught Old Testament at Wabash College; his lectures were even broadcast on local cable television. He was also an expert on Far Eastern religions. In 1991, the National Association of Wabash Men named him an Honorary Alumnus. He was also the recipient of the McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Excellence in Teaching Award. Peebles was a prolific scholar, authoring scores of book reviews and journal articles.

In Memoriam: Sarah Ruth Hammond, 1977–2011

Sarah Ruth Hammond, a brilliant young scholar of American religious history and AAR member of thirteen years, died unexpectedly on November 24, 2011. At the time, she was working as a visiting assistant professor at the College of William and Mary. One of the last things Hammond did was attend the 2011 Annual Meetings in San Francisco, California, and many fondly remember her presence.

Hammond received her BA in 1999 and PhD in 2010, both from Yale University. Her dissertation was entitled, “‘God’s Business Men’: Entrepreneurial Evangelicals in Depression and War.” Hammond received numerous fellowships during her graduate studies, including a Mellon fellowship, a Franke fellowship, and a Lake Fellowship from the Center for the Study of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Her first book was under contract with the University of Chicago Press, and her article, “‘God Is My Partner’: An Evangelical Business Man Confronts Depression and War,” had recently been published in the September 2011 issue of Church History.

Frank Yamada, AAR Member, Becomes President of McCormick Theological Seminary

McCormick Theological Seminary inaugurated Frank Yamada as its tenth President on February 9, 2012. Yamada is the first Asian American to be appointed President of a Presbyterian Church (USA) seminary. Yamada joined McCormick Theological Seminary in 2008, serving as an associate professor of Hebrew Bible and director of the Center for Asian American Ministries. He earned his MDiv and DPhil from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studies Hebrew Bible with an emphasis on hermeneutics, feminist theory, and culturally-contextual biblical interpretation. Yamada is the author of Configurations of Rape in the Hebrew Bible: A Literary Analysis of Three Rape Narratives (Peter Lang, 2008).

Journal of Africana Religions Established

The Journal of Africana Religions, the world’s first and only English-language journal to examine black religions in global perspective, will be published quarterly in both print and multimedia by Pennsylvania State University Press starting in January, 2013. The journal will focus on the religious experiences and expressions of African-descended people across the globe and will explore religious traditions influenced by the diverse cultural heritage of Africa.

The editorial board of the journal includes historians, anthropologists, sociologists, literature scholars, and religious studies scholars from Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In addition, it boasts the presence of two former presidents of the American Academy of Religion.

Further information on the journal is available at www.africanareligions.org.

IUPUI Center Receives $507,000 Lilly Endowment Grant for National Study on the Bible

Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) a $507,000 grant to support a study on how Americans relate to the Bible in their everyday lives. The three-year project, “The Bible in American Life,” is the first large-scale national study on the way scripture is read and interpreted in everyday life. The project is driven by the recognition that although the Bible has been central to both public life and Christian practice throughout American history, not much is known about how people read the Bible for themselves or how religious life and practice affect an individual’s understanding of scripture.

During the first stage of the study the grant will support research on scriptures tied to two leading scientific surveys, the National Opinion Research Council’s 2012 General Social Survey, and Duke University’s National Congregations Study. The second stage will involve an historical and cultural interpretation of the surveys by a team of scholars of the Bible in America. A white paper will be released in 2013, and a national conference with peer-reviewed papers will be held in Indianapolis in 2014.

For more information, visit http://www.iupui.edu/~raac/.


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