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Regional Coordinator:

Eric Cunningham
226 East 23rd Avenue
Spokane, WA 99203
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Region's Website

This is just a gentle reminder that registration for the Pacific Northwest Regional meeting is now open! Online registration will close on April 13, 2012.

May 11–13, 2012
Concordia University
Portland, Oregon, USA

Concordia is a private, Christian, liberal arts university open to students of any faith. Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, Concordia University is committed to the dual purpose of preparing students for life and for a living. Concordia provides a challenging, yet supportive learning environment where spirited intellectual inquiry strengthens our commitment to justice, compassion, and moral integrity. They respect diversity, and integrate faith into every aspect of learning, service, and life. Concordia University is one of ten universities founded by the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and is the only LCMS university in Oregon. They have been an integral part of the Pacific Northwest since 1905. Approximately 2,500 students attend the university.

For a map with directions to Concordia University, click here. Parking on campus is free.


We have two options for housing this year. Both are close to Concordia University and the Portland Airport. The rate at each hotel is $72.00 per night. You must phone the hotel directly to make your reservation. A map with directions from the hotels to Concordia University is posted here. These will also be available at the hotel when you check-in. The hotels are 5.8 miles from Concordia (13 minutes). Parking on campus is free.

Option #1:
The Clarion Hotel
11518 NE Glenn Widing Drive
Portland, OR 97220
Phone: 503-252-2222

The website for amenities, directions and map is here. Code: Be sure to mention “Northwest Region AAR/SBL/ASOR” when making the reservation. The deadline to guarantee the conference rate is April 26, 2012.

Option #2:
Shilo Inn Suites Hotel
11707 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220
Phone: 503-252-7500

The website for amenities, directions and map is here. Code: Be sure to mention “Northwest Region American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature” when making the reservation. The deadline to guarantee the conference rate is April 27, 2012.

Carpool and/or Shuttles

After March 15, 2012, there will be a tab (click on “Carpool”) on our website. If you are interested in receiving information about transportation between the hotels and Concordia, please follow the instructions.

Program Highlights

New This Year!! Food on Friday Night!

Concordia’s beautiful campus is nestled in a Portland neighborhood with few dining choices close by. So this year we are offering tickets for a Friday night buffet prior to the Presidential Address. Everything will take place in the same building (church, actually), so please plan to come to the buffet followed by the Presidential Address and Reception. You may purchase tickets for the buffet when you register for the conference. Additionally, the Study of Islam program unit is offering a screening of a documentary following the Reception (see information below).

Presidential Address on Friday Evening

Please plan on joining us for the Presidential Address given by President Heidi M. Szpek, department of philosophy and religious studies at Central Washington University. The title of her talk is “The Jewish Epitaph Reconsidered: Towards Reversing a Century of Condemnation.”

Saturday Evening Banquet Address

Our Banquet Address will be given by Gerardo Marti, L. Richardson King Associate Professor of Sociology at Davidson College. His latest book, Worship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation (Oxford University Press, 2012), demonstrates how ideas of race and ethnicity affect liturgy as cultural practice, especially through religious ritual inclusion of “conspicuous color.”

Saturday Morning Plenary Speaker

The Venerable Geshe Thupten Phelgye, Member of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, will deliver the plenary address on Saturday morning at 11:00 AM. Geshe is currently Global Scholar in Residence at Gonzaga University. Please visit his website for more information. http://www.universalcompassion.org/geshe-thupten-phelgye/

The Study of Islam Section of the PNW-AAR

The Study of Islam section of the PNW-AAR plans at the Spring 2012 meeting in Portland to begin a tradition of screening films on and/or by Muslims during each of our regional annual meetings. Each year, a different member of the Section will choose one or two films to be shown and to lead a brief discussion. In the choice of films, special emphasis will be placed on films deemed of particular pedagogical value.

For the Spring 2012 meeting, Rick Colby, University of Oregon, will present a pair of films for viewing and discussion, one a feature film and one a documentary.

The first film to be screened at the Spring 2012 meeting, on Friday afternoon from 3:00 PM-5:30 PM, will be a feature film entitled The Lizard (Marmoulak), a critically acclaimed Iranian comedy-drama directed by Kamal Tabrizi.  The Lizard tells the story of an atheist and convicted thief from Tehran who escapes prison by wearing the garb of a religious leader and finds himself embraced as the imam of a small Iranian village.

The second, to be screened Friday evening from 9:30 PM-11:00 PM, is a 52-minute documentary called Me and the Mosque, by Canadian filmmaker Zarqa Nawaz.  It charts Nawaz's personal research into the rise of barriers and partitions that contemporary Muslim women increasingly face in public prayer spaces across North America.

All are welcome to attend and we hope that you will join us in Portland to inaugurate this new annual tradition.

Sections at the Regional Annual Meeting

  • Arts and Religion
  • Asian and Comparative Studies
  • Hebrew Scriptures
  • History of Christianity and North American Religions
  • New Testament and Hellenistic Religions
  • Religion and Society
  • Special Topic: Islam
  • Theology and Philosophy of Religion
  • Women and Religion

2012 Student Paper Competition

Awards for Outstanding Student Papers in the Fields of Biblical Studies and Religious Studies

We will issue the following:

  • (2) $100 awards for winning graduate papers
  • (2) $100 awards (1st Place) for winning undergraduate papers
  • (2) $50 awards (2nd place) for winning undergraduate papers

Submissions must meet the following criteria to be considered:

  • No more than 5,000 words (including footnotes) for undergraduate papers
  • No more than 7,000 words (including footnotes) for graduate papers
  • Papers should be in 12-point font and double-spaced
  • Format papers according to either JAAR or JBL guidelines
  • Papers must be free of clerical or grammatical errors

Submissions should include the following:

  • One paper copy
  • One electronic version in standard word processing format, without author information (Submit author information in a separate file)
  • A brief letter of support from a Pacific Northwest Region AAR, SBL, or ASOR faculty member
  • Name, home mailing address, social security number/social insurance number, educational institution, and graduate or undergraduate status

Submit entries by March 25, 2012, to:

Dr. Robert Hauck
Religious Studies Department, AD 57
Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA 99258-0057
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Awards will be announced at the regional meeting. Students need not be present to win.

SBL Regional Scholars Program

SBL members presenting a paper at the meeting may wish to be considered for the Regional Scholars Program. To qualify as a candidate for this award, the applicant must be either ABD or no more than four years past receipt of the PhD. Applicants should inform Ardy Bass, the SBL Regional Coordinator, at least two weeks prior to the meeting that he or she intends to apply for the award. The applicant must present a paper at the SBL regional meeting and then submit the paper and a complete CV (both in electronic and hard copy) to the Regional Coordinator after the meeting. If selected as a winner by the National Society's Regional Scholar Award Selection Committee, the winner receives $1,000 in support of attendance at the Annual SBL Meeting and will be honored at the Regional Scholars Dinner at the Annual Meeting. The winner is also strongly encouraged to submit a proposal to the Annual Meeting in the year following his or her selection. For more information, contact Ardy Bass at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Future Meetings

Right now we are negotiating with the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, for a possible meeting date of May 10–12, 2013. There are financial concerns that will be discussed at our Business Meeting in May. This is not a firm commitment, so if you and your institution would be willing to host a regional meeting, please contact Ardy Bass, Executive Secretary, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as soon as possible. Thank you!

In 2014, we should meet somewhere in Canada.

Please note that the system for electronic submission of paper proposals is now closed.

This website contains archived issues of Religious Studies News published online from March 2010 to May 2013, and PDF versions of print editions published from Winter 2001 to October 2009.

This site also contains archived issues of Spotlight on Teaching (May 1999 to May 2013) and Spotlight on Theological Education (March 2007 to March 2013).

For current issues of RSN, beginning with the October 2013 issue, please see here.