Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pagans at AAR - M. Mueller

I am at the annual American Academy of Religion meeting in Atlanta, GA. There are representations from COG and Cherry Hill Seminary here. Pagan attendants include M. Macha Nightmare, Holli Emore, Michael York, Maggie Beaumont, Patrick McCollum, Wendy Griffin, Marion Mason, Sarah Pike, Grant Potts, Chas Clifton, Doug Ezzy, and others. Many of these Pagans have presented papers, moderated, or responded. 

Sarah Pike presided at and Wendy Griffin and Jone Salmonsen gave papers at the Ritual Studies Group and Body and Religion Consultation. Helen Berger, Marion Mason, and Christopher Chase gave papers in a joint session of Contemporary Pagan Studies Group and Men, Masculinities, and Religions Group. Chas Clifton presided; Douglas Ezzy and Mark Justad responded. I believe Mark Justad plays a role in the Men, Masculinities, and Religions Group.
I went to the annual Feminist Liberation Theologians’ Network meeting, where it’s tradition for everyone in the room to introduce her or himself, a less common practice for big sessions here. My former supervisor Mary Hunt convenes this meeting. It’s so important for Witches to participate in this network. Feminist Witches have been leading pioneers in spiritual liberation. I want for our voices to continue to be in the conversation. Grove Harris attended. I’m glad to have been part of a Pagan presence there.

I attended a lunch for queer scholars. I got to sit with Rebecca Alpert, a leading Jewish feminist scholar. I love her stuff! Rebecca was very friendly and approachable and is open to continuing correspondence with me….which is great because she’s in my area, Philadelphia! I have an appointment with Elisabeth Schussler-Fiorenza tomorrow, another one of my “intellectual heartthrobs” (I’ve been using that term a lot this weekend).

Last night Kitty Sarkozy led “A Chants Encounter: A Pagan Gospel/Jam Session,” a night of singing and socializing.

Sunday night most Pagans will be meeting in the evening for ritual. The “Samhain Ritual Honoring the Dead” is open to guests and is listed in the program!

I caught up with Patrick McCollum firsthand about his experience in Kazakhstan. At this important international meeting, Patrick developed intimate professional relationships with global political and religious leaders. He is doing the relationship building that I find so fundamentally important in interfaith. The convening organization’s objectives are for ecological health. Look for other press releases, the Wild Hunt, or ask Patrick for more information.

As always, there is tons happening around here and many Pagans! This entry is a sampling of what’s happening and what I’ve been doing. It is by no means exhaustive.

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