Return to Gathering Homepage 2022 NetVUE Regional Gathering - Preceding the AAR/SBL Annual Meeting

​NetVUE Regional Gathering


An AAR/SBL Pre-Meeting

Thursday and Friday, November 17–18, 2022
Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion
and the Society of Biblical Literature
Denver, Colorado

Registration Fee: $25 per person for NetVUE members; $50 for non-members

Registration Deadline: November 11, 2022

Early Bird Registrants (by October 28) will receive a free copy of Kiara Jorgenson's Ecology of Vocation at the meeting

Register Now

Over the last few years, the world has experienced a global health pandemic, extreme polarization along lines of race and class, an increase in armed violence, and a surge of climate-related disasters. How have these events and trends altered conversations with undergraduate students about vocation and calling? How are students, staff, and faculty members affected by a sense of impending catastrophe? This event builds on NetVUE gatherings at AAR/SBL meetings in 2019 and 2021 (focusing on interreligious conversations and issues of justice). As always, the event will include panel presentations, book discussions, and interactive conversations, as well as opportunities for socializing and networking. Attendees of the AAR/SBL Annual Meetings are invited to arrive in Denver a day or two early for this pre-conference gathering, which will address questions such as these:

  • How do current crises, particularly those related to climate and the environment, affect our understanding of the broader ecologies of vocation?
  • How can faculty members in religious studies, theology, and related fields best help students to navigate current cultural circumstances and discern their various callings in the face of severe challenges?
  • What resources (readings, discussion topics, and pedagogical approaches) are available to theologians and religious studies scholars who seek to emphasize the relationships among religion, catastrophe, and personal reflection and discernment?
  • What obstacles are classroom teachers likely to face in addressing these issues in the religious studies classroom, and how can these obstacles be addressed?

This gathering will be of interest to those who teach or advise undergraduate students in religious studies, theology, ethics, and related fields, including those that focus on interreligious and interfaith studies.

Tentative Schedule of Events

Thursday, November 17, 2022  (sheraton downtown, director's Row H - note room change)

2:00 p.m.

Introduction: catastrophe as denouement and revelation

David S. Cunningham, Director of NetVUE
2:30 p.m.

Opening comments: ecology of vocation

Kiara A. Jorgenson, Assistant Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies, St. Olaf College (MN)

2:45 p.m.

panel: responses to KIARA JORGENSON's ecology of vocation: RECASTING CALLING IN A NEW PlaNeTARY ERA

Geoffrey W. Bateman, Associate Professor of Peace and Justice Studies, Regis University (CO)
Steven Bouma-Prediger, Leonard and Marjorie Maas Professor of Reformed Theology, Hope College (MI)                                     
Sarah E. Robinson, Resident Assistant Professor of Religion and the Environment, Pacific Lutheran University (WA)
3:45 p.m.


4:00 p.m.

discussion with panelists

5:00 p.m.

Reception (SHERATON DOWNTOWN, director's row e - NOTE ROOM CHANGE)

6:30 p.m.

Dinner at a local restaurant

Friday, November 18, 2022 (sherATON DOWNTOWN, GOVERNOR'S SQUARE 12 )

9:00 a.m.

panel: catastrophic vocations

Scott Bader-Saye, Academic Dean and Helen and Everett H. Jones Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology, Seminary of the Southwest (TX)
Courtney M. Dorroll, Associate Professor of Religion and Co-Director of the Center for Innovation and Learning, Wofford College (SC)
Nicholas A. Lewis, Associate Vice President for Academic Initiatives and Associate Dean, Bard College (NY)
10:30 a.m.


10:45 a.m.

CLOSING PLENARY ADDRESS: living vocationally in a world on fire

David L. Clough, Chair in Theology and Applied Sciences, University of Aberdeen


Registered participants for the pre-meeting are invited to the Thursday reception (complimentary appetizers and open bar), as well as dinner at a local restaurant.

Because this event is connected to the Annual Meetings of the American Academy of Religion or Society of Biblical Literature, lodging needs will vary. Members of AAR or SBL who are registered for the Annual Meeting can obtain discounted lodging through the organization of which they are a member. Limited assistance for lodging costs is available to participants from NetVUE member institutions who are unable to pay for the extra night of lodging; send details of your circumstances to David S. Cunningham, director of NetVUE, at Details concerning area hotels, as well as airport transfer and parking information, is available on the SBL website or  the AAR website.

Registration: Register for this event.  Please remember you will need to sign in with your CIC login and password in order to complete registration. A link is available on the sign-in page for those who have forgotten their password or need to create an account.

NetVUE is a program of the Council of Independent Colleges and is grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for its generous support of this event.

netvue sessions at the aar/sbl meeting

Sunday, November 20, 1:00–3:30 p.m.
Denver Convention Center, Mile High 3B (Lower Level)

Empowering Communities of Color: The Role of Faculty in Religious and Biblical Studies
Faculty members in religious and biblical studies have sometimes turned to the language of “vocation” and “calling” to help students to reflect on the future direction of their lives. But certain interpretations of these concepts can drift into individualistic and subjectivist modes, rather than supporting thriving communities and seeking the common good. Especially for students of color, the idea of vocation as a “hero’s journey” often fails to acknowledge the realities of their lives—whether within the university setting or outside it. Patrick Reyes takes on these issues directly in his recent book, The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thrive (Westminster John Knox, 2021). In this session, several scholars in religious and biblical studies will offer reflections on the book, to which the author will offer a response. Significant time will be allowed for questions and group conversation.

Stephen E. Fowl, Loyola University Maryland (MD)
Armando Guerrero Estrada, Dominican University (IL)
Kirsten S. Oh, Azusa Pacific University (CA)
C. Hannah Schell, Independent Scholar

Patrick B. Reyes, Forum for Theological Exploration

Sunday, November 20, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (come and go as your schedule allows) 
Embassy Suites-Leadville (Third Level)

NetVUE Reception for Members and Friends 
David S. Cunningham, Director of NetVUE, and Lynne M. Spoelhof, NetVUE Program Manager 

All SBL and AAR participants are invited to join us for this reception, whether or not their institutions are members of the network. Attendees can learn more about NetVUE (including faculty development and grant opportunities), connect with friends and colleagues with similar interests, and enjoy one another’s company. Light appetizers and cash bar.