Spring 2017 Religion and Spirituality Section Update

Michael Goodman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University

It was wonderful to be together at our annual conference in Minneapolis this past November. There were several excellent paper and poster presentations. We’d especially like to congratulate Meg Wilkes Karraker and Carol J. Bruess for their paper “Religion, Spirituality, and Social Values Among Midwestern Middle-Class Families,” which won the award for Professional Outstanding Paper, and Woosang Hwang, Merril Silverstein, and Maria Brown for their paper “Religious Discordance Between Adult Children and Their Parents: Consequences for Intergenerational Solidarity Across Several Decades,” which won the award for Student/New Professional Outstanding Paper.

We would also like to offer a special thanks to Julie Zaloudek, who has just completed her service as our Section Chair. Because of circumstances outside of her control, she stepped into that role a year before she was expecting to and stayed on a year beyond what she originally agreed to. Plus, she is not done yet, as she will continue to serve our section in the capacity of Past Chair for the coming two years. Sincere thanks to her for this service above and beyond the call of duty. We are also grateful for the continuing service of Pamela Payne as our Secretary/Treasurer and Ashlie Lester as our Students/New Professionals Representative.

We’d like to send out a plea to the many wonderful professional members of our section. We have many section members who are making a significant contribution to the study of religion, spirituality, and the family. Many of you are sending your students to take part in our annual conference, and we would like to encourage as many students as are willing and able to continue to participate. We would also like to extend a special invitation to our professional members to consider adding their expertise and experience to both our annual conference and our section’s work throughout the year. Your experience and expertise provide a powerful example to the many students who are involved. We would also like to increase our ability to collaborate, which becomes easier and more likely as we get to know one another better.

Finally, consider this an open invitation to send any suggestions, concerns, or desires you may have about making the work of our section more helpful and beneficial. The last thing any of us needs is more busywork. Because of that, we want to focus our section’s efforts on what matters most, and we the section members are the ones who determine that.

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