Prof. LeRon Shults Lecturing in Boston

Prof. F. LeRon Shults is visiting Boston University in the first week of November, meeting with colleagues and students, and delivering a public lecture.

Lecture title: "Transforming Religious Plurality: Applying Family Systems Theory to Interreligious Dialogue."

Time: 4:30pm-6:00pm on Wednesday November 3, 2010

Place: 745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, room B19 (in the basement lecture hall)

Dr. Shults is well known for his interdisciplinary theological work, especially integrating psychology and theology, but more recently also including religious studies and comparative theology. To find out more about Prof. Shults, visit his website.

Spectrums Project Gets Underway

Wesley Wildman is working with Dr. Catherine Caldwell-Harris from Boston University's Psychology Department on a new program of research aimed at learning more about ideological polarization in politics, morality, and religion. Ideological spectrums have been studied intensively in relation to politics, and in recent years morality has received renewed attention. Both spheres of research have yielded fascinating insights into why people adopt the political and moral beliefs they do, what kinds of personality and behavioral correlations exist for various positions on ideological spectrums, and how people change over the lifespan in their moral and political opinions and practices.

New Journal Announced: Religion, Brain, and Behavior

A new journal on the scientific study of religion is about to begin publication. The first issue of Religion, Brain & Behavioris to appear in February 2011 from Taylor & Francis journals. Neurologist Patrick McNamara (Boston University), Anthropologist Richard Sosis (University of Connecticut), and Wesley Wildman are the co-editors, with James Haag (Suffolk University) as assistant editor.

The aim of Religion, Brain & Behavior (RBB) is to provide a vehicle for the advancement of current biological approaches to understanding religion at every level from brain to behavior. RBB unites multiple disciplinary perspectives that share these interests.

Lecture on Scientific Study of Religion to Visiting Chinese Scholars

For fifteen years, Dr. Zhongxin Wang (pictured with me at right) has been running the Chinese Christian Scholars Association in North America (CCSANA), bringing professors from Chinese universities to the USA for conferences and vice versa. I have had the privilege of going on a CCSANA- sponsored lecture tour through China in 2004-2005 and I participate in the local conferences in Boston whenever I can.

This year, on Friday July 9, 2010, I will present a lecture to the most recent group of visiting Chinese scholars on the flourishing of the scientific study of religion. Dr. Wang tells me that this is a topic of great interest to many Chinese academics and researchers and I can certainly understand that.

One-Day "Wisdom of the Ages" Conference Focuses on Religious and Spiritual Experiences

The fifth "Wisdom of the Ages" conference is to be held on Friday July 23, 2010 at the Holiday Inn in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The traditional theme of Bowen Theory in these conferences is being focused on this occasion on my Religious and Spiritual Experiences, to appear with Cambridge University Press late in 2010. My  two keynote lectures during the day are entitled "The Description and Range of Religious and Spiritual Experiences" and "Religious and Spiritual Experiences in the Future."

Claude Welch Memorial

(This address was delivered to the American Theological Society's annual meeting at Princeton Theological Seminary, March 26, 2010.) PDF version

This evening I begin with a conventional review of Claude Welch’s life and achievements before turning to some more personal remarks.

Claude Raymond Welch (pictured at right) was born March 10, 1922, in Genoa City, Wisconsin. His parents were Virgil and Deone Welch. His father Virgil was a minister and a Professor of Bible Studies at Upper Iowa University. Claude was the second of their four children, growing up in Fayette, Iowa with older brother Robert and younger siblings Wesley and Irene.