The American Academy of Religion is holding its annual meeting in San Francisco this year, drawing academic theologians and religious scholars from over 1,000 colleges, universities, seminaries, and other schools in every corner of the United States (and, in recent years, other nations) for several days of presentations, workshops, and networking within and across disciplines (the Society for Biblical Literature is holding its own meeting in conjunction with the AAR). Even as people are still arriving and settling in, this Friday afternoon offers an impressive opening (in fifteen minutes, so I'm typing fast):
The Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies is offering New Frontiers in Theological Aesthetics: Taking Stock and Charting Course, with Mia Mochizuki of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley presiding, at 3pm. Other presenters in this round-table presentation on "the future of Theological Aesthetics" include Ronald Nakasone, William O'Neill, Thomas Scirghi, Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu, Oleg Byrchov, and Frank Burch Brown.
The round-table is being held to honor the life and work of Alejandro Garcia-Rivera, a longtime professor at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and a major figure in the field of Theological Aesthetics over the past two decades. Garcia-Rivera passed away on December 13, 2010. A tribute to Alex (and more information on today's session) can be found here.
Jim Keane, S.J.
P.S. Further updates on the AAR to come throughout the weekend.