Asheville Annual Meeting (2016)

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The 6th Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers was held at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. We began at 1:30pm on Monday, July 18 and concluded at Noon on Wednesday, July 20.

In attendance were 57 directors, staff, and board members representing 16 Study Centers and 13 Partner Organizations from 20 states across the nation.

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Our two speakers were Drs. Felicia Wu Song and George Yancey. Dr. Song gave two lectures. The first focused on how a Christian’s commitments to the significance of embodiment and material culture can inform our digital practices and motivate new spiritual disciplines in a technologically-mediated age. Her second lecture explored how social media promises both personal and economic empowerment but also has its hidden dangers.

Dr. Yancey’s lecture addressed racial issues on campus and in U.S. society generally. After evaluating a variety of paradigms attempting to deal with race in the U.S., he offered a paradigm based in Christian thought and values, which centered around the importance of active listening to each other.

Below are detailed bios of Drs. Song and Yancey as well as a schedule of the meeting.

Felicia-Wu-Song-325x487Dr. Felicia Wu Song joined Westmont in 2013 as Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department.  After previously teaching at Louisiana State University’s Manship School for Mass Communication, she brings a keen interest in the rapidly evolving social media industry and how the adoption of social media is fundamentally altering the landscape of the family, religion, education, advertising, social movements, and mass media. Her current research on “mommy bloggers” involves participant observation at social media conferences and interviews with women invested in blogging and social media as a profession. When she is not teaching or researching, she enjoys being a foodie with her husband, Ed, and reading children’s books and driving recklessly on Mario Kart Wii with her two children.

George Yancey

After graduating West Texas State University with a B. S. in Economics, Dr. George Yancey attended the University of Texas at Austin and received his doctorate in Sociology in 1995. He first began to study interracial romance; later he worked with Michael Emerson on a half-million dollar grant to study multiracial churches.  A number of books resulted from this work, including his 2006 IVP book Beyond Racial Gridlock: Embracing Mutual Responsibility. His most recent work is on academic bias, and he continues to conduct research on anti-Christian attitudes in the United States. He has three books on this topic, including Compromising Scholarship: Religious and Political Bias in American Higher Education (Baylor University Press, 2010). In 1999 Dr. Yancey began teaching at the University of North Texas, and today is working to establish a program for Christian Studies at that institution. It will be the first center that concentrates on conducting critical, but non-hostile, research that helps Christians to better serve their communities and the larger society.

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∼ 2016 ANNUAL MEETING SCHEDULE ∼

 

MONDAY, JULY 18

 

Directed Discussion I: 1:30-5:00 pm

 

Welcome and Introduction: Drew Trotter, Executive Director, Consortium of Christian Study Centers

 

Conviviality, Hospitality, Tomfoolery:  Karl Johnson, Executive Director, Chesterton House, moderator.

Participants:

  • Madison Perry, Executive Director, North Carolina Study Center
  • Rimes McElveen, Executive Director, Mere Christianity Forum
  • Bill Wilder, Executive Director, Center for Christian Study

 

Mentoring Others, Mentoring Ourselves:  David Mahan, Executive Director, Rivendell Institute, moderator.

Participants:

  • Richard Horner, Executive Director, Christian Study Center of Gainesville
  • Missy DeRegibus, Executive Director, Cogito

 

Partner Organization Summer Resources:  Drew Trotter, Executive Director, Consortium of Christian Study Centers, moderator

Participants:

  • Peter Escalante, Curriculum Director, The Davenant Trust
  • Chris Robertson, Program Outreach Coordinator, Acton Institute
  • Drew Trotter on behalf of Regent College and The Salzburg Institute

 

Plenary Session 1: 7:15- 9:00pm

 

Body + Bread: Towards a Practical Theology of Technology  Felicia Wu Song

 

Click HERE to listen to Dr. Song’s lecture.

 

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TUESDAY, JULY 19

 

Plenary Session 2: 9:00-11:30am

 

Blogging: The Serious Business of Selling Authenticity and Finding Community – Felicia Wu Song

 

Click HERE to listen to Dr. Song’s lecture.

 

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Plenary Session 3: 7:30-9:00pm

 

Is there a Christian Solution to Racism?  – George Yancey

 

Click HERE to listen to Dr. Yancey’s  lecture and HERE to view his PowerPoint slides.

 

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After the evening session, Blake Anderson and Michael Bossman from Ratio Christi (a Partner Organization), surprised us with a rare Torah Scroll display.

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  • A Bible manuscript exhibit featuring a 92-foot-long, three-century-old Torah scroll.
  • The Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible (aka Pentateuch when it’s in book form).
  • Dated roughly 1750 but the work continues on provenance.
  • This scroll is presently thought to be from Germany.
  • That this is one of the scrolls that survived the Holocaust must have been an incredible story in itself.
  • Survived Kristallnacht Nov 9-10, 1938 hundreds of Synagogues were burned and over 800 scrolls were burned.

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 20

 

Directed Discussion II: 9:00-11:30am

 

Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? – Drew Trotter

 

Click HERE for Dr. Trotter’s lecture.

 

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