Southwest Commission on Religious Studies
Southwest Regional Meeting Preliminary Program of Events
March 4-6, 2022

View PDF Program With Room Assignments Here


Friday 2:00-5:00pm

AAR-SW Future Planning Meeting

All interested conference attendees should contact Tiffany Puett ( for details on the workshop.


Friday 6:00pm

Informal meet and mingle, hotel lobby, and bar area 


Friday 7:00-9:00pm

National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion-SW Meeting


Saturday 8:00-10:00

SWCRS Board of Directors Meeting


Saturday 8:30-10:00am

National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion-SW Meeting


Saturday 10:00–12:00

ASSR: On Cultures Then and Now

Facilitator: Karen O’Dell Bullock, B. H. Carroll Theological Institute

10:00    Theme: Panel Discussion of Elizabeth H. Flowers and Karen K. Seat, eds., A Marginal Majority:  Women, Gender, and a Reimagining of Southern Baptists.


11:00       Theme: Gender, and a Reimagining of Southern Baptists.

Elizabeth H. Flowers, Baylor University;
Carol Holcomb, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor;
Courtney Pace, Prathia Hall Scholar: Equity for Women in the Church;
Karen K. Seat, The University of Arizona


Saturday 10:30–12:00

AAR: Comparative and Asian Studies in Religions

Theme: India: Religion, Politics, and the Public Sphere
Presiding: Mark Dennis, Texas Christian University

10:30 “Good Guru, Bad Guru: Hinduism, the Public Sphere, and Women’s Religious
Politics in India’s Kumbh Mela Festival”
Antoinette E. DeNapoli, Texas Christian University

11:00 “Śakti & Satyagraha: Representation of Śakti in post-independence Indian national
security discourse”
Arunjana Das, Georgetown University

11:30 “Teaching the Consequences of India’s Partition in a World Religions Course”
Mark Dennis, Texas Christian University


AAR: Theta Alpha Kappa

Presiding: Jenny Veninga, St. Edward’s University

10:30 “Churches and Technology: The Status Quaestionis”
Ariah Alba, St. Edward’s University

11:00 “Untold Stories from Fowler’s Stages of Faith: Broadening the Conversation and Adding 
Modern Perspectives”
Jacob Harrell, Oklahoma City University


AAR: Arts, Literature, and Religion

Theme: “Forgiveness in the public sphere: Confronting the (supposed?) errors of thought, word, and deed of literary icons”
Presiding: Rachel Toombs, Baylor University

10:30 “Reading the Confessions of Junot Díaz”
Julia Erhardt, University of Oklahoma

11:00 “On the Work and Deeds of Sherman Alexie and the #Metoo Movement”
Rebecca Huskey, University of Oklahoma

11:30 “On Flannery O’Connor’s Difficult Language”
Rachel Toombs, Baylor University


AAR: Black Theology

Theme: Black Theology and Public Life

Presiding: Hue Woodson, Tarrant County College

10:30 “Black Public Intellectual Life in the Prophetic Tradition: Cornel West’s Legacy and the 
Early Thought of Michael Eric Dyson and Eddie Glaude Jr.”
Hue Woodson, Tarrant County College

11:00 “Becoming Human: The Racializing Rhetoric of Reconciliation”
Whitney Wilkinson Arreche, Duke University

11:30 “George S. Benson and “The Curse of Ham,” Harding College, 1963”
Tim Bench, Independent Scholar


AAR: Public Scholarship

Theme: Roundtable discussion: Religious Literacy in Texas: Issues, Needs, and Opportunities”
Presiding: Tiffany Puett, Institute for Diversity and Civic Life

David Brockman, Baker Institute, Rice University and Texas Christian University
Kathy Downey, Independent Scholar
Tiffany Puett, Institute for Diversity and Civic Life


Second Temple and Late Antique Judaism: Bodies, Spirits, and Wisdom

Presiding: Joseph McDonald, Brite Divinity School (TCU)

Vance Halfaker, Brite Divinity School (TCU)
“Christ’s Journey in Spirit: Enochic Traditions and the Material Spirit in 1 Peter 3:18-22”

Austin Kelly Mitchell and Caryn Tamber-Rosenau, University of Houston
“Diagnosing Deviance: Lepers and “Transsexuals” in Leviticus and the DSM”

David Schones, Austin College
“Didactic and Apocalyptic Wisdom: A Comparative Reading of Ecclesiastes and 2 Esdras”


Hebrew Bible 1:  Hebrew Bible in its ANE Context

Presiding: Lisa Wolfe, Oklahoma City University

Erin Newton, B. H. Carroll Theological Institute
“Leviathan and the Bronze Serpent Cult: Chaoskampf as a Polemic against Henotheism”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Tyler Fulcher, Baylor University
“All Israel Shall Mourn: Abijah’s Post-mortem Care as a Rebuke to the Northern Kingdom”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Joshua Jones, University of Texas at Austin
“The Rod of Anger and the Yoke of Babylon: A New Look at Overlordship and Sovereignty in the Ancient Near East”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)


Hebrew Bible 2: Psalms for Trauma and Resilience, Violence and Peace

Presiding: Stephen B. Reid, George W. Truett Theological Seminary

H. Bellinger Jr., Baylor University (15 minutes)
Rebecca Poe Hays, George W. Truett Theological Seminary (15 minutes)
Dennis Tucker Jr., George W. Truett Theological Seminary (15 minutes
Deirdre N. Fulton, Baylor University (15 minutes)

Discussion (30 minutes)


New Testament and Early Christianity 1: Pauline Epistles

Presiding: Matthew L. Moravec (Trinity College Bristol, England)

Kyle Sherling, Houston Baptist University
“The Scandal of Foreskinned Heirs: Paul’s Adoption Language in Romans 8-9”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Amy Smith Carman, Brite Divinity School
“Phoebe, Prisca, and Junia: Exploring the Mobile Women of Romans 16”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Casey B. Hough, Luther Rice College and Seminary
“When Kingdoms Collide: Philemon as a Paradigm for Negotiating Status Conflict between Church and State”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)


New Testament and Early Christianity 2: Early Christian “Literature”

Presiding: Susan Benton (Baylor University)

Hannah Lents, The University of Texas at Austin
“The Birth of a Universal Paul: The Use of Paul as a Character in 1 Clement”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Robert Matthew Calhoun, Texas Christian University
“The Apotropaic Paul”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Jordan A. Swanson, The University of Texas at Austin
“A Tale of Two Antonies”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)


Saturday 1:30–3:30

AAR: Comparative and Asian Studies in Religions

Theme: Roundtable discussion: “Religion and the Public Sphere” through the Lens of
Contemplative Practice 
Presiding: Chad Pevateaux, independent scholar

Kendra Weddle, Scholar-in-Residence, Northaven Church
Max Sklansky, independent scholar
Chad Pevateaux, independent scholar
Andy Fort, Texas Christian University
Mark Dennis, Texas Christian University


AAR: Latinx Religions and The Profession, Joint Session

Theme: Mentoring and the Professionalization of Scholars of Religion: Latina/o/x Perspectives
Presiding: João Chaves, Hispanic Theological Initiative, Princeton Theological Seminary

Antoinette DeNapoli, Texas Christian University 
Erik Estrada, Texas Christian University
Santiago Piñon, Texas Christian University
Grace Vargas, Texas Christian University
Francisco Lozada Jr., Brite Divinity School
Yolanda M. Santiago Correa, Southern Methodist University
Bobby Martinez, Baylor University


AAR: Ethics, Society, and Cultural Analysis

Theme: Current Cultural Issues

Presiding: Katina D. Harris, Prairie View A&M University

1:30 “Is There a Duty to Get Vaccinated” 
Gregory Bock, The University of Texas at Tyler 

2:00 “Rethinking Evangelical Witness in the Public Sphere” 
Claire Hein Blanton, University of Aberdeen 

2:30 “The Language of Forgiveness and Its Role in Shaping the Future” 
Preston Byrd, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 

3:00 “Charles Taylor, H. Richard Niebuhr, and the Sabbath as Synthesis”
Abigail Wooley Cutter, Southwestern College 


AAR: History of Christianity and Religion, Gender & Sexuality Joint Session

Theme: Cultural Ordination and Christian Women’s Quest for Power

Presiding: Carol Holcomb, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

“Cultural Ordination and Women’s Quest for Power,” Mandy McMichael, Baylor University

“Margaret Mead Among the Priests,” Elesha Coffman, Baylor University

“Romancing the New Evangelical Woman” Emma Fenske, Baylor History

Karen Seat, Respondent, The University of Arizona


ASSR: Churches: Ministry, Care, Politics, and Intentionality

Presiding: Jesse Hoover

Theme: Churches: Ministry, Intentionality, Politics, and Care

1:30     J.B. Watson, Jr., Stephen F. Austin State University
“Missing Out on the Age Wave: Why are Churches Failing to Fully Embrace the Encore Stage of  Life?”

2:00     Ben D. Craver, Wayland Baptist University, San Antonio
“’Persons’ Living with Dementia: Toward a Christian Ethic of Care”

2:30     Carmen Celestini, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
“History Repeating: The John Birch Society, Patriot Churches, and Political Social Movements”

3:00     Business Meeting


Second Temple and Late Antique Judaism:

Genres of Rewriting in Second Temple Judaism (Cambridge): A Discussion with Molly Zahn

Presiding: Kelley Coblentz Bautch, St. Edward’s University

Lidija Novakovic, Baylor University (20 minutes)
Ariel Feldman, Brite Divinity School (TCU) (20 minutes)
Caryn Tamber-Rosenau, University of Houston (20 minutes)
Stephen Reid, George W. Truett Theological Seminary (20 minutes)
Molly M. Zahn, University of Kansas (20 minutes)

Discussion (20 minutes)


Hebrew Bible: Reading the Hebrew Bible through New Lenses

Presiding: Susanne Scholz, Perkins School of Theology (SMU)

Nicholas R. Werse, Baylor University
“Reading the Book of the Twelve in the Age of Ecological Crisis” (25 minutes)

Brent Nessler, Baylor University
“Bathsheba, Archetype of a Voice Reclaimed: Tracing Bathsheba’s Metamorphosis through the Lens of Trauma and Recovery” (25 minutes)

Joshua Turpin, Brite Divinity School (TCU)
“Writing in the King’s Name: Reading Esther and Mordecai’s Letter through a Postcolonial Lens” (25 minutes)

Discussion (45 minutes)


New Testament and Early Christianity: Synoptic Gospels

Presiding: Amy Smith Carman (Brite Divinity School)  

Tobias Ålöw, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
“‘Repent, for the king from heaven is here’: Re-Reading Matthew 3:2, 4:17, and 10:7” (25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Susan E. Benton, Baylor University
“Economic Virtues in Nichomachean Ethics and the Synoptic Gospels” (25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Matthew L. Moravec, Trinity College Bristol, England
“Psalmic Hand-Me-Down: The Hands of God and Enemies in Psalm 30 LXX and the Gospel of Luke” (25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Christian Sanche, Baylor University
“Wee Little Men of Controversy: Toll Collectors, Zacchaeus, and Fulfillment” (25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)


Korean Biblical Colloquium: Korean American/Korean and Multiracial Biblical Interpretation

Presiding: Jin Young Kim (Oklahoma State University)

Wongi Park, Belmont University
“Multiracial Biblical Studies” (20 min)

Sung Soo Hong, Louisville Seminary
“A Community of Friends: Friendship and Moral Progress in John 15:12-17” (20 min)

John Ahn, Howard University
“Korean and Korean American Biblical Studies” (20 min)

Discussion (15 min)


Saturday 4:00–5:30

AAR-SW Plenary Session

Plenary Talk: “Religion and the Public Sphere: Past Challenges and Paths Forward”

Stephen C. Finley
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the Program in African & African American Studies, Louisiana State University  


ASSR: “Emergent” Churches and Modern Spiritualism

Presiding: Darren J. N. Middleton

Theme: On Culture and History Then and Now

4:00     Patrick Scott Smith, Independent Researcher, Nixa, Missouri
“Scythian Culture and Religion”

4:30    Michael D. Royster, Prairie View A&M University
“Becoming a Model Citizen: The Role of Religious Culture and Participation”

5:00    Jesse Hoover, Baylor University
“The Apocalyptic Arian of the 5th and 6th Centuries”

5:30     Todd Jay Leonard, Fukuoka University of Education, Japan
“A Brief History of Camp Chesterfield:  An Influential and Pioneering Force in the Movement of Modern Spiritualism since 1886”


SBL-SW Plenary: Racism and the field of Biblical Studies

Presiding: Grace Vargas, Texas Christian University

Ruben Dupertuis, Trinity University (15 min)
Jee Hei Park, Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest (15 min)
Jeremy Williams, Brite Divinity School (TCU)- (15 mins)
Molly M. Zahn, University of Kansas (15 mins)

Discussion: (25 mins)


Saturday 6:30–8:00

ASSR: German Missionaries, Critiquing God and the Devil, Native American Shrines

Presiding: J.B. Watson, Jr.

6:30     Dawson Davis, Indiana University
“Missionaries: Imperial Germany’s Social Engineers in Africa”

7:00     Nicholas Elliott, University of Southern Mississippi
“Criticizing the Devil; Critiquing God: Fiction Literature as a Potential and Legitimate Means of Criticizing and Critiquing Religion”

7:30     Servando Z Hinojosa, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
‘The Place of Shrines in Native American Church Observances in South Texas”


SBL Keynote Address

Presiding: Margaret Aymer, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Vincent Wimbush, Institute for Signifying Scriptures,
“Tribunals of Jurists and Congresses of Scholars”:
Signifyin(g) (on) Biblical Studies as Colonial-Civilizational Masquerade


Sunday 7:30-8:15

AAR Business Meeting


Sunday 8:00–9:30


Presiding: Ben D. Craver

Theme: Louis de Wohl, Substance Use and Religious Practices, “Emergent” Churches, and K-pop

8:00     Darren J. N. Middleton, Texas Christian University
“Louis de Wohl: Shady Astrologer, MI5 Recruit, Christian Storyteller”

8:30      Adam Toler, Yale Divinity School
“A Comparative Phenomenological Study of Substance Use and Religious Practice in Celebration and Coping”

9:00     Jon K. Loessin, Wharton County Junior College
“Solids, Liquids, Gases, and Plasmas: The Elementary Forms of “Emergent” Churches”

9:30     Karol A. Chandler-Ezell, Stephen F. Austin State University
“Following the Pied Pipers.. Is K-pop Idol stanning Idolatry.. or just Fake Love?”


Sunday 8:30–10:30

AAR: Black Theology

Theme: Black Theology in the Public Sphere: Revisiting Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s Viral “God Damn America” Sermon Post Obama

Presiding: Hue Woodson, Tarrant County College

Carla Brailey, Texas Southern University, Vice Chair of Texas Democratic Party
Jonathan Chism, University of Houston Downtown
Lamont Johnson, Shaw University
Darius Benton, University of Houston Downtown


AAR: Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

Theme: Whence and Whither Sex and Gender?: Heeding the Past to Help Form a Better Future

Presiding: Chad Pevateaux, Independent Scholar

8:30 “Was it Always about Sex and Gender?: Medieval Partisanship and the Feminine 
Lora Walsh, University of Arkansas

9:00 “Furniture, Fiend, or Female: Asserting the Humanity of Bilhah and Her Descendants”
Erin J. Beall, Brite Divinity School

9:30 “The New Eve: A Redemptive Pneumatology in Creation and Covenant”
Emily C.S. Spears, Fuller Theological Seminary

Respondents: Chad Pevateaux, Independent Scholar, and Laulie Eckberger, University of Wales Trinity St. David


AAR: Ethics, Society, and Cultural Analysis

Theme: Ethics in the Public Sphere

Presiding: Katina D. Harris, Prairie View A&M University 

8:30 “Family, Church, or Country? American Politics and Christian Ethics as Community 
Danny Sebastian, Southern Methodist University

9:00 “Victimhood and Persecution, the Role of White Nationalists in Canadian Populism”
Carmen Celestini, University of Waterloo

9:30 “Corporate Culture of Self-Care: Religiosity in Business Spaces”
Kandace Geldmeier, DeVry University/Dallas College

10:00 “Corona Chronicles: Navigating Religious Community in the Pandemic”
Mary Wilson, Independent Scholar


SBL Regional Senior Scholar Review Panel:  “Translation Matters: Translation as a Womanist Biblical Interpretive Practice: Engaging the Scholarship of Wil Gafney”

Presiding: Kamilah Hall Sharp, Brite Divinity School (TCU)

Margaret Aymer (Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary) (20 mins)
Jamie Clark-Soles (Perkins School of Theology ) (20 mins)
Stephen Reid (Truett Theological Seminar) (20 mins)
Dominique Robinson (Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest) (20 mins)

Wil Gafney (Brite Divinity School) (20 mins)

Discussion (20 mins)


Second Temple and Late Antique Judaism: Josephus, Wisdom, and Faith

Presiding: Kelley Coblentz Bautch, St. Edward’s University

Marcus Hayes, Brite Divinity School, TCU
“Stripping Syria for a More Splendid Way of Life: Tobiads, Ptolemies, and the Ethics of Wisdom”

Rodney Kilgore, Baylor University
“The Language of Faith in Matthew through the Lens of the Mekhilta”

Jackson Abhau, University of Arizona
“Jesus, Jesus, and Jeremiah: Understanding the Jesus ben Ananias Pericope in Josephus”


Hebrew Bible: Literature and Legacy of the Hebrew Bible

Presiding: Kim Williams Bodenhamer, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Jacob Caballero, University of Texas at Austin
“Rhetorical Strategies in the Incest Legislation of Leviticus 18” (25 minutes)

Stuart Lasine, Wichita State University
“Sensing Humor and its Absence: Jonah and the Book of Tobit” (25 minutes)

Rannfrid Thelle, Wichita State University
“Gunkel’s Israel und Babylonien: A Public Defense of the Concept of Revelation” (25 minutes)

Discussion (45 minutes)


New Testament and Early Christianity: Epistolary Literature

Presiding: Matt Calhoun (TCU)

Jackson Reinhardt, Vanderbilt University
‘That ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil’: Divine Viceregency and the Armor of God in Ephesians”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Christopher D. Marsh, Dallas Theological Seminary
“Intoning a Multiethnic Social Imagery: Reviewing Colossians 1:12-20 as a Hybridized Song Form”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Sharon L. Gresham, B. H. Carroll Theological Institute
“An Analysis of Tongues and Fire in James 3:5b-6 in Light of Pentecost and Sinai”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)

Tobias Hägerland, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
“The Grief of Childbearing and Salvific Repentance: An Intertextual Reading of 1 Timothy 2:15”
(25 minutes) + discussion (5 minutes)


Sunday 10:00–12:00

ASSR: Nihilism, Rejecting Religion, Genshin Impact

Presiding: David Holcomb

Theme: K-pop, Nihilism, Rejecting Religion, Genshin Impact

10:00   Briana T. Cox, Stephen F. Austin State University
“Is K-pop Idol Worship Idolatry?”

10:30    Maximus Davis, Stephen F. Austin State University
“Nihilism in Dark Souls III”

11:00    Bianca Penk, Stephen F. Austin State University
“Spiritual But Not Religious: Why are more and more young people rejecting religion?”

11:30    Kirsten Wilson, Stephen F. Austin State University
“The Many Religions of Genshin Impact: Created Religions as Game Context and Character Development”


Sunday 11:00–12:30

AAR: Theta Alpha Kappa

Presiding: Jenny Veninga, St. Edward’s University

11:00 “Divine-human Hybrids in Ancient Judaism: A Response to Greek Occupation”
Madeline Jackson, St. Edward’s University, 

11:30 “Queen Vashti as a Feminist Example”
Allie McMurry, Oklahoma City University

12:00 “Prim’Evil’ Water: Biblical Representation of Evil and Demonic Presence in Water”
Zachary Rodriguez, St. Edward’s University


AAR: Theology

Theme: Ideas Old and New: Humiliation, Contemplation, and Divine Simplicity 
Presiding: Lance Green, University of St Andrews 

11:00 “Post-baptismal Salvation through Public Humiliation: The Neglected Penitential Context 
for Pelagius’ Early Fifth-Century Debates over Salvation by Faith Alone”
Erik Estrada, Texas Christian University 

11:30 “May I Enter, Lord, with Thee: The Second Personal Act of Contemplation” 
Lindsey Johnson Edwards. Dallas Theology Seminary

12:00 “Models and Metaphors in the Classical Doctrine of God: An Analysis of Contemporary 
Reflections on Divine Simplicity and Unity” 
Mark Wiebe, Lubbock Christian University


AAR: History of Christianity

Theme: Christianity in the Public Sphere
Presiding: Rachel Ozanne, University of Texas at Austin and Ryan Fitzgerald, St. Edward’s University

11:00 “Holiness Social Revival: How 19th century circuit preachers transformed the American 
public sphere”
Justin Davis, Boise State University, 

11:30 “Walter Ellis Burch, Jr.: The Forgotten Voice of Racial Justice”
Wes Crawford, Abilene Christian University

12:00 “Conservative Evangelical Understandings of Islam during the 2016 Election”
Van Wagner, Institute for Diversity and Civic Life,


SBL Presidential Address

Susanne Scholz, Perkins School of Theology; Richard Bautch, St. Edwards University
“(Post) Pandemic Biblical Exegesis? Two Cultural Critics Compare Notes and Exchange Maps”


12:00PM – 12:30PM: Annual Awards Ceremony and Concluding Session