Archive for conference

Baltimore and Chicago This Week

Posted in Dating God Book, Franciscan Spirituality with tags , , , , , on November 16, 2012 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Like nearly all graduate students and scholars in the broadly conceived field of the study of religion, I’m a member of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), which holds its annual conference (i.e., massive religious-nerd circus) in different locations around the United States each November. This year it’s being held in Chicago and it kicks off this afternoon in some part and in full-force tomorrow (Saturday). It runs through Tuesday and should prove to be an exciting, exhausting, energizing, and enjoyable time. I’ll make my way to the conference later this weekend after I give a day of reflection at a retreat center in Maryland. The daylong series of talks is titled: “Prayer as Relationship: A Franciscan Day of Reflection” and will be followed by an afternoon book signing. You can learn more by visiting the website of the Retreat and Conference Center at Bon Secours in Marriottsville, MD. For all my fellow theology and religious studies nerds, I’ll see you in Chicago! For those planning to attend this event in Marland, I’ll see you there! For the rest of you, I hope you have a great weekend and will see you back here at next week!

Peace and good!

Photo: Stock (Chicago Skyline)

Merton Conference on Technology was a Success

Posted in Thomas Merton, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 25, 2011 by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

There are so many things to share and discuss from this weekend’s “Contemplation in a Technological Era: Thomas Merton’s Insight for the Twenty-First Century” conference. The presenters and the papers were all very interesting, each adding to what became a two-day living conversation that was marked by the passion of the presenters and conference attendees. I was fortunate to meet many people this weekend and to discuss a variety of topics from Thomas Merton and his work on contemplation to the issues and challenges that our own technological age present to us today.

There were some familiar faces and friends that I’ve known in the Merton scholarly world for some time and there were some new faces. Among the new folks was a group of young adults who are part of the New Seeds Program of the Episcopal Service Corp. The director of the program in Louisville, KY is Rev. Canon Amy Real Coultas, with whom I had a wonderful conversation after my paper. She was one of the few people in attendance who was familiar with Palfrey and Gasser’s important book, Born Digital. It was great to see a group of Millennials in the crowd and to see how engaged they were in the discussions. For those who still think that Merton does not appeal to young people today, forget about it — young people love Merton and the interest will only increase (we just need to spread the word).

I thought I might be able to comment on each of the papers, but I realize that would be too much because there are just a million wonderful insights and reflections to share. Although I won’t be able to do that here, I do recommend that folks interested in this subject plan to buy the next volume of The Merton Annual, which will be released next Spring and is usually available on among other places. It will contain all the papers from this conference.

I want to take this opportunity to again thank Paul Pearson, the director of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University, and Gray Matthews for the invitation to be one of the presenters this weekend. They, and others like Mark Meade, the assistant director of the Center, did an excellent job putting the events together and facilitating a great conference.

Photo: Merton Legacy Trust
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