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Newsletter, Spring 2017

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Highlights from SCSM President, Jennifer Bloxam:
“I’m delighted to share with you the Spring 2017 SCSM Newsletter, wherein you will find, among other things, reflections on the 2017 meeting at Scripps College and the Graduate Student Panel (by Emilie Coakley and Adam Perez) as well as two thought-provoking essays on the subject of the Christian Imagination (by Chelle Stearns and Johann Buis).

Peters headshot fall 2016 3 smallA Special Note: A resounding “Thank You!” to Mark Peters, who with this issue completes a four-year stint as the first editor of this vital contribution to our Society’s outreach to members and friends. Find out about the next phase of the Newsletters stewardship in Mark’s note to you in this Newsletter!”

Presidents’ Addresses, Annual Meeting 2017

screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-3-42-04-pmAndrew Shenton’s presidential address was given at the annual business meeting of the Society during the conference at Scripps College on 10 February, 2017. Dr. Shenton greeted the members and guests and thanked a number of people for their contributions to the Society, including the ongoing diligent work of the Secretary and Treasurer (Tim Steele and Zig Reichenwald, respectively), Mark Peters (newsletter editor), and especially the outgoing members of the SCSM Executive Committee: Johann Buis, Tala Jarjour, and Bennett Zon.

Dr. Shenton warmly thanked Anne Harley, Local Arrangements Chair for the Scripps Conference, for her meticulous and extensive work on the event, and for all her many colleagues in California who helped her put on an enjoyable and successful conference. He also thanked the program committee: Effie Papanikolou (chair), Robert Sholl, and Deborah Justice; and the student prize committee: Robin Wallace (chair), Felicia Sandler and Cathy Ann Elias, for their contributions to the event; and finally, to those present for their contributions to the conference as presenters or chairs.

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Student Paper Prize, 2017 – Emilie Coakley

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-12-20-08-pmThe student paper prize committee, consisting of Robin Wallace, Felicia Sandler, and Cathy Elias, awarded this year’s prize for best student presentation at the SCSM annual meeting to
Emilie Coakley’s paper,

“Time for Prayer or Time for Work?:  Nostalgia, Memory, and the Changing Reception of Church Bells in a City Soundscape.”

Coakley’s paper is refreshing and innovative in the way it shows how musical phenomena tied to church, but situated in the world, can affect the everyday lives of people who experience them in myriad individual ways. An appreciation of how musical experiences can be tied to one’s understanding of the divine outside of worship is a promising avenue for future research, as is the idea of a “McDonaldized” culture in which such understanding is perhaps more commodified than communal. We hope that Coakley and others will be inspired to travel further in this direction.

Newsletter, Fall 2016


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– President’s update on society business and news items about members and friends,
– Two terrific, short essays: (1) Mark Peters’s reflections on Steven Guthrie’s 2011 book, Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Being Human, and (2) new member Maeve Heaney’s meditation on the spiritual experience and theology of composing Christian music.

Conference Program (Final)

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We are delighted to unveil the program for the February 2017 meeting the SCSM at Scripps College! Many thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal, and to the Program Committee (Effie Papanikolaou, chair; Deborah Justice; and Robert Sholl) for all their hard work.