Religion and Bible Society

of the Rocky Mountain-Great Plains Region

With the Rocky Mountain-Great Plains Region of the American Academy of Religion

Regional Meetings

Participating Schools and Universities

Regional Officers

Regional Meeting 2016 (Past)

Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, 2016 Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado

We look forward to welcoming you to the 2016 Rocky Mountain/Great Plains AAR/SBL Regional Meeting, hosted by the Iliff School of Theology in conjunction with the University of Denver on April 1-2. This year we received an exceptionally large number of proposals, and therefore we expect an exciting meeting, one that will allow us not only to hear presentations on our members’ research, but also to engage in lively discussion and dialogue.

Registration fees are: $60 (Full Registration) and $45 (Student, with ID).

Please note: For any registrations submitted after 10:21 AM (MT) today, 3/31/2015, registrants will need to create a name badge on site at the registration desk.

Regional Meeting 2016 Keynotes

We are delighted to welcome David Frankfurter,  Professor of Religion and Aurelio Chair in the Appreciation of Scripture at Boston University, and chair of the Department of Religion, as the AAR/SBL Plenary Speaker.    Professor Frankfurter’s talk is “The Devil is in the Details: On the Moral Imperative and Perverse Thrill in Examining Acts of Evil” A scholar of ancient Mediterranean religions with specialties in Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature, magical texts, popular religion, and Egypt in the Roman and late antique periods, David Frankfurter’s particular interests revolve around theoretical issues like the place of magic in religion, the relationship of religion and violence, the nature of Christianization, and the representation of evil in culture.   He has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study (1993-95) and the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study (2007-8), as well as research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1992) and the Guggenheim Foundation (2007-8).   His 2006 book Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Satanic Abuse in History (Princeton University Press), on the ways that cultures and religious movements envision evil as an active, personified force, received the American Academy of Religion’s Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion (Analytic-Descriptive category).

For our other plenary session, we are pleased to honor John O’Keefe, Professor of Theology and director of the Center for Catholic Thought at Creighton University, as the 2016 Rocky Mountain/Great Plains Regional Senior Scholar. Professor O’Keefe’s talk is “Augustine and the Anthropocene” John O’Keefe’s past academic research has focused on the history and theology of ancient Christianity, especially in the area of ancient interpretation of the Bible.  He is currently interested in environmental theology and rethinking Christian attitudes toward nature. O’Keefe is also a documentary filmmaker. Since 2010 he has produced or directed five films, several of which have won national awards.  O’Keefe received his MTS from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in 1987, and his MA and Ph.D. in Early Christian Studies from The Catholic University of America in 1990 and 1993. He joined the faculty of Creighton University in 1992.  O’Keefe is married and has four grown children.  

Regional Meeting 2016 Schedule



Texts, Traditions, and Ancient Media Culture. Iliff Hall 301.

Pamela Eisenbaum (Iliff School of Theology), Presiding Danny Yencich (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Scribal Performers: The Textual Transmission of Luke in the Habitus of Oral Performance Naomi S.S. Jacobs (Congregation Bonai Shalom). Time to Make Up Your Mind: (Re)solving the Question of Redaction in the Book of Tobit James D. Romano (Fuller Theological Seminary). Boundaries of Expansion in Paul Lincoln H. Blumell (Brigham Young University). An Ancient New Testament Fragment Used as an Amulet for Persecution? Comparative Approaches. Iliff Hall 201.

Sharon Coggan (University of Colorado Denver), Presiding Andrew C. Smith (Brigham Young University). Comparing Semiospheres Surrounding Prostration in the Qur’an and Hebrew Bible Sophia Arjana (Iliff School of Theology) and Kim Fox (Independent Junior Scholar & Researcher). Islamic Pilgrimage Reconsidered: Sunni, Shi’i, and the Other in Definitions of Ziyara Blayne Harcey (Iliff School of Theology). Relics, Trances, and Indexes: The Politics of Territory and the Construction of Memory in Encounter Panel: The State of the Bible in Popular Culture: A Conversation on the Field as it Stands in Our Region. Bartlett Hall.

Dan Clanton (Doane College) Elizabeth Coody (Iliff School of Theology) Leonard Greenspoon (Creighton University) Gregory Robbins (University of Denver) Panel Moderator: David Scott (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology) Panel: Issues of Race and Christianity in American Cemetery Markers, 1780-1950. Ira J. Taylor Library.

Elise M. Ciregna. Salvation in Stone: African-American Epitaphs in New England, 1780-1830 Elisabeth L. Roark (Chatham University). Transmigration/Transformation: Enrico Butti’s Angel of Evocation in Pittsburgh and Milan Annette Stott (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Reverend Kosaburo Baba in the Garden of Gethsemane Respondent: Jeffrey Mahan (Iliff School of Theology) BREAK - 10:30-10:45 AM FRIDAY SESSION 2 - 10:45-12:15 PM

Panel: Religion and Science Fiction in Visual Media. Bartlett Hall.

William Ramsey (University of Colorado Boulder) Joshua Siary (University of Colorado Boulder) Caitlyn Brandt (University of Colorado Boulder) Religion and Politics. Iliff Hall 201.

David Weddle (Colorado College), Presiding Ryan Patrick Murphy (Colorado Christian University). Religious Liberty and Kim Davis: Some Key Clarifications Casey Paul Griffiths (Brigham Young University). The Chicago Experiment: The Modernist/Fundamentalist Controversy within Mormonism Thomas M. Kelly (Creighton University). Ecclesiology and Communal Agency: The Case of Peru Literary Approaches to the Hebrew Bible. Iliff Hall 301.

Richard S. Hess (Denver Seminary), Presiding. Avram R. Shannon (Brigham Young University). ‘Hear, O Sons of Jacob’: Tribe and Identity in Rabbinic Judaism David Pettit (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Expiating Apostasy: Baal Peor, Moses, and Intermarriage with a Midianite Woman Nicolae Roddy (Creighton University). The Art of Deception and the Deception of Art: “The Rape of Tamar” (2 Samuel 13) Kyle R. Greenwood (Colorado Christian University). Mesha and the Moabite War of 2 Kings 3: A Case for Cohesion New Testament. Ira J. Taylor Library.

Micah Saxton (Iliff School of Theology), Presiding David Parris (Fuller Theological Seminary Colorado). Force Dynamics and Verb Constructions in Koine Greek Sherri Brown (Creighton University). The Challenge of 2 Peter and the Call to Theosis Scott Moore (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Prophets and Paradigms: Dialogical Intertextuality in the Book of Hebrews LUNCH AND PLENARY ADDRESS - 12:30-2:00 PM SHATTUCK HALL


Buy David Frankfurter’s book, Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Satanic Abuse in History:

FRIDAY SESSION 3 - 2:15-3:45 PM

Religion and the Human Subject. Iliff Hall 201.

David Scott (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology), Presiding Jeff Appel (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Militant Apostleship as Subjectivity: Examining the Semiotics of Authority in Badiou and Kierkegaard Eldon C. Creer, Jr. (Iliff School of Theology). Black Jesus in America: Affirming Counter-images of the Divine Benjamin John Peters (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Telescope + Mirror = Reflections of the Infinite: Umberto Eco and the Cosmic Image of Religion Gender and Religion. Iliff Hall 301.

Sherri Brown (Creighton University), Presiding Jonathan C. Groce (Duke Divinity School). Revelation’s Martyrology in Response to a Crisis of Masculinity Megan DeVore (Colorado Christian University). Domina Soror: Reading an Early Christian Martyrdom Account in Light of Graeco-Roman Benefaction Deirdre Brouer (Denver Seminary). Wisdom’s Triumphant Voice in 2 Samuel 13:1-22 Religion, Media, and Popular Culture. Bartlett Hall.

Jacob Kinnard (Iliff School of Theology), Presiding Gregory Robbins (University of Denver). ‘Late Style’: Woody Allen at 80 Seth M. Walker (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Brewpub Theology?: Embedding “Religion” in the Craft Beer Industry Apocryphal Traditions. BEC 218.

Eric Smith (Iliff School of Theology), Presiding Rob Heaton (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). The Disappearance of the Shepherd: Interrogating the Extracanonicity of “Le Manuel de Vie Chrétienne” (Henne) John Sehorn (Augustine Institute). All the Nations Will Truly Fear God: Echoes of the Book of Tobit in Acts 9-10 Pamela Mullins Reaves (Colorado College). Peter in Alexandria: Apostolic Connections and Intra-Christian Competition The Role of Memory in Christian History. Ira J. Taylor Library.

Amy Erickson (Iliff School of Theology), Presiding Josh Schacterle (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). On the Tablet of the Heart: The Desert Fathers, the Memorization of Scripture, and New Identity John Sheridan (University of Colorado Boulder). The Anabaptist Historical Narrative: Martyrdom, Suffering, and Communalism BREAK - 3:45-4:00 FRIDAY SPECIAL SESSION - 4:00-5:15 PM





SATURDAY SESSION 1 - 8:30-10:30 AM

Panel: Textual Technologies: Reading and Writing the Bible with Natural Language Processing. Ira J. Taylor Library.

Justin Barber (Iliff School of Theology) Timothy Beal (Case Western Reserve University) Pamela Eisenbaum (Iliff School of Theology) Michael Hemenway (Iliff School of Theology) Micah Saxton (Iliff School of Theology) Panel: Current Topics in Morality for the Field of Religion and Psychology. Iliff Hall 201.

Kelly Arora (Iliff School of Theology) Sandra Lee Dixon (University of Denver) Shawn Fawson (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology) Zachary Moon (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology) Hebrew Bible: Using Non-Textual Evidence. Bartlett Hall.

Dana Pike (Brigham Young University), Presiding Courtney Ewert (Brigham Young University). Infant and Child Burials in Nabataea Richard S. Hess (Denver Seminary). The Book of Exodus and the Personal Names of the Exodus Generation George A. Pierce (Brigham Young University). The “Four-Room House” Complex at Tell Dothan, Area A: An Analysis of Function, Demography, and Cultural Identity Amy L. Balogh (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). The Domestication of the Auroch and the “Heat of His Nostrils”: Redescribing the Wrath of Yahweh and Moses in Light of Natural History Theological Approaches. Iliff Hall 301.

Thomas M. Kelly (Creighton University), Presiding Kristine M. Whaley (University of Glasgow). Let Us Be Selfish: A Literary Theology of the Humanity of Women Michael Stark (Colorado Christian University). Love as Equality: A Kierkegaardian Theology of Inclusion Travis E. Ables (Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Mary). Between Hope and Fear: Reframing Anselm’s Atonement Theology BREAK 10:30-10:45 AM SATURDAY SESSION 2 - 10:45-12:15 PM

Religion and Demography. Iliff Hall 201.

Luís León (University of Denver), Presiding. Néstor A. Gómez Morales (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Can the Subaltern Speak? The Active Silence of Latina Pentecostal Women Emily H. McGowin (Church of the Resurrection). “Viper in a Diaper” or God’s Greatest Gift? Children and Childhood in the American Quiverfull Movement Pauline Studies. Iliff Hall 301.

Thom Wayment (Brigham Young University), Presiding Amanda Hardman (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Establishing a Rhetorical Context for the “Wrath of God” in Romans 1:18 Johann D. Kim (Colorado Christian University). Groaning of the Creation: Suffering and Hope in Romans 8:18-25 Mark Maxwell (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology). Death in Romans 1 Dulcinea Boesenberg (Creighton University). “When You Were Gentiles”: Idolatry and Identity in the Corinthian Ekklesia Panel: Working with the Composition of the Pentateuch. Ira J. Taylor Library.

Sam Boyd (University of Colorado Boulder) Mark K. George (Iliff School of Theology) Ronald A. Simkins (Creighton University) What is “Religion”? Bartlett Hall.

Anthony Roberts (University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology), Presiding Jeffrey Mahan (Iliff School of Theology). What Do We Mean by “Popular” in the Study of Religion and Popular Culture? Timothy Snediker (University of Denver). How (Not) to Speak of Religion: Some Notes on the Christian Question Stella Bonnie (Naropa University). Mindful Appropriation and the Appropriation of Mindfulness: How the American Mindfulness Movement Perpetuates Colonial Oppression of the Indigenous Self LUNCH AND PLENARY ADDRESS - 12:30-2:00 PM SHATTUCK HALL