The One Hundred Sixty-First Meeting


Midwest Division

The One Hundred Sixty-First Meeting
Friday, April 25, 2008

Catholic Theological Union
5416 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago

Early Afternoon Session
1:00-2:45 p.m.; Room 210C

Hulda Niebuhr:A Mysterious Mantle
Elizabeth F. Caldwell
McCormick Theological Seminary

Respondent: Robert Cathey of McCormick Theological Seminary

Registration and Afternoon Refreshments, 2:45-3:15 p.m.

Mid-Afternoon Session
3:15-4:45 p.m.; Room 210C

Constructing Theology That Celebrates Contextuality and Embraces Pluralism
Michael Miller

Christian Theological Seminary

Respondent: Kenneth S. Sawyer of McCormick Theological Seminary

Reception 4:45-5:15 p.m.
Dinner and Business Meeting; 5:15-6:45 p.m.

The President’s Address
7:00-8:30 p.m.; Assembly Room 210C

Engaging the Public Theologies of Reinhold Niebuhr and Joseph Ratzinger
Mary C. Doak
University of San Diego

ATS Officers (Midwest Division)

Mary C. Doak, President
Mladen Turk, Vice President
Jennifer Jesse, Member-at-Large
Paul Parker, Secretary/Treasurer

The Midwest Division of the American Theological Society is a regional organization of scholars who do research and teach in the fields of religious studies. The Society often reaches beyond its local members to invite national and international scholars to present papers and to participate in the discussions of its semi-annual meetings.

The President’s Address is always a highlight and the culmination of the Society’s program year, and this year’s paper continues to build on that standard of excellence. Mary Doak, Roman Catholic theologian and professor of theology at San Diego University, will examine the public theology of Pope Benedict XVI in the light of the thought of Reinhold Niebuhr, the most influential Protestant theologian in 20th century America. Professor Doak will suggest how Pope Benedict’s theology might become more helpful to the church and society through a closer reading of Niebuhr. Or, in her own words, “Could reading Niebuhr make the Pope more Catholic?” Your attendance is encouraged.

The two afternoon sessions will prove to be just as engaging and entertaining as the evening address. Elizabeth Caldwell, professor of pastoral theology at McCormick Theological Seminary since 1984, will focus the Society’s attention on another member of the Niebuhr family, Reinhold’s elder sister, Professor Hulda Niebuhr, who mentored a generation of students at MTS. And, although the mid-afternoon paper by professor Michael Miller will not center on the premier theologian of the Niebuhr clan (please forgive my bias), his appreciation for theological contextuality and pluralism is very much at home with H. Richard Niebuhr’s own theology. Please join your colleagues for an afternoon of thought, conversation, food, drink, and fellowship.

REGISTRATION AND DINNER RESERVATIONS: The Executive Committee’s task of planning the Society’s semiannual meetings is greatly eased if members pre-register for the meeting and make reservations for dinner. To pre-register and to reserve your place at the table, please call, write or email Paul Parker and declare your intentions at (630) 617-3559;; or The Department of Religious Studies-Box 26, Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126.

Because ATS is partially supported by the host institutions of its semi-annual meetings, there is no registration fee, and the cost of dinner for the 161st meeting of the ATS is only twenty-one dollars.

DUES: Annual membership dues (to cover the costs of printing, postage, and other incidentals) are $15 for members and $10 for retirees and associates to be paid to the Secretary/Treasurer each year at the fall meeting. If you have not yet paid your dues, you may attend to the oversight at this meeting or at any time through the mail. Attention to this is appreciated.

DIRECTIONS AND PARKING: The meeting will take place in CTU’s new five-story Academic and Conference Center located at 5416 South Cornell Avenue, across the street from its original campus. Directions are conveniently located on its website at As with many institutions in Hyde Park, parking may be a challenge, and street parking will likely be your best option.