The One Hundred Forty-ninth Meeting

Midwest Division
The One Hundred Forty-ninth Meeting
Friday, April 26, 2002
North Park University
3225 West Foster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
American Theology: Metaphysical Vision and Pragmatic Action
Brorson Lounge in Old Main, 1:00 -3:00 P. M.
Modernisms in Theology: Interpreting American Theological Liberalism, 1805 – 1955
An Essay Presented for a Critical Discussion by
Gary Dorrien
Professor of Religious Thought in the Christian Tradition
The Ann V. and Donald R. Parfet Distinguished Professor & Dean of Stetson Chapel
Kalamazoo College
Registration and Afternoon Refreshments: Brorson Lounge in Old Main, 3:00 – 3:15 P.M.
Brorson Lounge in Old Main, 3:15 – 5:15 P.M.
Making Theology Metaphysical: Personalist Idealism as a Theological School
Gary Dorrien
Kalamazoo College
Dinner: Tre Kroner Restaurant at the corner of Spaulding and Foster Avenues, 5:15 – 6:30 P.M.
Business Meeting: Brorson Lounge in Old Main, 6:30 – 7:00 P.M.
Brorson Lounge in Old Main, 7:00 – 8:45 P.M.
The Necessity of Impossible Dreams: Why American Theology Cannot Dispense with Idealism
David L. Weddle
Professor of Christian Thought
Colorado College
ATS Officers (Midwest Division)
David L. Weddle, President
Edgar A. Towne, Member-at-Large
Carol Rausch Albright, Vice President
Paul P. Parker, Secretary/Treasurer


The Program: The Executive Committee has again put together a program focused on a single theme. This spring the Society will turn its critical gaze upon modern and contemporary theology in America, 1805 to the present. We are honored in the one hundred forty-ninth meeting of the Society to have two of our own members lead us through their reflections on the metaphysical vision and pragmatic action of American theology. Gary Dorrien has taught at Kalamazoo College, Michigan, since 1987  where he is the Ann V. and Donald R. Parfet Distinguished Professor of religious thought in the Christian tradition. He is also Chair of the Religion Department, Dean of Stetson Chapel, and Director of the Liberal Art Colloquium Program. An Episcopal priest, Gary has published nine books on theology, culture, and ethics, authored over 85 articles, and given hundreds of public lectures. The first of his three volume work on the history of American theological liberalism has just been published and the second is due out this year. The day will conclude with the observations and assessments of David Weddle, the Society’s President, on the crucial role idealism in contemporary theology. David has recently moved from Cornell College to Colorado College where he is now the Head of the Department of Religion and Professor of Christian thought. The Executive Committee invites you to the one hundred forty-ninth meeting of the American Theological Society as we explore the depth and breadth of American theological liberalism.
If you are unable to attend the full meeting, you should feel free to participate in whichever segment of the program fits your schedule. The Executive Committee designs each program for both collegial renewal and vigorous intellectual conversation.
Why not break free of your routine and engage your colleagues over good food and drink for mind, body, and soul? For further information, contact any of the Society’s officers or Paul Parker at the addresses below.
Registration and Dinner Reservations: For every ATS meeting our colleagues of the host institution will find their tasks greatly eased if we pre-register for the meeting and make reservations for the dinner. To pre-register and reserve your place at the table, please call, write, or email Paul Parker through your medium of choice and declare your intentions: office phone (630) 617-3559;; or Department of Theology and Religion–Box 26, Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst, IL 60126. Because ATS meetings are supported by the host institution, for which the Society is deeply appreciative, registration is without charge.
For this meeting, dinner will be provided at the award winning Scandinavian restaurant, Tre Kroner, located at the corner of Spaulding and Foster Avenues, across the street from North Park’s campus. We will order from the menu; dinners are less than $15.00.
Dues: Annual membership dues (to cover the costs of printing, postage, and other incidentals) are $15 for members and $10 for associate members to be paid to the Secretary/Treasurer, Paul Parker, each year at the fall meeting. If you did not submit your dues last fall, you may attend to it at the spring meeting or at any time through the mail. Attention to this is appreciated. Also, the Society’s membership roster remains strong only as we advocate the Society to our eligible colleagues, invite them to join us, and sponsor them for membership.
Directions and Parking: A detailed map with specific directions for those arriving by air, car, or train can be found at North Park University’s website,, and then following the prompts at “North Park’s Most Popular Sites.”