The ASCH: Coming to Minneapolis

Jonathan Den Hartog

In the spirit of Cara's recent post, I'm happy to point out that the American Society of Church History's Spring 2015 meeting is coming to Minnesota. I copy the full CFP below.

Let me preface it with 3 thoughts.

The Cathedral of St. Paul
1. As a Minneapolis resident, I'm delighted to invite people to the Twin Cities. By April, Spring will have arrived, and issues with snow will be minimal. The Cities (i.e., Minneapolis and St. Paul, together) are a great urban area generally, with lots of green space, high culture, and terrific restaurants. The Cities also offer an opportunity to witness a great deal of religious diversity. There are plenty of Christian sites to visit, from the Cathedral in St. Paul built by Catholic bishop John Ireland to the Basilica in Minneapolis to William Bell Riley's First Baptist Church to Bethlehem Baptist Church, recently pastored by John Piper. In recent decades, the Cities have also seen a great increase in religious diversity, bringing mosques and Hindu Temples to join older synagogues (including the one featured in the Coen Brothers' film, A Serious Man). The Cities are also home to many religiously-inspired institutions of higher education, including, among others, Luther Seminary, the University of St. Thomas, Concordia University, the University of Northwestern-St. Paul, Bethel University, and North Central University. Finally, simply by journeying to Minnesota you'll be encountering the land where, in Garrison Keillor's words, "All the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."

2. I heartily concur with Paul that this conference is a great time to expand our consideration of religion in the Midwest. Midwestern history generally is ready for expansion, and Midwestern religious history is a wide-open field (to use an apt metaphor). Perhaps we can generate a "Minnesota Moment" in scholarship.

3. I'll be at the conference, so if anyone is looking for a chair or commentator for a panel, especially for early American topics, please let me know!

Call for Papers
ASCH 2015 Spring Conference

The Spring Meeting of the American Society for Church History will be held April 16-19, 2015, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Program Committee invites ASCH members and others to submit paper and session proposals on any aspect of the history of Christianity and its interaction with culture.

The primary theme of the conference is Contact and Exchange among Religious Groups.  We are interested in papers exploring interactions among groups brought on by processes such as migration, immigration, resettlement, exile, and diasporic dispersals across geographic areas and time periods.  Papers that focus on religious groups in conversation with one another, examining influences, hybridity, missionization, conversion, reconversion, cooperation, or other themes or processes, are welcome.

Given the location of this meeting in Minneapolis, we also encourage papers addressing contact among religious groups in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, including but not limited to immigrant groups arriving in the nineteenth-century, such as Eastern Christians and Copts; those arriving in the early twentieth-century groups, such as Latin Americans; and those arriving in the late twentieth-century immigrants such as Hmong, Somali, and other East Africans. Papers addressing contact and exchange between Native Americans and religious groups are also encouraged.

We welcome individual and group proposals of formal papers, panel and round table discussions, consideration of a major recent book, and other relevant themes and issues. Panels should exhibit diversity of gender, rank, and scholarly location in their composition. We encourage graduate student participation.

Proposals should consist of a submission form and the associated information outlined therein:

•    For individual papers: Submission form, which requires a 500-word summary of the paper and a one-page c.v. or 250-word biographical sketch.
•    For sessions: Submission form, which requires a 500-word thematic abstract, 300-word abstracts for each paper, a one-page c.v. or 250-word biographical sketch, names of proposed chairs and respondents.
•    For panels or roundtable discussion: Submission form, which requires a 500-word session overview, 300-word descriptions of each paper, and a 250-word biographical sketch for each participant.

Submission forms are available at

Proposals should be submitted by email to Jeanne Kilde, Program Chair, at

The deadline for submitting proposals is December 1.

NOTE: All program participants must register for the conference and be members of the ASCH at the time of the Meeting. Non-members whose proposals are accepted will need to become members.  Graduate students are offered two free years of membership in ASCH.