Faculty Research

Resurrection in Paul: Cognition, Metaphor, and TransformationFrederick S. Tappenden. 2016. Resurrection in Paul: Cognition, Metaphor, and Transformation. ECL 19. Atlanta: SBL Press.

The centrality of the body in Paul’s resurrection ideals has not been lost on modern scholarship, though it has been improperly emphasized. Too often, this somatic focus is configured along literal and metaphorical lines. The realism of future resurrected bodies is emphasized while the metaphoricity of present bodily transformation is understated. Drawing on cognitive linguistics, this fresh and innovative study re-centers this interpretive imbalance. By eschewing the opposition of metaphor and realism, Tappenden explores the concepts and metaphors Paul uses to fashion notions of resurrection, and the uses to which those notions are put. Rather than asserting resurrection as a disembodied, cognicentric proposition, Tappenden illuminates the body’s central role in shaping and grounding the apostle’s thought and writings.


Winner of the 2017 Manfred Lautenschläger Award for Theological Promise from the University of Heidelberg.

 

Digital Humanities, Cognitive Historiography, and the Study of Religion. Special Topics Issue of the Journal of Cognitive Historiography 3.1–2Frederick S. Tappenden and Edward Slingerland, eds. 2016. Digital Humanities, Cognitive Historiography, and the Study of Religion. Special Topics Issue of the Journal of Cognitive Historiography 3.1-2.

Though relatively young, the field of cognitive historiography has already drawn together scholars from across the academy to engage in interdisciplinary research at the intersection of the sciences and the humanities. The first publication under this disciplinary banner began to emerge in the early 2010's, though the roots of the discipline can be traced back a decade or so before that, and even find precedents in the late 19th century. Because many of the pioneers of this field are themselves scholars of religion, it is only natural that Religious Studies/History of Religions has emerged as one of the most fertile topics of inquiry. This special topic issue of the Journal of Cognitive Historiography continues in this vein while also highlighting a variety of database research initiatives and the potential of computational models for studying history. In step with cognitive historiography's inherent interdisciplinarity, the digital humanities focus of this issue opens fresh analytical and methodological vistas for the study of history and of religion.


Coming Back to Life: The Permeability of Past and Present, Mortality and Immortality, Death and Life in the Ancient MediterraneanFrederick S. Tappenden, and Carly Daniel-Hughes, eds. 2017. Coming Back to Life: The Permeability of Past and Present, Mortality and Immortality, Death and Life in the Ancient Mediterranean. Forward by Gregory Nagy. Editorial assistance from Bradley N. Rice. Montreal, QC: McGill University Library.

The lines between death and life were neither fixed nor finite to the peoples of the ancient Mediterranean. For most, death was a passageway into a new and uncertain existence, and many perceived the deceased to continue to exercise agency among the living. Even for those more skeptical of an afterlife, notions of coming back to life provided frameworks in which to conceptualize the on-going social, political, and cultural influence of the past. This collection of essays examines how ancient Mediterranean’s use notions of coming back to life as discursive and descriptive spaces through which to construct, maintain, and negotiate the porous boundaries between past and present, mortality and immortality, death and life.


Language, Cognition, and Biblical Exegesis: Interpreting MindsRonit Nikolsky, István Czachesz, Frederick S. Tappenden, and Tamás Biró, eds. 2019. Language, Cognition, and Biblical Exegesis: Interpreting Minds. Scientific Studies of Religion. London: Bloomsbury.

The study of ancient religions and biblical studies are dominated by textual evidence. However, the cognitive science of religion is lacking significant research on the language and textual interpretation of this literature. This book presents a systematic attempt to redefine the interpretation of religious texts in a cognitive framework, providing concrete textual analysis on a broad selection of biblical passages. It explores the ways that cognitive approaches to language and textual interpretation expand the disciplines of the cognitive science of religion and biblical studies. This book brings together methodology from the cognitive sciences, linguistics, philology, biblical studies, and religious studies, to offer a new perspective for biblical studies and cognitive sciences. It presents a renewed vision of textual interpretation—one that aligns hermeneutical reflection with our cognitive capacities.


The Land Underfoot: 100 Years Before AlbertaHenriette Kelker and David Ridley. 2005. The Land Underfoot: 100 Years Before Alberta. Thorsby, AB: Land Underfoot Museum Network.

A concise look at the meeting of the missionaries, fur traders and indigenous people before Alberta was a province.


“Accessibility in Questionnaire Research: Integrating Universal Design to Increase the Participation of Individuals with Learning Disabilities.” Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal Lauren D. Goegan, Amanda I. Radil, and Lia M. Daniels. 2018. “Accessibility in Questionnaire Research: Integrating Universal Design to Increase the Participation of Individuals with Learning Disabilities.” Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal 16(2): 177–190.

This paper explores how to apply the principles of accommodations and universal design (UD) in research methods involved in quantitative research (e.g. questionnaires). In particular, we focus on how to make research more accessible for individuals with Learning Disabilities (LD), while also providing suggestions for potential participants of research more generally. This paper first reviews accommodations provided to students within an educational setting, focusing on the components of setting, timing, presentation and response format. Following this discussion, we discuss UD and how it can be adapted to the research process (e.g. the creation of surveys, and data collection). Next, we draw on components of accommodations and universal design to offer suggestions for those conducting research with individuals with LD. In closing, we provide a table with key UD and accommodation questions that researchers can use to guide questionnaire design thereby advancing the field when it comes to accessible research design.

“Current Mixed Methods Practices in Qualitative Research: A Content Analysis of Leading Journals.” International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Special Issue: How Mixed Methods Informs and Enhances Qualitative Research M. Archibald, Amanda I. Radil, X. Zhang, and B. Hanson. 2015. “Current Mixed Methods Practices in Qualitative Research: A Content Analysis of Leading Journals.” International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Special Issue: How Mixed Methods Informs and Enhances Qualitative Research 14: 5–33.

Mixed methods research (MMR) has become increasingly popular in recent years. Yet, methodological challenges of mixing qualitative and quantitative data remain. Understanding how MMR is approached in qualitative research journals provides insights into lingering mixing issues. In this article, we content analyzed five leading qualitative research journals from 2003 to 2014, which represents the reflective period of MMR. Of the 5,254 articles published, 94, or 1.79%, were mixed methods in nature, comprising 44 theoretically oriented articles and 50 empirical articles. In terms of theoretical articles, five content-based themes were identified: (a) MMR advocacy, (b) philosophy issues, (c) procedural suggestions, (d) practical issues and best practices, and (e) future directions. In terms of empirical articles, 36% used exploratory sequential designs, primarily to develop instruments, and 52% explicitly identified as MMR. None of the studies included MMR questions, and development (21%) and complementarity (14%) were the primary rationales for mixing. In virtually all studies (98%), mixing occurred at the data interpretation stage through some comparison of qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative data were prioritized in 86% of the studies. Based on these findings, it appears that MMR affects qualitative research most directly by influencing study design and study purpose; however, there is a strong tendency to conduct and publish qualitative and quantitative studies separately. Recommendations for publishing future MMR are discussed.


A Biblically Compassionate Perspective on Suicide: God Still Works through Ambiguous Events and Persons in the Hebrew ScripturesDarlene Pranke. 2010. A Biblically Compassionate Perspective on Suicide: God Still Works through Ambiguous Events and Persons in the Hebrew Scriptures. Köln, Germany: Lambert.

This book deals with a very difficult aspect of life, namely, death by suicide. It describes the problem of suicide as a reality situated at the point where religion, justice, medicine and social mores meet. Suicide challenges traditional values in all of these areas and with the tremendous amount of negative attention given to it, grieving family members are largely left to their own resources. This book approaches suicide through the framework of the story of Jacob in the Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis 32:22–31). The story of Jacob is full of moral ambiguity and causes us to ponder ambiguity and complexity in all of life. It is also a story that captures the graciousness of the Divine, especially where there is some grayness and a shadow side. Jacob is a wounded trickster, but he also receives a blessing. Caregivers of those bereaved by suicide tread upon morally gray areas and need to become comfortable with the art of holding ambiguity. Readers of this book will hopefully develop compassion towards the complexity of suicide and learn to walk without judgement alongside those who are bereaved by suicide.

“The Evolution of Research Paradigms in Pastoral/Spiritual Care, Counseling, and Education.” The Journal of Pastoral Care & CounsellingJohn C. Carr. 2015. “The Evolution of Research Paradigms in Pastoral/Spiritual Care, Counseling, and Education.” The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counselling, 69(4): 232–239.

This partially autobiographical article is presented as a chapter in the narrative of the evolution of research methodology in the social sciences and the impact that evolution has had on pastoral/spiritual care research as the author has experienced and observed it during the latter part of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st century.

“Pastoral-Spiritual Care, Counselling, and Advocacy with and for those Less Able .” Pages 210–219 in Encounter in Pastoral Care and Spiritual HealingJohn C. Carr. 2012. “Pastoral-Spiritual Care, Counselling, and Advocacy with and for those Less Able .” Pages 210–219 in Encounter in Pastoral Care and Spiritual Healing. Edited by D. Louw, T. D. Ito, and U. Elsdorfer. Zurich: LIT Verlag.

Grounded in his experience of co-parenting his son who is less able; in his advocacy work on behalf of his son; in his personal and professional relationships with other persons less able; and in his broad experience as a psychiatric hospital chaplain, pastoral counsellor, parish minister, and pastoral educator—the author points to several issues in the care, counselling, and advocacy needs of persons less able. The author’s intent is as follows: 1. To sensitize readers to the perspective and needs of those less able; 2. To explore some of the intrapsychic, systemic, and spiritual issues facing persons less able and their families, and 3. To foster integration of the therapeutic and advocacy functions in pastoral/spiritual care and counselling with persons who are less able and their families.

Research in Pastoral Care and Counselling: A Rich Feast of Articles published in The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counselling (1999–2017): A Festschrift for Rev. Dr. John C. CarrTerry R. Bard, ed. 2018. Research in Pastoral Care and Counselling: A Rich Feast of Articles published in The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counselling (1999–2017): A Festschrift for Rev. Dr. John C. Carr. London: SAGE Publications.

Excerpt from the Foreword, by Terry Bard:
The evolutionary path of chaplaincy from a clerical avocation to a broadened vocation represents a significant transformation in professional roles and societal accreditation and integration. In the course of this journey, the chaplaincy movement originally populated by clergy has expanded beyond the religious community as a more general interest in what is now termed spirituality took root. This professional journey occurred during a time when new insights and interest in psychology, mental health, and well-being were exploding leading to new theories, models, practices in counseling and other interventions. … Research in the fields of pastoral/spiritual care and counseling began slowly, but it is now a formal and formidable component underlying and informing the field. The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling has served both as witness to this evolution as well as provider of materials that inform those in the field for over 72 years. … This special issue of JPC&C is focused on a few of the significant qualitative and quantitative research articles published over the last few decades. … 
This special issue is also composed as a Festschrift honoring The Reverend Dr. John C. Carr. Dr. Carr retires this year from his long service to the Journal of Pastoral Care Publications, Inc. and his lifelong commitment and contribution to the field. His ongoing leadership, determination, insight, and foresight have contributed to the strength of the pastoral/spiritual counseling movement. He has written, taught, mentored, and guided many chaplains and pastoral/spiritual counselors. He has provided sensitive, broadly informed compassionate care for those he has counseled over the years. Dr. Carr has served as an axis mundi for all in the profession. We offer this first special issue of The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling in his honor and with gratitude.

Nursing within a Faith Community: Promoting Health in Times of TransitionMargaret B. Clark and Joanne K. Olson. 2000. Nursing within a Faith Community: Promoting Health in Times of Transition. London: SAGE Publications.

Nursing Within a Faith Community expands upon the literature in the field of parish nursing and broadens the concepts of "parish" and "parish nursing" to those of "faith community" and "faith community nursing" to include the rich diversity of faith traditions. Authors Margaret B. Clark and Joanne J. Olson provide a unique outlook on the theoretical underpinnings for faith community nursing from the perspectives of both theology and nursing. Divided into seven sections, the book includes topics such as the theoretical foundations of parish nursing, promoting health in times of transition, the process of nursing care within a faith community, faith communities promoting images of health, and the future of parish nursing.

“Towards a Theory of Spiritually-Informed Art Therapy.” Pages 76–96 in Art Therapy as an Instrument of PeaceAra Parker. 2015. “Towards a Theory of Spiritually-Informed Art Therapy.” Pages 76–96 in Art Therapy as an Instrument of Peace. Edited by J. Fehlner and W. Fehlner. Nelson, BC: Peaceful View Publishing.

Excerpt from Raedynn Bryce’s Review in the BCATA Newsletter 35 (2015)
“Towards a Theory of Spiritually-Informed Art Therapy”, by Ara Parker … discusses the collaboration of the theory and practice of art psychotherapy and the experience of being an Art Therapist, with a spiritual structure. “What would it mean for Art Therapists to engage in their own spiritual inquiry in such a way to better serve clients?” (p.81). I found this paper interesting, as I am curious about what it means to be spiritual. Coming from a non-religious background, I found it fascinating on discovering the relationship between Art Therapy and spirituality. Parker reveals that when words are not available, Art Therapy is a useful tool for the exploration of spiritual issues. Through play and discovery, Art Therapy is a safe environment for self-expression and spiritual development. Parker discusses what the spirit means for non-religious people. She asks: “What can spirituality mean for suffering atheists?” Using creativity opens up the therapeutic process of self-actualization, for those of religious and non- religious backgrounds.

The Christian Responsibility to Muslims: Four LecturesDavid J. Goa. 2015. The Christian Responsibility to Muslims: Four Lectures. Occasional Papers of the Chester Ronning Centre 3. Camrose, AB: Chester Ronning Centre.

David J. Goa shares reflections drawn from his long and varied experience of the ways Muslims and Christians have interacted with each other, often, but not always, ways that have enriched the lives of both. He identifies the basic element of religious hatred and violence as the habit of regarding people simply in terms of stereotyped religious categories, without sensing the need to understand their true motives and convictions without, as he puts it, “seeing their faces”. He presents vivid cameos of the generosity and humanity he has encountered in the Muslim community in Alberta; then, starting from the early years when Islam first appeared in the Middle East, he illustrates some different approaches that Christians have taken to living with Muslim authorities. There have been serious efforts at mutual understanding, but also the grim results evident when he visits Kosovo, where Christian and Muslim communities had been deliberately turned away from any recognition of each other. Finally, he poses the critical question: What attitudes can Christians express toward Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, that would warm the hearts of Muslims? To this he finds no one simple answer, but offers valuable insights for committed Christians willing to help forge a sense of community in a pluralist country such as Canada is today.

Working in the Fields of Meaning: Cultural Communities, Museums, and the New PluralismDavid J. Goa. 2013. Working in the Fields of Meaning: Cultural Communities, Museums, and the New Pluralism. Camrose, AB: Chester Ronning Centre.

Excerpt from the Prologue, by Eunice Victoria Scarfe
"The ultimate concern of virtually every human culture is to tell its children its story," writes David Goa in this text. If that is the case, then ask yourself whether your story has been told or heard or recorded or remembered? Ask yourself who holds your story? Ask yourself who knows your story? David's work is not only "for the sake of the children." It is for all of us. His text belongs with other contemporary writers who see the necessity, and the hazard, or using story to build bridges between communities—bridges of knowledge, bridges of understanding, bridges of acceptance.

Ukrainian Religious Experience: Tradition and the Canadian Cultural ContextDavid J. Goa, ed. 1989. Ukrainian Religious Experience: Tradition and the Canadian Cultural Context. Edmonton: CIUS Press.

This book represents the proceedings of the first scholarly conference to examine the Ukrainian religious experience in Canada. Sixteen scholarly essays explore liturgical traditions, ecclesiastical traditions, historical factors in the maintenance of religion and ethnicity, along with case studies. Contributors: Bohdan R. Bociurkiw, Dennis J. Dunn, David J. Goa, Stephan Jarmus, Serge Regis Keleher, Andrii Krawchuk, Casimir Kucharek, Evan Lowig, Vasyl Markus, Sophia Matiasz, Vivan Olender, Jaroslaw Pelikan, Omeljan Pritsak, Sophia Senyk, Oleh Wolowyna, Roman Yereniuk, Paul Yuzyk, Radoslav Zuk.

Feminist Theology with a Canadian Accent: Canadian Perspectives on Contextual Feminist TheologyMary Ann Beavis, ed. 2008. Feminist Theology with a Canadian Accent: Canadian Perspectives on Contextual Feminist Theology. Edited with Elaine Guillemin and Barbara Pell. Ottawa: Novalis.

Contributions from former St. Stephen’s Faculty
Christina Cathro, “Shifting Horizons: An Exploration of Lesbians’ Spiritual Journeys” (pp. 122–141)
Veronica M. Dunne, “A Force of Nature: Canadian Catholic Women Shifting the Ecclesial Landscape” (pp. 179–199)
Jean Waters, “Expanding Horizons: Stories of the Spirituality of Canadian Prairie Women” (pp. 160–178)

This important collection assembles the work of leading feminist theologians from across the country. The result is an examination of the Canadian feminist theological landscape: its context, its history, its multicultural perspective, its expression of marginal experiences, its commitment to social justice, its exploration of eco-feminism, and its embrace of cultures, ethnicities, and the unique contribution of Canada’s First Nations peoples.

And the Two Shall be Forever One: A Faith-Filled Reflection on MarriageMona-Lee Feehan. 2017. And the Two Shall be Forever One: A Faith-Filled Reflection on Marriage. Toronto: Novalis.

As anyone who is or has been married knows, making a life-long relationship work is hard work. Making God an integral part of a marriage can’t but add strength and compassion to this fulfilling, but sometimes fraught union. This resource is intended to provide a practical guide on how to live a fruitful Christian marriage. Written in accessible language, Feehan invites the readers to explore the importance of relationship, issues surrounding two families coming together, communication, the Trinitarian love that binds a couple, the spirituality of relationship, sexuality, intimacy, parenthood, faith, and conflict resolution.

Non-Theistic Liturgy Resources Charles Bidwell, ed. 2006–2018. “Non-Theistic Liturgy Resources.” Edmonton: St. Stephen’s College.

As finite as we humans are, it may be arrogant to assume that we can contemplate the Infinite adequately enough to name it and speak truths about it. However, we humans have always tried to do just that. We have created religions and devoted our lives (and sacrificed the lives of others) to defending our concept of God and to do God’s will. Some have ceased to trust in an omnipotent, omniscient, transcendent, anthropomorphic deity (a theistic conception) and are seeking expressions to reflect their life experiences of the Divine Mystery. Others remain committed to monotheism, but challenge what they consider to be immaturity in its practice. All such persons are welcomed into the circle of seekers who are working to uncover and create non-theistic (or post-theistic) resources for worship and reflection. The collection linked here represents an ongoing project. We welcome suggestions and offerings of materials (liturgical and educational resources) for the collection so that we can offer these back to our human community (please send submissions to charles.bidwell@ualberta.ca).

Practicing Reverence: An Ethic for Sustainable Earth CommunitiesRoss L. Smillie. 2011. Practicing Reverence: An Ethic for Sustainable Earth Communities. Incline Village, NV: Copper House Publishing.

Every day we hear more about how humans are degrading the environment and causing suffering to themselves and the rest of life. Where will it end? Practicing Reverence shows that it is up to all of us, in community, to live in ways that honour not just our own lives, but all life. Minister, theologian, and environmental ethics teacher Ross Smillie combines his areas of expertise to document our current situation and, even more importantly, to offer hope. Smillie’s science background is evident in his extensive factual reporting of ecological issues. His engagement with theology and ethics balances scientific fact with moral and ethical ponderings. The result is an up-close view of how things “are,” and a glimpse of how things “could be.” Smillie’s hope is that we learn to create “sustainable earth communities,” that we will leave our children, grandchildren, and the generations beyond with a vital and bountiful earth upon which to live. Of course, to reach this goal we must adapt our current actions. And so Smillie examines economics, technology, and religion, and identifies alternatives to our current practices. As a minister and theologian, he also allows for the work of the Spirit, to bring about more just and sustainable ways of living.  Practicing Reverence represents both a call and a challenge to those who genuinely desire the best for themselves and future generations, to join their efforts for the good of all.