Greetings Canadian Theological Society members,
I want to introduce myself and give some updates on what is happening with CTS.
I am honored to begin my term as CTS president. My faculty profile at Conrad Grebel University College gives some of the usual information about my education, teaching, scholarship, and other involvements. I have been active in CTS for about the past 12 years or so and was on the executive as CTS program chair from 2008 to 2011. I am active in CTS because it has been a very collegial environment in which to get to know new people working in areas of theology very similar to my own and in areas that are very different, and to reconnect with those I’ve known for some time. I have learned a lot from the work others are doing. And I’ve had great conversations with other CTS members over a glass of beer. I hope you will encourage friends and colleagues who have not participated in CTS in the past to do so in the very near future.
One priority for the coming year is to increase communication from CTS executive to the membership, and among CTS members generally. I intend to send out a brief message like this one (I expect it will usually be much briefer) every month or two. In addition to CTS news and updates, these messages can include other brief announcements (in the form of links to website for more information) of interest to members—calls for papers, conferences, job postings, other news. Please send this information to me, though I cannot promise in advance to circulate everything that I receive.
For those who were in Calgary at the end of May, you will know that our society held a very engaging series of meetings over two and half days. Thirty-two people presented papers or participated on panels. A highlight was the joint lecture (with the other Religion societies) by Mary Jo Leddy on the calling of Canadian to respond to refugees.
I want to highlight a few of items discussed or decided at the AGM:
- There will be modest increases to membership fees in all except students. The new rates are posted here.
- The CTS constitution was amended to include procedures for the dissolution of the society. This is a requirement for us as we seek to be officially incorporated. Once that process is completed, we will be able to apply for charitable status and issue tax receipts to donors.
- An ad hoc CTS Equity Committee will be formed to address the lack of racial diversity and the underrepresentation of women in CTS. You will hear more about this from us in the coming months.
- Christine Mitchell, editor of the book series Advancing Studies in Religion, explained the mandate of this new series and the process for submissions. The series is sponsored by the Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion, of which CTS is a member, and published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. More information is found here.
The CTS executive for 2016-17 is as follows:
Jeremy Bergen, president
Timothy Harvie, vice-president
Cristina Vanin, past president
Nick Olkovich, secretary
Will Sweet, treasurer
Jane Barter, program chair
Melanie Kampen, student representative
Frank Emanuel, communications coordinator
Though it is nearly a year away, do plan to participate in next year’s CTS meetings at Congress, at Ryerson University in Toronto.
President, Canadian Theological Society