The purpose of this group is to convene scholars whose work purports to break down the barriers between “spiritual” and “material” realities, and between theology and humanities disciplines. While group members define spirituality differently, each negotiates the study of spirituality through various disciplines and media: environmental studies, literature, fine art, philosophy, and more. The group would thus bring together scholars looking to intervene in a variety of important conversations within and across fields. And the synergy of the group would help provide a source of clarity and new ideas for members of their group in their individual scholarship. What does spirituality mean today? What are the spiritual needs of the present? How might we reconceive of what spirituality means in light of humanities disciplines and how might our perspective onto these disciplines change by making explicit what they already try to describe – that is, our spiritual needs as individuals, cultures, and as a species? The group’s name – Spirituality and Imagination – foregrounds its efforts to think anew this vitalizing aspect of life.

The Spirituality and Imagination research group is experimental in other ways, as well, convening conversations not only across disciplines but also across institutions and faith traditions. Scholars in the group work in diverse fields and are currently employed at a number of different universities (see the list of participants below). Our plan is to meet virtually a few times per year to discuss new and important work in the study of spirituality (or work that can inform its study) and to workshop current projects of group members.

Current Group Members:

Lisa Dahill (California Lutheran University)
David Diamond (University of Colorado Colorado Springs)
George Faithful (Dominican University of California)
August Higgins (Oblate School of Theology)
Joshua King (Baylor University)
John Markey (Oblate School of Theology)
James Reeves (Texas State University)
Timothy Robinson (Brite Divinity School / TCU)
Jacob Sherman (California Institute of Integral Studies)
Rachel Wheeler (University of Portland)
Matthew Wickman (BYU)

Anyone interested in joining this group should contact Matt Wickman (English).