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  • The Annual Meeting of the Society for Buddhist-Christian StudiesSan Diego, California, USA November 21–23, 2014
  • Sandra Costen Kunz, SBCS Secretary and Jonathan A. Seitz, Newsletter Editor

The annual meeting is an opportunity to meet, to reconnect, and to share our work. As a “Related Scholarly Organization” of the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies holds its meetings concurrently with the AAR’s national conference. The SBCS normally organizes two panels and holds board and members meetings. This year’s panels were “Liberation Theology and Engaged Buddhism: Challenging Each Other, Learning from Each Other,” and “Old Buddhist Texts: New Womanist Thought.” The papers from panels are often published in this journal.

board meetings (officer and committee reports)

The society’s annual board meeting was held on Friday, November 21, and its members meeting Sunday, Nov. 23. The board approved officer reports submitted by the treasurer, Denise Yarbrough, the interim journal editors, Terry Muck and Rita Gross, and the newsletter editor, Jonathan Seitz and the minutes submitted by secretary Sandra Kunz. An extended discussion treated the history of the relationship between the society, the journal, and the University of Hawai’i Press. The board voted to continue publishing with UHP while working out a new memorandum of understanding.

We reviewed reports from the Nominating Committee, Streng Book Award Committee, Graduate Student Award Committee, Membership Committee, Social Media and Website Committee, and Program Committee.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee reported that the governing board terms of Yifa and John Makransky end with this board meeting. John remains on the board as vice president. We discussed nominees for these two board positions.

Streng Book Award Committee

The Streng Book Award Committee noted that it would be helpful to receive nominations. Thomas Hastings joined the committee and J. Abraham Vélez de Cea was elected to another term. [End Page 207]

Graduate Student Award Committee

Karen Enriquez reported for the Graduate Student Award Committee, noting that although a good paper was selected this year, the problem of paper quality remains. Rita Gross suggested that members with students working in Buddhist-Christian studies should encourage them to present papers at regional AAR meetings and submit these to the award committee. Judith Simmer-Brown suggested we start a subsidiary online journal that would publish, among other things, commentaries on BCS articles, including grad student commentaries. John Makransky suggested that we also post important articles from past issues we see as classics in the field. In light of the board’s enthusiasm about this idea for publishing grad student papers online, and in light of the difficulties of scheduling graduate student award papers within our sessions, John moved that we discontinue the oral presentation of graduate student award papers. Judith seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. John later moved, and Judith seconded the motion, that the board charge Karen, Glenn Willis, and Sarah Swenson to develop a proposal by March for a website that would host a subsidiary peer-reviewed online journal, being sure to articulate how this could promote the society among younger scholars. It passed unanimously.

Membership Committee

Reminding us of Jonathan Seitz’s list of past members, John Makransky suggested we send out a membership mailing to them. Sarah Swenson and Alice Keefe were charged with creating a comprehensive distribution list and sending out a mailing asking everyone to join, rejoin, or renew their membership.

Social Media and Website Committee

In light of our proposal to start a subsidiary online journal, Judith Simmer-Brown was gratefully charged with chairing a new committee with David Gardiner and Glenn Willis, who has been handling Facebook publicity. They will get bids for hiring a professional website designer who can configure it in such a way that we could maintain it ourselves.

Program Committee

John Makransky reported briefly on the potential session topics suggested at the lunch meeting. We discussed pros and cons of forming panels of known experts and using AAR’s blind submission process. The discussion ended with general exhortation to scout out scholars with pertinent work to enlarge our pool of presenters.

We briefly discussed the pros and cons of organizing an international conference and reviving and regularizing the...


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