President's Column

Div. 36 Midyear Conference

The midyear conference is rapidly approaching.

By Michael Nielsen, PhD

The Midyear Conference is rapidly approaching. Plan to attend this event, hosted by our friends and colleagues Dominique Treboux and Peter Lin at St. Joseph's College, New York. Dominique and Peter have worked with their campus to prepare the location for our sessions. Taylor Newton has assembled the paper and poster submissions into an outstanding program with truly diverse sessions. Here are a few of the highlights.

On Thursday, March 10, is a preconference, with sessions on systematic compassion training, and psychoanalysis and Buddhism. Friday you will find sessions ranging from biases in religion and nonreligion, to Sufi meditation and Indian spirituality. Saturday includes sessions on religion and depression, resilience and sexual violence, and much more.

Our featured speakers at this midyear meeting are very well-known for their contributions to psychology. Friday's keynote speaker is Paul Bloom, whose address is titled, “There is Nothing Special About Religious Belief.” Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. He is known for his research on morality, fate and free will — themes of enduring interest to psychologists of religion. Saturday Sheldon Solomon, professor of Psychology at Skidmore College, will deliver the keynote address. Solomon is well known for his research on people's responses to mortality and has titled his address, “The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life.” His work on terror management theory has had a fundamental impact on how we understand people's reactions to thoughts of death. These addresses will surely be thought-provoking.

It is worth mentioning that CE credits will be available at several of the sessions. As of this writing, the New York State Psychological Association is making their final judgments, so we do not yet have a final tally on the number of CE units, but rest assured that if you need CEs the conference will be a good opportunity for you.

I hope you agree that the Midyear Conference will be a stimulating event. I am eager to see you there.

On another important note, Ralph Piedmont has done a tremendous job as the first editor of our journal, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality®, and as the end of his term approaches we are now beginning the process of selecting the next editor. Chris Boyatzis is leading our effort to select a new editor. You will be hearing from him in the future as he seeks recommendations for this important role.

Until we meet in Brooklyn,

Michael Nielsen, president of Div. 36