Report from the American Society of Church History meeting

Laurel Lied, a PhD fellow in the ITN, has attended the annual winter meeting of the American Society of Church History in Denver.

2017.01.30 | Birgitte Bøgh

Annual American Society of Church History meeting

In early January, I flew into a wintery and stormy Denver for the annual winter meeting of the American Society of Church History (ASCH). This conference, operated in conjunction with the American Historical Association, is a large forum for scholars working on projects within the field of church history. 

Luther himself, Lutheran theology, and Reformation history was the main focus of the week, given this year’s claim to fame as the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. The variety and scope of panels and discussions covered everything from conversations about the future of Reformation scholarship (I believe the question of relevancy pressed upon the academics’ minds) to papers given on Lutheran and Catholic shared use of space within churches in post-Reformation Germany. Outside the multitude of Lutheran topics, panels on topics within American religious history continued peacefully.

I was fortunate enough to set up meetings with several scholars before the conference, including a church historian from Denmark, and it was wonderful to get to meet them, chat a bit, and hear more about their research. The meeting tries to accept papers from a diverse set of researchers, so often PhD students were presenting alongside with senior professors at a panel.

Late in the week, I peeked into the book hall where a furious trade in the latest monographs was going on. For those further along in their scholarship, it was a prime time to meet and convince publishers in person that your monograph could be their next academic best-seller. 

On Sunday when snow had melted and the sun was shining gloriously, I left Denver once again for the short days of Denmark. The meeting had been a very busy four days of panels and meeting up with people. It has also given me a glimpse into how to use and navigate through large conferences in the future. Whether I can make it back to the next winter meeting of ASCH is uncertain, but I enjoyed how the conference gave me the opportunity to hear and listen to a variety of scholarly approaches in historical scholarship.

Laurel Lied, PhD fellow at AU

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