IASC ANNUAL CONFERENCE – Religious Conflicts: External and Internal

Categories: Union News

JULY 8-10, 2018


Schedule Featured Speakers | Lecture Topics Registration

Co-sponsored by the Theology/Spiritual Care, Psychology, and Medicine Faculties of the University of Bern, Switzerland and the Psychology & Religion Program at Union Theological Seminary, New York

For more program details see https://ia-sc.org/

CEU’s: Lectures and workshops are eligible as self-report CEU’s, Methodology #1, Association of Professional Chaplains/Board of Chaplaincy Certification, www.bcci.professionalchaplains.org.

Discounted hotel accommodations coming soon. Please check back on this site in the coming weeks for more information.


Sunday, July 8:

IASC Opening Public Event & Reception (FREE, RSVP required)

6:30 pm: Greetings from IASC, Bern University, Switzerland, and Union Theological Seminary

6:45-7:45 pm: Dr. Pamela Cooper-White, “Old and Dirty Gods: Religion, Antisemitism, and the Origins of Psychoanalysis”

7:50-9:00 pm: Dr. Isabelle Noth and Dr. Hansjörg Znoj, “Internal Religious and Spiritual Struggles”

9:00 pm: Wine & Cheese reception with entertainment

Monday, July 9

IASC Annual Conference (by registration only)

8:30 am: Registration/info table; coffee, juice & rolls

9:00 am: Welcome remarks from Union and IASC

9:15 am: Lecture I: Dr. Emmanuel Lartey, “Breathing Again: Confronting Toxic Spirituality within and across Religion,” with Q&A

10:45 am: Coffee break

11:15 am: Workshops (TBA)

12:30 pm: Lunch on your own (*IASC Board meets over lunch)

2:15 pm: Lecture II: Dr. John Thatamanil, “Does Multiple Religious Belonging Necessarily Entail Internal Conflict?” w/ Q&A

3:45 pm: Cookie & cold drink break

4:00 pm: Workshops (TBA)

5:15 pm: General Assembly of IASC membership

6:15 pm: Adjourn for dinner on your own

Tuesday morning, July 10 

IASC Annual Conference (by registration only)

8:30 am: Registration/info table; coffee, juice & rolls

9:00 am: Lecture III:  Dr. Jerusha Tanner Lamptey, “Muslim Women, Religious Identity, and Agency,” with Q&A

10:30 am: Coffee break

11:00 am: Lecture IV: Dr. Anthony Bossis, “Psilocybin-Generated Mystical Experience Research: Implications for End-of-Life Spiritual Distress,” w/ Q&A

12:30 pm: Wrap-up Panel with plenary speakers and general discussion

1:30 pm: Adjourn!


Dr. Anthony P. Bossis
Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D. is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and was director of palliative care research, co-principal investigator, and a session guide for the 2016 psilocybin cancer-anxiety clinical trial. He is also lead investigator for a clinical trial evaluating the impact of psilocybin-generated mystical experience upon religious leaders. Dr. Bossis is a clinical supervisor of psychotherapy training and the co-founder and former co-director of the Palliative Care Service at Bellevue Hospital. He has a long-standing interest in comparative religion, consciousness research, contemporary psychoanalytic-existential psychotherapy, and the interface of psychology and spirituality. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.

Dr. Pamela Cooper-White
Dr. Pamela Cooper-White is the Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion at Union Theological Seminary, New York, and was the 2013-14 Fulbright-Freud Scholar of Psychoanalysis in Vienna. She is the author of 7 books including Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care & Counseling; The Cry of Tamar: Violence against Women and the Church’s Response; and most recently, Old & Dirty Gods: Religion, Antisemitism, and the Origins of Psychoanalysis. She has published over 70 articles and chapters and has lectured frequently across the U.S., Europe, and Israel. She serves on the Board of IASC, and the Steering Committee of the Psychology, Culture & Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Cooper-White holds Ph.D.s from Harvard (historical musicology), and the Institute for Clinical Social Work, Chicago (psychoanalytic practice and research). Dr. Cooper-White is an ordained Episcopal priest.

Dr. Jerusha T. Lamptey
Dr. Jerusha T. Lamptey is a Muslima theologian, scholar, and public educator. She is Assistant Professor of Islam and Interreligious Engagement and Director of the Islam, Social Justice and Interreligious Engagement Program (ISJIE) at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Her research and writing focus on Islamic feminism, interreligious engagement, religious pluralism, and social justice. She has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Theological and Religious Studies with a focus on Religious Pluralism from Georgetown University; an M.A. in Islamic Sciences at the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences; and a B.A. in Anthropology and Religion from American University. She is the author of Never Wholly Other: A Muslima Theology of Religious Pluralism (Oxford University Press, 2014) which re-interprets the Qur’anic discourse on religious ‘otherness’ and diversity. Her most recent book (Divine Words, Female Voices: Muslima Explorations in Comparative Feminist Theology, 2018) explores the possibilities of comparative feminist theology.

Dr. Emmanuel Yartekwei Lartey
The Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Yartekwei Lartey is the L. Bevel Jones III Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling at Candler School of Theology. He teaches pastoral theology, care, and counseling at Candler, as well as in the Person, Community, and Religious Life program in Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion. Lartey came to Candler in 2004, and previously taught pastoral and practical theology at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.  Lartey’s research examines pastoral and spiritual care theories and practices operating in African, European and American cultures. An internationally acclaimed scholar, Lartey is recognized as a pioneer in the development of an intercultural approach to pastoral care and counseling, which argues for and models respectful engagement across racial, gender, class, cultural and religious boundaries. His 1997 book, In Living Color: An Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Care and Counseling (Jessica Kingsley, 2nd ed., 2003), now in its second edition, is internationally used as a textbook in pastoral care.

Dr. Isabelle Noth
Dr. Isabelle Noth is Professor of Pastoral Care, Psychology of Religion, and Religious Education, and Director of the Institute for Practical Theology at the University of Bern/Switzerland. She serves as President of the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Training Programs in Switzerland, as President of Advanced Studies in Spiritual Care and Religious Care in Migration Contexts at the University of Bern. Publication relevant for the topic: Palliative and Spiritual Care (2014), co-edited with Claudia Kohli Reichenbach; Pastoral and Spiritual Care Across Religions and Cultures (2017), co-edited with Georg Wenz and Emmanuel Schweizer. She is the founding President of IASC.

Dr. John J. Thatamanil
Dr. John J. Thatamanil teaches a wide variety of courses in the areas of comparative theology, theologies of religious diversity, Hindu-Christian dialogue, the theology of Paul Tillich, theory of religion, and process theology. He is committed to the work of comparative theology— a theology that learns from and with a variety of traditions.   He is the author of The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament, an exercise in constructive comparative theology; An East-West Conversation, providing the foundation for a nondualist Christian theology worked out through a conversation between Paul Tillich and Sankara (Hindu Advaita Vedanta tradition). Works in progress include 2 books: The Promise of Religious Diversity: Constructive Theology After Religion and Theology without Borders: Religious Diversity and Theological Method. He also co-edits the Fordham book series “Comparative Theology: Thinking across Traditions.” Dr. Thatamanil is a past-president of the North American Paul Tillich Society (NAPTS) and the founding Chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Theological Education Committee.

Dr. Hans Jörg Znoj
Born 1957 in Switzerland Dr. Hans Jörg Znoj studied Psychology as a second education and finished his doctorate in 1992. He then did his post-doc studies at UCSF (with Mardi Horowitz) on a Swiss National Foundation grant. Back in Switzerland, he started as an assistant professor at the University of Bern. Since 2006 he is a member of the faculty and professor for Clinical Psychology in Bern. His research interests are emotion regulation, psychotherapy process and critical life-events such as bereavement. Recently he found interest in religion-related topics such as religious conflicts and coping related to motivational conflicts. Dr. Hans Jörg Znoj is the father of two children and lives in Bern.


“Old and Dirty Gods: Religion, Antisemitism, and the Origins of Psychoanalysis” by Dr. Pamela Cooper-White
This lecture, based on the new book of the same title, will examine the historical roots of psychoanalysis in the margins of 20th century Viennese society, in which religious conflict and oppression, particularly in the form of racial antisemitism, can be seen as underlying the insights of psychoanalysis at its origins – with its emphasis on uncovering what lies beneath the surface of the dominant culture, i.e., sex and aggression. The lecture will conclude with implications for the discipline of pastoral and spiritual care.

“Internal Religious and Spiritual Struggles” by Dr. Isabelle Noth & Dr. Hansjörg Znoj
In this lecture, we will present our new empirical research project on religious and spiritual struggles. This project will help to reveal the psychological mechanisms underlying religious conflicts manifested through internal religious/spiritual struggles. It will shed new light on recent findings on individual and social challenges in the realm of religion and can be applied to different societal discourses.

“Breathing Again: Confronting Toxic Spirituality within and across Religion” by Dr. Emmanuel Yartekwei Lartey
History attests to the fact that every religion has the potential to do good as well as harm. This lecture explores ways of being religious that may be harmful, and how healthy spirituality may be promoted across religious traditions.

“Does Multiple Religious Belonging Necessarily Entail Internal Conflict?” by Dr. John J. Thatamanil
This paper will seek to explore the contested question of multiple religious belonging and compare it with another kind of multiplicity that is left largely un-interrogated: one’s participation in one’s religious tradition and one’s all-encompassing participation in neoliberal modes of capitalist life. Why is it questionable to be Buddhist-Christian but not a capitalist-Christian?

“Muslim Women, Religious Identity, and Agency” by Dr. Jerusha Tanner Lamptey
This talk will explore the impact of patriarchy and anti-Muslim bias on expressions and negotiations of religious identity among Muslim women in the United States.

“Psilocybin-Generated Mystical Experience Research: Implications for End-of-Life Psycho-Spiritual Distress by Dr. Anthony Bossis
This presentation will review findings and implications from FDA-approved research using psilocybin (the psychoactive compound found in specific mushrooms). The NYU School of Medicine clinical trial published in 2016 demonstrated the efficacy of a single psilocybin-generated mystical experience in helping individuals with cancer find meaning, existential and spiritual well-being, and a greater acceptance of the dying process, while markedly reducing anxiety, depression, and existential distress – landmark scientific findings never before demonstrated in medicine or psychiatry. Subjective features of a mystical experience include unity, sacredness, transcendence, ineffability, and a greater connection to deeply felt positive emotions including that of love. This research offers a novel therapeutic approach to promote meaning and openness to the mystery of death, and has implications for the enhanced study of religion and consciousness.