Vancouver School of Theology

Forming thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders for the church in the 21st century


Annual Conference

Annual Conference


Religion and Violence

A multi-religious, multi-disciplinary academic conference

May 26-28, 2019

Inter-religious Studies Program, Vancouver School of Theology, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Keynote Speaker: Peter W. Klein, Emmy Award-winning international journalist and filmmaker, and former director of the UBC School of Journalism.

Possible Paper Topics: Religiously-identified groups have made news as both perpetrators and targets of violence. This violence takes place within a cultural nexus of spiritual, economic, linguistic, political, sexual, and psychological dynamics. Religious and spiritual traditions have played a significant role in this nexus – by inspiring, discouraging, and responding to violence.

Conference papers can explore dynamics within one tradition, or common to multiple traditions. They can rely on disciplinary or interdisciplinary analyses. At VST, we explore Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Indigenous and Buddhist traditions; but papers can be grounded in any spiritual or non-theistic tradition. Our aim is to create a helpful conversation.

Examples of topics include but are not limited to: Spiritual, educational, homiletic, and artistic responses to violence; radicalization and resistance to it; nonviolence; stereotyping; scriptural stories of violence; ritual and violence; genocide; de-colonization; environmentalism; media images of religious violence; religious freedom; globalization; nationalism.

Paper Preparation Guidelines: Initial abstracts outlining the context and argument of the paper should be 150-200 words. Completed papers should be approximately 3,000 words and grounded in a theological, historical, philosophical, sociological, artistic etc. perspective. Papers should be clearly written, accessible to those outside the author’s discipline and religious tradition. Conference sessions will be of varied formats, and oral presentations may be shorter than 25 minutes. Plans for publishing a volume based on conference papers are in process.

Submission and Notification Schedule: Abstracts, a 50-word bio and phone/email/postal contact information due February 15 to We will notify presenters of acceptance no later than February 28. Completed papers due by May 1.

Graduate Student Essay Contest: Accepted papers by graduate students will automatically be entered into an essay contest. If you are a graduate student, please note that on the cover page of your completed paper.

Registration opens March 15. The $150 fee/$75 for students includes continental breakfast and lunch each day. Limited on-campus accommodations at Carey Centre are available at a rate of $99 per day at Carey Centre; information will be posted along with a registration form.

Questions? Contact Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan Kaplan and team at or visit our website at


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