Fall 2019 National Meeting

November 22-26, 2019   ●   San Diego, California


Westar Fellows and Invited Scholars only: Register for $25

If you are either a Westar Fellow or an invited scholar, and you plan to sit at the table and participate in either the God or Christianity Seminars, or both, on Friday, in addition to your AAR/SBL registration, please also register with Westar.

This second registration is not needed for audience members.

To register with Westar for a seat at the table, click here

Members of the Public

Attendees do not need to register directly with Westar. Instead, they must register with the AAR here or the SBL here.

Program Overview

Westar’s Fall 2019 national meeting will take place in San Diego, California, in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). This is the largest event of the year in the fields of biblical studies and theology, with over 1,200 sessions and workshops and one of the world’s largest exhibits of books and digital resources for religious studies.

Westar’s two academic seminars will meet concurrently on Friday, November 22nd, the day before the official AAR/SBL meetings kick off.

There will be no explicit Associate program at the Fall meeting. In its place, Westar, in cooperation with the SBL, will host several community events.

As usual, scholars and members of the public are welcome to attend Westar seminars.

SBL-Westar Institute Public Event


Academic Seminars

Christianity Seminar

Re-Assessing the Categories of Heresy and Orthodoxy in the Christ Movements of the First Two Centuries: Finishing up its seven-year study of the first two hundred years of Christ movements by March, 2020, Westar Institute’s Christianity Seminar takes on a major re-assessment of what heresy and orthodoxy meant in these two centuries in San Diego.  Following the Seminar’s previous important innovations in how to reconfigure gender, Judaism, martyrology, ritual, gnosticism, and category of “Christian;” four leading scholars write papers from different angles on new ways of thinking about difference without a binary approach to categories of heresy and orthodoxy.  The 20-some members of the Seminar discuss, debate, and participate in ballots on the topics and papers in three sessions.  Seminar member Deborah Niederer Saxon (Butler University) begins the process with discussion of her paper and is followed by visiting scholars Kristine Toft Rosland (University of Agder); Eduard Iricinschi (Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum); and Markus Vinzent (Kings College London), in the first two sessions.  The evening session has both the Seminar members and guest presenters joining in integration of the four papers into Seminar-wide agreements and differences.

Seminar on God and the Human Future

Polebridge Authors & Books


Religious Literacy Sundays


Academic Seminars

Westar Institute conducts collaborative, cumulative research in the academic study of religion, addressing issues, questions, and controversies that are important both to the academic community and to the general public. Two seminars are currently in progress: the Christianity Seminar and the Seminar on God and the Human Future.

Westar academic seminars location:


Christianity Seminar


Presiders: Hal Taussig and Glenna Jackson

Topic: Reassessing the Categories of Heresy and Orthodoxy in the First and Second Centuries

Presenters: Deborah Niederer Saxon; Kristine Toft Rosland


Presiders: Shirley Paulson and Jason BeDuhn

Topic: Reassessing the Categories of Heresy and Orthodoxy in the First and Second Centuries

Presenters: Eduard Iricinschi; Markus Vinzent


Presiders: Celene Lillie and Lillian Larsen

Topic: Reassessing the Categories of Heresy and Orthodoxy in the First and Second Centuries


Professors Deborah Niederer Saxon; Kristine Toft Rosland; Eduard Iricinschi; Markus Vinzent

Seminar on God and the Human Future

Program details forthcoming

Participation in Academic Seminars

Westar has developed a new model of scholarly discourse that is open, public, accessible, collegial, and rigorous. Its academic seminars engage leading scholars from accredited institutions worldwide, while also embracing the public and the media as observers and participants.

All others, scholars and non-scholars alike, are welcome to audit the seminars.

Seminar Papers

The Seminar Papers are the basis for the discussions in the Friday sessions. They will not be presented orally at the event. Persons wishing to follow the discussions should read the papers in advance.

Electronic copies of the Seminar Papers are available to the public and will be posted when they come available, usually 2 to 3 weeks prior to the event. Hard copies of the papers will be available at a cost of $25 each.

Order hard copies of seminar papers

AAR/SBL Program Highlights

SBL-Westar Institute Public Event

Details forthcoming

Location details forthcoming

Polebridge Authors & Books

Polebridge Press will offer recent books in conjunction with Wipf & Stock:

Location forthcoming

Dates & Deadlines At-a-Glance

Aug 24Advance registration deadline
Nov 22Westar Academic Seminars
Date forthcomingSBL-Westar Public Event
Nov 23-26SBL/AAR Annual Meeting