AAR-SBL Rocky Mountains Great Plains Region

Virtual Regional Meeting Saturday, March 20, 2021 University of Colorado Colorado Springs

General Information

Welcome to the virtual 2021 Rocky Mountain–Great Plains regional meeting of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature. Just as the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 conference, it is forcing a virtual conference in 2021. We are grateful that a conference is taking place in 2021. We sincerely hope to hold an in-person conference in 2022. Thank you for all of your accommodating and persistence.

You still must register for the conference, though all fees are waived.

Go to: to register for the conference.

On the day before the conference (March 19th, 2021), you will be emailed a link that will contain all of the sessions. A Zoom link will accompany each session, so be sure to have Zoom downloaded on your device.

These are challenging times to say the least. Thanks to all of you for sustaining our Rocky Mountain-Great Plains AAR-SBL region. We believe that you all have help us put together a great (though smaller) program.


The Program Committee and Regional Officers:

  • Ronald Simkins (Creighton University), President
  • Jeffrey Scholes (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs), Vice President and Program Chair
  • Zachary Smith (Creighton University), AAR Coordinator
  • Thomas Wayment (Brigham Young University), SBL Coordinator
  • Michael Laminack (University of Denver – Iliff School of Theology), AAR Student Director

Session 1

8:15 –10:00 am

Academic Program

2021 AAR/SBL Rocky Mountain–Great Plains Regional Meeting *All sessions take place on Saturday, March 20th

(1A) Religion and Communities


  • Erik Hanson (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)


  • Camilla Raymond (University of Denver), “Where is “Home” Again?: Mobility and Assimilation of Ioudaioi in the Greco-Egyptian Period”
  • Shoshana McClarence (University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology), “The First Brick Thrown: Materialism through the Stonewall Riots”
  • Patrick D. Bowen (Independent Scholar), “Remanufacturing Religion: On the Early Years of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam”
  • Rebecca David Hensley (University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology), “Demonic Grounds or Living Water? The Crisis at the U.S./Mexico Border”

Zoom Meeting

(1B) Hebrew Bible


  • Colin Mcallister (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)


  • Avram R. Shannon (Brigham Young University), “’Judah shall not vex Ephraim’: The Josephite Tribes in Genesis Rabbah”
  • Albert McClure (Iliff School of Theology / University of Denver and Metropolitan State University), “Systemic Iconoclasm in the Hebrew Bible during the Persian Period II"
  • Michael T.R. Krueger (Reformed Theological Seminary), “Woe to Us for We Have Sinned: Lamentations as Prophetic Lament”

Zoom Meeting

(1C) Panel: Embodiment in South Asian Religious Traditions

Chair and Presenter:

  • Loriliai Biernacki (University of Colorado, Boulder)


  • James Batten (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • Kim Ploeg (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • Erika Brown (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  • Vincent Vansaghi (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Zoom Meeting

10:00 am-10:15 am, Break

Session 2

10:15–12:00 pm

(2A) Global Religion and Pedagogy


  • Colin Lewis (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)


  • Jack Hamblin (University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology), “When Buddhas Suffer: Tenzing Rigdol’s My World Is in Your Blind Spot”
  • Mukti Patel (University of Toronto), “Shifting Perspectives: Women in Mosques”
  • Sandra Lee Dixon (University of Denver), “Teaching on the Wide-Open Conceptual Landscape of Lived Religion”

Zoom Meeting

(2B) New Testament


  • Patrick D’Silva (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)


  • Sam Calderwood (Washburn University), “Barabbas and the construction  of the Markan Passion Narrative”
  • Andrew J. Pottenger  (University of Manchester), "Sufficient Orthodoxy": Constantine's Adherence to the Council of Nicaea as Ecclestiastical Law, A.D. 325-337”
  • Robert Douglass  (Independent Scholar), "Insights from Greco-Roman Parables for the Discussion of Synoptic Parables"
  • Ryan F. Smith (St. Mary's University), "Lectio Difficile Nimis: A Reading too Difficult: "The Fallacy of Extrinsic Probablilty in New-Testament Textual Criticism: The Case of the Pre-Mortem Spearing of Jesus at Matt 27:49B"

Zoom Meeting

(2C) Panel: “Apocalypticism and Popular Culture”

Chair and Moderator(s):

  • Lorenzo DiTommaso (Concordia University Montréal) and
  • Colin McAllister (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)


  • Eli Mason (Concordia University Montréal), “This Will Reveal a Great Secret of Time": Liminality and Apocalypse in ‘Welcome to Night Vale’”
  • Shannon Ritchey (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs), “All the Nightmares Came Today: David Bowie and the Postmodern Apocalypse”
  • Julia Gerhard (Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA), “Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro 2033 as a Post-Utopia”
  • Regula Meyer Evitt (Colorado College), "Dante’s Fra Alberigo, Infernal Cannibalism, and the Medieval Technologies of the Zombie Apocalypse."

Zoom Meeting

12:00 – 1:00 pm, Break

Session 3


(3A) Undergraduate Student Papers


  • Jeffrey Scholes (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)


  • Jacob Barrett (Nebraska Wesleyan University), “The Case for World Religions without the World Religions Paradigm
  • Jackson Abhau (Brigham Young University), “Taking Away the Sin of the World: Egō Eimi and the Day of Atonement in John”
  • Korbyn Peebles (University of Oklahoma), “From Green to Brown: Moral Conflict of Climate Change within Contemporary Southern Baptism”

Zoom Meeting

(3B) Creation and Ecology: Author meets critics

This session will review the recently published book by Ronald A. Simkins, Creation and Ecology: The Political Economy of Ancient Israel and the Environmental Crisis (Cascade Books, 2020).


  • Samuel Boyd, University of Colorado Boulder.
  • Mark George, Iliff School of Theology.
  • Amy Balogh, Regis University


  • Ronald A. Simkins, Crighton University.

Zoom Meeting

Business Meeting

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

End of Conference

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