Religious History Association- Second Annual General Meeting


Monday 14 November 2011

Macquarie University

5:00 – 7:00 pm Venue room 707, Building W6A

Present:  Hilary Carey (President), John Gascoigne (Treasurer), Stuart Piggin (Secretary), Carol Cusack and Chris Hartney (Journal editors), Geoff Oddie, Ian Tragenza

Apologies: Philip Almond, Shurlee Swain, Deryck Schreuder, Garry Trompf


1.      Minutes of the 6 June 2011 Meeting of the Religious History Association were approved.

2.      Matters Arising: These were dealt with in the course of the meeting

3.      President’s Report

4.1  International

o   Allan Davidson from the Religious History Association of New Zealand/ Aotearoa has suggested that a joint conference might be held in New Zealand in 2014 to mark the centenary of the first sermon preached there by Samuel Marsden. 


o   Membership of CIHEC (Commission Internationale d'Histoire et d'etudes du Christianisme) was approved ($100). CIHEC’s annual conference in 2012 will be on ‘Religion and Resistance in Europe from Middle Ages to 21st century’ and will be held at the University of Tartu, Estonia, 11-13 June 2012

4.2  National

o   The President advised that she would organise the RHA component of the annual AHA meeting in Adelaide, 9-13 July 2012. Professor Barry Kosmin, an authority on secularism, would be the international academic supported by the RHA for this conference. He would also lecture at Macquarie University


o   Membership of the Council for the Humanities of Arts and Sciences was approved ($330). An assessment is to be made of the value of our membership of this Council and is to be reported to the 2012 AGM of the RHA


4.3  The passing of Ruth Frappell, a valued Fellow of the RHA, and Patrick Collinson was noted with deep regret. John Gascoigne will compile a record of the distinguished contribution of each for the Association’s records and the Secretary will communicate to Leighton Frappell the RHA’s appreciation of Ruth’s contribution to the writing and study of religious history in Australia


5.      Website and Therha

Anna Haunton’s work for the RHA was commended

6.      Elections

6.1  Executive


6.2  The present Executive of the Religious History Association was elected for a two-year term from 1 Jan. 2011 to 31 Dec. 2012. There are currently no vacancies and there will be no elections in this calendar year except in the case of resignations.

6.3  Nomination of Fellows of the Association

The President nominated Emeritus Professor Judge for election as a Fellow of the RHA. Stuart Piggin spoke of Professor Judge’s contribution both to the formation of the Association for the JRH and to the Journal itself. Professor Judge was elected on acclamation, and the President undertook write to Professor Judge to inform him of his election.

7.      Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer spoke to his report. 6 who took out membership last year have not renewed their membership. There are 49 members, including those who take the Journal.


Ian Tragenza that the conference on secularism held at Macquarie University on 30 September 2011 broke even thanks to the subsidy from the RHA


It was reported that the Journal editors would use the travel expenses provided by Blackwells in attending conferences in 2012


8.      Editors’ Report

The editors spoke to their report, and Carole spoke of the steps she had taken to promote the Journal at European conferences. The next issue of JRH will be on Catharism, and the following two numbers are also in a mature state of preparation.


9.      Bruce Mansfield Prize

It was unanimously agreed that the 2011 Mansfield Prize be awarded to Nancy van Deusen for her exceptional article ‘Reading the Body: Mystical Theology and Spiritual Actualisation in Early Seventeenth-Century Lima,’ JRH, 33.1, 1-27.


It was suggested the pdfs of articles nominated by the Journal editors for the prize might be circulated to Executive members in advance of the next AGM


It was noted that in 2012 the RHA might award two Mansfield prizes, a junior as well as a senior prize.


10.  Any Other Business

Stuart Piggin reported that he had completed the editing of the papers of Edwin Judge towards the publication of which the RHA has made provision of a subsidy. He was asked to write to John Gascoigne about the project so that he could approach the UNSW Press about the publication.


Geoff Oddie raised the issue of what might be done with the libraries of Australian religious historians. The urgent need for specialised collections in theology and religious history was recognised. A long discussion ensued. It was agreed that an article should appear in Therha canvassing the subject.


11.  Date and time of next meeting: 28 May 2012, 5-7 pm at Macquarie University.

Extract from RHA Constitution



There shall be two categories of membership, members and fellows.

1. Ordinary membership is open to all those who apply. A condition of membership is acceptance of this constitution.

2. Ordinary members shall be admitted EITHER on submission of an application on the approved membership form and payment of the membership fee OR by taking out an individual subscription to the Journal of Religious History and indicating a desire to become a member.

3. Fellows will be chosen in recognition of outstanding contributions to the purposes of the Association.

4. Fellows will be elected for life after nomination by two members of the Association to the Secretary and confirmation by a quorum in attendance at the annual general meeting. 



12. (1) Nominations of candidates for election as office-bearers of the Society or as ordinary members of the committee:

(a) must be made in writing, signed by 2 members of the Society and accompanied by the written consent of the candidate (which may be endorsed on the form of the nomination); and

(b) must be delivered to the secretary of the Society at least 7 days before the date fixed for the holding of the annual general meeting at which the election is to take place.

(2) If insufficient nominations are received to fill all vacancies on the committee, the candidates nominated are taken to be elected and further nominations are to be received at the annual general meeting

(3) If insufficient further nominations are received, any vacant positions remaining on the committee are taken to be casual vacancies to be filled, the persons nominated are taken to be elected.

(4) If the number of nominations received is equal to the number of vacancies to be filled, the persons nominated are taken to be elected.

(5) If the number of nominations received exceeds the number of vacancies to be filled, a ballot is to be held.

(6) The ballot for the election of office-bearers and ordinary members of the committee is to be conducted at the annual general meeting in such usual and proper manner as the committee may direct.