Religious History Association Committee of Management



31 July 2013

4:45-6:45 pm : Macquarie University, W6A 308


Present: Hilary Carey (outgoing President), John Gascoigne (President elect), Ian Tregenza (Secretary elect), Carole Cusack (JRH editor), Philip Almond, Shurlee Swain.

Apologies: Chris Hartney


1. Minutes of 19 November 2012 of the Religious History Association.

The minutes were accepted as a true record.

2. Matters Arising

Election of Committee of Management, 2013-2014 held over from November 2012 meeting.

The following members were elected to the new committee of management

President: John Gascoigne

Vice President: TBA - at the nomination of the President

Treasurer: Malcolm Prentis

Secretary: Ian Tregenza

Two ordinary members: Joanna Cruickshank/ Shurlee Swain; Philip Almond/ Peter Harrison

Editor of the Journal of Religious History (ex officio). After confirmation of fourth and final two-year term), Carole Cusack and Christopher Hartney.


RHA President’s Report

3.1         Welcome to new members

3.2.        Planning for JRH editors’ transition

This item inserted to remind us of need to plan ahead for transition to a new editorial team.

·        At the November 2010 AGM Carole Cusack and Chris Hartney were confirmed as Editors  of the Journal of Religious History for a second two-year term, from mid. 2009 to June 2011. Note that this renewal was retrospective and the Editors commenced their first two-year term of office n in mid. 2007 under the auspices of the Association for the Journal of Religious History.

·        The RHA confirmed Carole Cusack and Chris Hartney  for  a third two-year term in June 2011.

·        This meeting will now confirm the Editors for a fourth a final two-year term from July 2013 to June 2015.


Extract from Constitution:


14. The Editor of the Journal of Religious History

(a) will be appointed for a two-year term by the committee on conditions specified by the committee; and

(b) will be a voting member of the management committee; and

(c) will serve a maximum of four continuous two-year terms as Editor.


In addition, the Editor:

(a) will have complete editorial autonomy in deciding which articles to publish in the Journal only ensuring that published articles meet the highest scholarly standards; and

(b) will conduct day-to-day negotiations with the publisher of the Journal on behalf of the Association; and

(c) will present a written report on the Journal which will be circulated to all members at least once a year.


The committee decided to appoint a search committee by June 2014 to be made up of three people: The President, the Secretary, and Shurlee Swain if she is agreeable. 

3.3  International

Commission Internationale d'Histoire Ecclésiastique Comparée / International Commission for Comparative Ecclesiastical History:

CIHEC is the international organisation for historians of Christianity.

·        Contacted by Dr Mikko Ketola (Finland) to provide a report of our national commissions

·        I sent a report of our activities based on my TheRHA report.  In the past, this has appeared on the CIHEC website.

·        The most recent meeting of CIHEC was held in Vilnius from 6 - 8 June 2013 on the theme: "Christians and the Non-Christian Other." 

·        In 2014, the location will be in Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir or Zagreb. In 2015 the location will be Salzburg.


Recommendation: RHA send a delegate to the next meeting of CIHEC to extend our engagement with this international organization.


The XXII Congress of CISH will be held in Jinan, China in 2015. Three sessions are proposed by CIHEC:

·        Indigenization of Christianity (Hugh McLeod)

·        Science and Religion (Yves Krumenacher)

·        Migration of Religious Ideas (Robert Swanson and Ray Mentzer)


Recommendation: RHA promote the three sessions on the RHA website and discussion list and support members interested in attending.


RHA Aotearoa New Zealand

·        Allan Davidson, President of RHAANZ responded to plans for a joint conference to be held at Massey University’s Auckland campus from 26 - 27 November 2014. Carole Cusack attended a planning meeting in December 2013 but is unable to attend next year. Joanna Cruickshank kindly agreed to serve as the RHA delegate on the planning committee for this event. Peter Lineham is now the conference convenor.


Recommendation: Ask for update from Joanna Cruickshank.


3.4  National  - Australian Historical Association.


AHA 2013

The AHA held its annual meeting in Wollongong from 8 - 12 July on the theme "Mobilities."

A stream of papers was organized by Josip Matesic, who submitted a useful report. The report notes:

·        The AHA would not permit the RHA speaker to be placed as a keynote in the conference program or to have an extended session.

·        Despite this, Wayne Hudson generously presented his paper anyway on the topic: "Australian Religious Thought."

·        Other papers presented by Robert Withycombe, Elizabeth Miller, Doris LeRoy, Margaret McLeod, Timothy Jones, Robert Hogg, Josip Matesic, Laura Rademaker.

·        Other paper givers also nominated their papers for the RHA sessions but were programmed elsewhere.

·        On the whole the association with the AHA, while there are problems, brings benefits to the Association.

·        Cambridge Scholars approached the organiser with the offer to publish the papers but time did not permit this.


AHA 2014

The next meeting of the AHA will be held in Brisbane from 7 - 11 July 2014 with organiser Martin Crotty from the University of Sydney. The theme is History and Conflict.

·        RHA Committee members Philip Almond and Peter Harrison were invited to consider involvement in this conference, through the Centre for the History of European Discourse.

·        Dr Leigh Penman, postdoctoral fellow at the CHED has agreed to act as organizer.

·        An invitation has been issued to William Cavanaugh, author of The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (2005). If unavailable, it is suggested that an approach be made to Ron Numbers, University of Madison-Wisconsin.


AHA organisers have said that there is not room for a RHA keynote in the conference itself (unless it were timetabled alongside the AHA keynotes) so the option of holding a public lecture the evening before the conference will be explored along with a panel of related papers within the conference itself.


Other events of interest:

19-20 September, "The Sermon in History," Charles Sturt University, Canberra. Organiser Dr Michael Gladwin.

3 - 6 October, "Empire, Faith and Conflict Conference," University of Notre Dame Fremantle, WA. AHA/ World HIstory Association conference, Organiser: Deborah Gare. Keynote speaker: Dr Andrew May.


4. Website and Therha (Anna Haunton)

The committee expressed its gratitude to Anna Haunton for her continued good work in upgrading the website and producing Therha.

The anomalies in the RHA mailing were discussed (not all RHA members are on the Yahoo list). Carole Cusack suggested that Anna might be able to compile one mailing list from all the RHA members.


5. Treasurer's Report (John Gascoigne)

The outgoing treasurer tabled and spoke to this report. He reported that the association's finances are in a healthy state though the current balance doesn't include a number of upcoming payments,including a subsidy of up to $5000 for our involvement in the 2014 RHA Aotearoa New Zealand conference, next year's AHA conference, the workshop subsidies, and the Mansfield Prize.

6. Nomination of Stuart Piggin as Fellow of the Association

Hilary Carey nominated (Ian Tregenza seconded) Stuart Piggin to be a Fellow of the Association and the following was read:

Since the publication of his ground-breaking doctoral thesis, Making Evangelical Missionaries, 1789-1858 (1984), Stuart Piggin has published more than 100 academic articles and seven books, a number of which have become classics in the field.  While his most distinguished contribution to international religious history has been focused on the history of Evangelical Christianity, Piggin has also written a critical history of the Mount Kembla Disaster of 1902 (OUP, 1992) and his work has spanned the full range of critical, social and political studies of Evangelical Christianity in the English-speaking world. His landmark work, Evangelical Christianity in Australia: Spirit, Word and Work (OUP, 1996) defined a new agenda for the interpretation of the influence of Protestant Christianity - and of religion generally - in Australian history, politics and society. 

Piggin has also played a critical role in public reception of new research in religious history, including presentations to the first National Forum on Australia's Christian Heritage in Parliament House, Canberra, establishing the School of Christian studies during the period he was Master of Robert Menzies College at Macquarie University from 1990 to 2004. He has been a mentor to many new and established researchers in the field, supervising a stream of PhD students, many fostered through his ongoing seminar on Christian history in connection with the Centre for the History of Christian Thought and Experience at Macquarie University.

Stuart Piggin became a Member of the Association for the Journal of Religious History in1990, later serving on the Executive. During the period when the old Association was struggling to adjust to the retirement of the first generation who had created the Journal in 1960, he  played a leading role in the negotiations which led to the formation of Religious History Association through the amalgamation of the Association for the Journal of Religious History and the Religious History Society in 2010, including the suggestion for the name of the new organisation. He served as Secretary of the Religious History Association from its formation in 2010 until 2013.

Stuart Piggin has been at the heart of the academic study of religious history in Australia for more than three decades during which time he has been instrumental in the growth of religious history as a part of the Academy in Australia.


7. Editors' Report (Carole Cusack and Chris Hartney)

The editor reported on a successful 6 month period for the Journal. Over this time 22 original papers have been received. 7 of these are in the process of revision, 6 were rejected as inappropriate for the journal and 5 were rejected on the basis of quality.

All issues of the journal up to September 2014 are in the production phase and there is only one revised article to come in for the December 2014 before it can be sent to Wiley.

It was noted that with a change of production editor at Wiley (the new contact is Amy Chong) there has been an improvement in the copy editing process.

Chris Hartney's correspondence with Wiley regarding the issue of Green and Gold Open Access to the journal was tabled and discussed. The Association endorsed the changes that Chris was able to negotiate with Wiley regarding the embargo on articles for a 24 month period after publication.

It was suggested that correspondence between Wiley and us has legal standing but it was agreed that an email would be sent to Wiley in the New Year to confirm the arrangement. 

The short list for this year's Mansfield Prize was listed as: P. Terracini, A. Laats, E. Helgen, and K. Paramore. These papers will be circulated among the executive and a winner chosen.


8. Workshop subsidies and bursaries.

The EHA application for a subsidy for its recent conference was tabled and funding was agreed to for the full amount ($500).

Two further applications for another conference were considered. Both of these were from individuals to subsidise their expenses for the Empire, faith and conflict conference in Perth, 3-5 October. It was agreed that since the guidelines stipulate funding for workshops/conferences rather than individuals, funding of $500 would be provided to the organiser (Rowan Strong) to be used for the purpose of supporting the conference, which might include subsidising individuals' travel or conference expenses.  


9.  Any Other Business

Philip Almond asked whether the RHA had a preference regarding the running of the RHA stream in the AHA conference next year. It was agreed that the number of sessions and days would depend on the number and quality of the papers received.

Hilary Carey's excellent contribution to the RHA executive over the past few years was noted. The committee thanked her for her efforts and wished her well in her new role at Bristol.

10. Date of next meeting