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Prof. Scott Thumma Elected President of the Religious Research Association

ScottThumma photo black shirt

Hartford Seminary is proud to announce that Prof. Scott Thumma was elected President of the Religious Research Association, a three-year position.

The association is a group of academic and religious professionals working at the intersection of research and practical religious activities. Members include college, university, and seminary faculty; religious leaders; organizational consultants; laypersons; and other professionals interested in the intersection of religion and society.

“After fifteen years of updating the website list of RRA presidents and officers, it is a joy and an honor to know that my name will get added to that list….and I won’t have to update the page to do it!” Prof. Thumma said. “So many of my mentors and friends, quite a few with Hartford Seminary connections, are on that list; it is wonderful to be selected by my peers to join them.”

The association’s goals are:

  • To increase understanding of the function of religion in persons and society through application of social scientific and other scholarly methods
  • To promote the circulation, interpretation and use of the findings of religious research among religious bodies and other interested groups
  • To cooperate with other professional societies, groups and individuals interested in the study of religion, and
  • To aid in the professional development of religious researchers.

Prof. Thumma, who was recently made Director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, takes on this position at a critical time for religious communities.

“The changing social dynamics make it challenging to be a vibrant and thriving spiritual community.  The Religious Research Association’s commitment to applied research and its desire to bridge the gap between the academy and religious professionals make it a critical partner in offering research-based resources for congregations and denominations,” he said. “I hope to use my presidency, in collaboration with other members of the council, to remind the association of this distinctive vision and its critical mission to promote the ‘circulation, interpretation, and use of findings of religious research among professionals in religious organizations.'”

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