Conference on Contemplative Studies

The Conference on Contemplative Studies was a symposium on Contemplative Studies, the emerging interdisciplinary field dedicated to research and education on contemplative practice and contemplative experience.

Past Conferences

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - Friday, November 21, 2014
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall Warren Auditorium

The Conference on Contemplative Studies consisted of six sequential panels, consisting of three presenters each. The panel topics were as follows: (1) Contemplative Studies; (2) Critical Subjectivity; (3) Contemplative Pedagogy; (4) Contemplative Psychology, Neuroscience, and Clinical Applications; (5) Comparative Theology, Interreligious Dialogue, and Religiously-Committed Contemplative Practice; and (6) Interdisciplinary Perspectives.

The conference was designed to express a distinctive vision for the field, and also to address key issues and potential approaches. It was a collaborative and critical conversation. That is, this event was an inclusive, interdisciplinary and sophisticated meeting about contemplative practice and contemplative experience from an academic perspective.

The following prominent scholars participated in the event, either as presiders, paper presenters, or special guests:

  • Daniel Barbezat (Amherst College; Center for Contemplative Mind in Society)
  • Douglas Christie (Loyola Marymount University)
  • Francis X. Clooney (Harvard University; Center for the Study of World Religions)
  • Donnalee Dox (Texas A&M University)
  • John Dunne (Emory University)
  • Jorge Ferrer (California Institute of Integral Studies)
  • Andrew Fort (Texas Christian University)
  • Mary Frohlich (Catholic Theological Union)
  • Ann Gleig (University of Central Florida)
  • Aaron Godlaski (Centre College)
  • Fran Grace (University of Redlands)
  • William Headley (University of San Diego; Institute for Peace and Justice)
  • Claudia Horwitz (Rothko Chapel)
  • Anne Klein (Rice University)
  • Elisabeth Koenig (General Theological Seminary)
  • John Koenig (General Theological Seminary)
  • Louis Komjathy (University of San Diego)
  • Beverly Lanzetta (Community of a New Monastic Way)
  • William Meninger (St. Benedict's Monastery)
  • James Miller (Queen's University)
  • Rico Monge (University of San Diego)
  • James Morley (Ramapo College)
  • Barbara Patterson (Emory University)
  • Alberto Pulido (University of San Diego)
  • Harold Roth (Brown University)
  • Edward Sarath (University of Michigan)
  • Clifford Saron (University of California, Davis; Center for Mind and Brain)
  • Laura Schmalzl (University of California, San Diego School of Medicine)
  • Sandra Sgoutas-Emch (University of San Diego; Center for Educational Excellence)
  • Elijah Siegler (College of Charleston)
  • Judith Simmer-Brown (Naropa University)


Organized by Louis Komjathy, PhD, of the Unversity of San Diego's Department of Theology and Religious Studies, the conference was an exciting and groundbreaking event on the emerging interdisciplinary field of Contemplative Studies.

The conference was co-sponsored by the Center for Christian Spirituality, Center for Educational Excellence, Center for Inclusion and Diversity, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciences and Provost's Office of the University of San Diego. The conference was also funded by a Regional Development Grant awarded to the AAR Western Region by the American Academy of Religion.

For inquiries and additional information please contact Dr. Louis Komjathy.