The International Symposium on Urbanism, Spirituality & Well Being , International Symposium at Glastonbury Abbey and Harvard Divinity School (June 6-9, 2013)


International Symposium at Glastonbury Abbey and Harvard Divinity School (June 6-9, 2013)
Sponsored by the Harvard Divinity School, the Harvard Center for Health and Global Environment, and the ACS Forum

General Information
If we instinctively seek a paradisiacal and special place on earth, it is because we know in our inmost hearts that the earth was given to us in order that we might find meaning, order, truth and salvation in it. (Thomas Merton)

The International Symposium on Urbanism, Spirituality & Well Being will convene experts in the fields of architecture, landscape design, urbanism, religious studies, public health and other related disciplines to address leading-edge global culture and urbanism issues from contemplative, spiritual, philosophical, design and ethical perspectives. The 2 1/2 day program of scholarly presentations and panel discussions is sponsored by the Harvard University Divinity School, the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality. The symposium topics include scholarship on the history of cities and architecture planned according to spiritual motivations or principles; the contemporary built urban environment and the plethora of forces that shape it; and the prospects of future urban life that nurtures meaningful, sustainable, and spiritually inspiring built environments and architecture.
How we draw from past and present contexts to cultivate new urban and architectural visions is an imperative that theologians, public health experts, architects and urban designers are well placed to address through philosophical, theoretical and practical considerations and contemplation. This international symposium will focus on the history and potential of the city to spiritually uplift the human spirit, contextualize and symbolize our shared "human condition," accommodate communal activities and rituals that give meaning to our lives, and provide connections to knowledge and understanding of the transcendent dimension of existence in architecture and the urban setting.
The USW Symposium will take place June 6 – 9, 2013 at Glastonbury Abbey, Hingham, Massachusetts & Harvard University Divinity School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The deadline for presentation/paper proposals is January 14, 2013. See Submission Details.
The Forum for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality is an international scholarly environment established in 2007 to support architectural and interdisciplinary scholarship, research, practice, and education on the significance, experience and meaning of the built environment.

Location & Cost

The USW Symposium will take on two different but close locations: the Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, MA (Thursday PM, Friday, and Sunday AM) and the Harvard University campus in Cabridge, MA (Saturday). See Format and Themes for specifics.
Accommodations will be available at the Benedictine Glastonbury Abbey (Hingham, Massachusetts) for symposium participants with priority to those presenting work and then on a first come — first served basis. The cost will be $65/night/person, single or double occupancy, including 3 meals a day. More information will be available closer to the symposium date.
A $100 symposium fee will be charged to conference participants to cover the cost of the Abbey Conference Center, local transportation (to-from Harvard University), and other symposium activites.

Format and Themes

The USW Symposium will begin with a keynote address on Thursday, June 6th, followed on Friday by peer-reviewed paper sessions and a keynote address, both of which will be conducted at Glastonbury Abbey. On Saturday, the symposium will be conducted at the Harvard Divinity School and include invited speakers and panel discussions by leading experts in the field. Sunday will unfold at Glastonbury Abbey and include a concluding session, the ACS business meeting, and an excursion to be announced.
Papers are invited for the following topics:
1. Urbanism of the Past
Scholarship on the history of architecture and the built environment planned according to spiritual motivations or principles.
2. Present Urbanism
Research, practice, and scholarship on contemporary thinking concerning the relationship of spiritual motivations and the built environment, including architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, market capitalism, multiculturalism, sustainability and social equity.
3. Future Urbanism
Research and scholarship on the future of urban life, with particular emphasis on the fundamental needs and practices of placemaking and the creation of meaningful, sustainable, and spiritually inspiring urban environments and architecture.
4. Open Sessions
Research, practice or scholarship that addresses the issues related to architecture, urbanism, spirituality and well-being from a broad range of perspectives.


Process and Format

Proposals should be approximately 1,000 words long. Each submission will receive three blind peer reviews from a panel of ACS members. Due to the limits of time, we anticipate that this is going to be a very competitive process. A proposal should include the folllowing
  • Title
  • Section in which to be considered
  • Expanded abstract that includes the topic, its scope, principal argument(s), primary sources and/or case studies, and intended conclusions
  • If Images are necesary, then they may be included in the document but not exceed 5.
In order to complete the blind-peer review process you will need to include your contact information in the body of your email, but not on your paper proposal.

The Full document should not exceed 5Mb and be sent as an attached file saved in a "DOC", "RTF", or "PDF" format to: Thomas Barrie, Professor, North Carolina State University: .


Proposals are due January 14, 2013.

Decision/Author Notification

Individuals submitting proposals will be notified of the symposium committee's decision via email by March 15, 2013. Complete papers (approximately 3,000 words, including notes) will be due May 15, 2013. Selected proposals (i.e., 1,000 word abstracts) will be posted online at least 2 weeks before the meeting so attendees may be able to prepare for the symposium. Efforts will be made to publish all the accepted work in paper and/or electronic format.
                 Ph.D. in Technologies for the Exploitation
                 of the Cultural Heritage .
                 Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Architecture
                 College of Engineering , University of Mosul 
                 Mosul - Iraq .
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