Scholars Conference with Diana Butler Bass, April 23-24, 2020

January 6, 2020
Sherri Dietrich, President, United Thank Offering Board

Why be grateful? UTO has offered a steady stream of reasons to practice gratitude, and those of you who live with the spiritual discipline of gratitude know that it is life-changing. But what is the relationship between our faith as Christians/Episcopalians, gratitude and God? Why does God call us to be thankful so many times in the Bible and why do we repeat the call to be thankful so many times each Sunday in the liturgy of the Eucharist? These questions are way beyond my theological skills, which is why I am excited about The Theology of Gratitude scholars conference that UTO is presenting in partnership with Bexley Seabury Seminary in Chicago on April 23-24, 2020. This conference will include keynote speaker Diana Butler Bass, author of Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks, and papers on gratitude presented by scholars in different fields of theology. The papers from the conference will also be published in the Anglican Theological Review in a special issue on gratitude to make them available well beyond the conference attendees.

UTO proposed this conference both because we want a firm theology of thankfulness behind our work and because we want to encourage scholarship, which is one of the legs of Anglicanism’s three-legged stool (faith, tradition, reason). Although eucharist means thanksgiving and we talk about giving thanks every Sunday there is not much theological work on what thankfulness means and how it relates to our faith, but we hope this conference will begin to change that and will inspire more thought and conversation about gratitude in the Church.

If you want to learn more about The Theology of Gratitude conference please visit: If you know a scholar who should submit a paper proposal;, please encourage her or him to visit this webpage for guidelines, the deadline is January 15th. If you want to attend, please save the dates on your calendar and check the webpage, we’re hoping to have all of the information for attending the conference there by the end of the month, and of course, we’ll update you in the February E-News.

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