Sarah Kathleen Johnson is the winner of the 2019 A. James Reimer Award. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and a Visiting Fellow at the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre, her academic home while conducting ethnographic research in Toronto.
Sarah is based in Toronto to pursue fieldwork for her dissertation which examines the ongoing roles of Christian worship in a changing Canadian religious landscape through a study of baptisms and funerals in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. Her research, which often explores questions of Christian worship and ethics, is published in journals including Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, Studia Liturgica, Worship, The Hymn, and the Conrad Grebel Review.
For the past three years, Sarah has served on the editorial team for Voices Together, a new hymnal and worship book for Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA, and as the editor of an accompanying volume for worship planners and leaders. Sarah is often invited to speak about worship in congregations and at retreat weekends and conference events across Canada and the United States.
Responding to the news that she would receive this award, Sarah says:
I had the privilege of studying with Jim Reimer as an undergraduate and graduate student at Conrad Grebel University College. Courses with Jim formed me as an ecumenically engaged Mennonite scholar of religion and theology. Research that I pursued with Jim’s encouragement launched my academic career with my first publication and conference presentation. I am honoured and grateful to receive an award that recognizes Jim’s theological legacy which has impacted me personally.
The A. James Reimer award is given annually to a student completing an advanced degree program at the Toronto School of Theology or another university who actively participates in TMTC programming. The award was established to recognize the work of A. James Reimer in establishing the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre. TMTC provides a Mennonite presence at the Toronto School of Theology in order to engage in theological conversation at an advanced degree level as well as to support Anabaptist students pursuing advanced degrees.