2004: Transforming
suffering, loss & death
through meaning, hope & faith

JUly 22-25, 2004 | Vancouver, Canada

The 3rd Biennial International Conference on Personal Meaning was held July 22-25, 2004 at the Empire Landmark Hotel in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The conference theme was “Transforming Suffering, Loss & Death through Meaning, Hope & Faith.”

Following the success of the second conference, it boasted not only quality presentations, but also quality friendships through the spirit of community building. The beauty of its approach to existential psychology is that it addresses issues of human existence relevant to all people by not only focusing on existential angst but also accentuating the positives—the human potential for growth and self-transcendence.

There were over 80 presentations, including a special Templeton Symposium titled “The Gift of Suffering: Spiritual Transformation, Science, and Medicine” that included Dr. Harold Koenig, the world’s leading expert on spirituality and health, and Dr. George Ellis, winner of the 2004 Temple Prize in Religion alongside Dr. Warren Brown, Dr. Malcolm Jeeves, and Dr. Mark Tyndall. Another special presentation was the symposium on Life and Death Education in Taiwan organized by the Taiwan delegation under the leadership of Dr. Chi Chieh-Fang and Dr. Wu Hui-Min.

Sponsors included the John Templeton Foundation, Mennonite Central Committee, University of British Columbia, and Trinity Western University.

Download Conference Program

Conference program available soon.



Harold G. Koenig, M.D., MHSc.

Alfried Längle, M.D., Ph.D.

Dan P. McAdams, Ph.D.

Therese Rando, Ph.D.

Esnesto Spinelli, Ph.D.

Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D.

Invited speakers included David Cechetto, Ph.D., Chi Chieh-Fang, Ph.D., Solomon Katz, Ph.D., Salvatore Maddi, Ph.D., The Rev. Koken Otani, Alex Pattakos, Ph.D., Nancy Reeves, Ph.D., Kirk Schneider, Ph.D., Richard Tedeschi, Ph.D., and Phil Zylla, D.Th.



My experience of the conference was…exceptional and mind-altering in many ways. Many of the sessions moved me in a deeply emotional way, and a great deal of the imparted knowledge has carried with it a compelling force that demands the knowledge be reflected on and shared. My favorite part of the conference was the brief moments with people when we reflected on what we heard together in a session or when we stated, “so where were you the last hour? How was that session?” There were many valuable presentations going on simultaneously, and sometimes a forced-choice was difficult and a little painful. There was a murmur of gratitude for the Wongs that was carried around by many of the speakers, volunteers, and others who have known them for years.

Melissa Schmalz

I really enjoyed the conference, and that I especially enjoyed your presidential address. I fully support your call for a more integrated approach to psychology. I noticed that you mentioned the work of Ken Wilber—I have a strong interest in his integral model and I’m always glad to hear more academics mentioning his work.

Shelley Fahlman, Ph.D.

Health Promotion Facilitator, Alberta Health Services

Thank you for all your hard work to put on the meaning conference, it was a fabulous, growing experience that I will be thinking about for a long time!

Marie Amos

2018 is here

Stay informed with the latest updates by signing up for our quarterly Positive Living Newsletter.

© International Network on Personal Meaning, 1998-2018