CFP: Christ Among the Disciplines

Call for papers from the “Christ Among the Disciplines” Conference


After a few short days, we have gathered together a star-studded lineup of scholars who will be speaking at the conference. That being said, a few panels still need to be finalized, and we are thus opening up a “Call for Papers.”As such, anyone who is a postdoctoral researcher or above is encouraged to get in touch in order to participate in the conference in one of two capacities: (1) as a participant on one of the book panels, or (2) as a speaker in a break-away session on one of the various topics identified below.If you are interested in participating in one of the book panels, please apply here.


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If you are interested in presenting in a break-away session, please apply here.

Note: We will consider publishing the papers submitted for the break-away sessions, which need to be finalized and submitted by October 15th, 2020.


Panels needing finalized:

  • Matthew Novenson, The Grammar of Messianism

  • J. R. Daniel Kirk, A Man Attested by God

  • Chris Tilling, Paul’s Divine Christology

  • Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the God of Israel

  • Rowan Williams, Christ the Heart of Creation

  • Natalie Carnes, Image and Presence

  • Timothy Pawl, In Defense of Conciliar Christology

  • Thomas Joseph White, The Incarnate Lord

  • Ian McFarland, The Word Made Flesh

  • Kathryn Tanner, Christ the Key

  • Darren Sumner, Karl Barth and the Incarnation

  • Dong-Kun Kim, The Future of Christology

  • Joerg Rieger, Jesus vs. Caesar

  • Richard Cross, Communicatio Idiomatum

  • Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion


Break-away session topics:

  1. Jesus Who?

  2. The Grammar of Christology

  3. The Jesus of History and the Task of Christology

  4. The Subject of Election

  5. Dialectical vs. Analytic Christology

  6. Conciliar Orthodoxy?

  7. The genus tapeinoticon


1. Jesus Who?

  • One of the biggest difficulties facing those who would like to enter into the realm of christological discourse centers on the question of what precisely we mean when we employ the word “Jesus.” Are we intending to refer to the psychosomatic entity who lived some two thousand years ago in and around Palestine? Or perhaps we have in view the various literary portraits of the central figure of the New Testament corpus? Or maybe we are calling to mind the metaphysical framework of the Chalcedonian Definition, not least of which includes the transcendental category of hypostasis that is not to be reduced to, or equated with, the assumed human nature? Whatever the case may be, lack of clarity about what precisely we want to denote and connote when invoking the word “Jesus” has and continues to create confusion amongst those in the inherently interdisciplinary sphere commonly referred to as Christology. Bearing that in mind, those who would like to respond to this prompt will be tasked with the responsibility of creating and explaining a detailed taxonomy about the various ways in which the word “Jesus” might reasonably be employed. Three possibilities present themselves:

    • (1) Jesus and History

      • Respondents to this prompt will be tasked with creating and explaining a detailed taxonomy that might distinguish between, amongst other things: (1) the actual Jesus of history; (2) the perceptions of Jesus as he was encountered in history; (3) the memories about Jesus amongst those who encountered him (or learned of him); (4) the risen/ascended/exalted Jesus, the one who served as the basis of early Christian faith; (5) Jesus as he was “re-remembered” (for lack of a better word) in the light of one’s belief in his resurrection/ascension/exaltation; (6) the Jesus of history as documented (however accurately) in the extant textual evidence; and (7) the historical Jesus as reconstructed by historians.

      • Particular attention should be given to which of the above might or might not be in view when we say things such as “Jesus foresaw (or did not foresee) his impending passion,” or “Jesus grew in knowledge and understanding,” or “Jesus knew (or did not know) that he was the messiah,” or “Jesus knew (or did not know) that he was God the second person of the Trinity,” or “Jesus encountered Saul on the Damascus road.”

    • (2) Jesus and Metaphysics

      • Respondents to this prompt will be tasked with creating and explaining a detailed taxonomy that might distinguish between, amongst other things, whether “Jesus” might refer to: (1) the human nature alone (whether conceived in concrete or abstract terms); (2) the hypostasis / “person” alone (whether conceived as a “divine person” or a “divine-human person”); (3) the hypostasis / “person” and the human nature (whether conceived as a “divine person and a concrete/abstract human nature” or a “divine-human person and a concrete/abstract human nature”); or (4) the hypostasis / person and the human nature and the divine nature.

      • Particular attention should be given to which of the above might or might not be in view when we say thing such as “Jesus is the subject of election” (à la Barth), or “Jesus created the world,” or “Jesus was born of Mary,” or “Jesus suffered and died and rose on the third day.”

    • (3) Jesus, History, and Metaphysics

      • Respondents to this prompt will be tasked with creating and explaining a detailed taxonomy that coherently organizes and addresses both of the above two prompts. Particular attention should be given to answering the following: what might we mean when we say that “the infant Jesus did (or did not) know that he was God the second person of the Trinity,” or that “Jesus experienced temptation,” or that “Jesus was (or was not) able to sin,” or that “Jesus did (or did not) raise himself from the dead”?

2. The Grammar of Christology

  • Much of the debates surrounding contemporary christological discourse center on a number of technical distinctions made between (e.g.) the Logos asarkos and Logos ensarkos, the Logos incarnandus and the Logos incarnatus, the humanitas Christi and the extra Calvinisticum, etc. Indeed, at issue in these debates concerns nothing less than the identity of the eternal Word of God, the agent of creation, the nature of the incarnation, one’s understanding of the sacraments, and much besides. Respondents to this prompt will be tasked with the responsibility of carefully defining (perhaps amongst others) the following terms and assessing their suitability (or lack thereof) for christological reflection:

    • (a) The eternal Logos

    • (b) The Logos asarkos

    • (c) The Logos incarnandus

    • (d) The Logos ensarkos / Logos incarnatus

    • (e) The humanitas Christi

    • (f) The extra Calvinisticum

    • (g) The resurrected Jesus

    • (h) The ubiquitous Jesus

    • (i) The glorified Jesus

    • (j) The totus Christus

  • Particular attention should be given to questions like the following: Can we narrate the “life of the Logos,” moving forward, as it were, from the eternal Logos, to the Logos incarnandus, to the Logos ensarkos, to the resurrected Jesus, to the ubiquitous Jesus, to the glorified Jesus? Or is the attempt to narrate the “life of the second person of the Trinity” in these terms inherently problematic? What use, if any, may be found in appeals to the so-called extra Calvinisticum? Of which of the above may it rightly be said to have been the subject of election, the Creator of the world, born of Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, died, rose again, and will come again in glory? Which of the above must not be in view?

3. The Jesus of History and the Task of Christology

  • Cast against the backdrop of the ever-widening “ugly, broad ditch” between the disciplines of history, exegesis, and theology, the question of the significance of the Jesus of history for the task of theology is as relevant today as it has ever been. Respondents to this prompt will be tasked with addressing the following:

    • (1) What is the relationship between the lived history of the man Jesus of Nazareth and divine revelation?

    • (2) What is the relationship between the historical study of the man Jesus of Nazareth and the task of Christology?

    • (3) What is the relationship between the historical-critical study of the Gospel portraits of Jesus and the task of Christology?

  • Particular attention should be given not only to the intellectual context in which the gulf between biblical studies and theology originated, but also to the concerns for clarity identified in prompts (1) and (2) above. Indeed, respondents should consider it prerequisite to attend to prompt #1 (“Jesus Who?”) in particular when approaching this subject. Cf. Sarah Coakley, Christ without Absolutes, and N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, if additional dialogue partners are needed.

4. The Subject of Election

  • Much ink has been spilled over Bruce McCormack’s controversial proposal that Barth’s revised doctrine of election in Church Dogmatics II/2 constituted a significant shift in Barth’s understanding of the Trinity. While many are willing to concede that Barth’s account offers a compelling alternative to the decretum absolutum (“absolute decree”) of the Calvinistic doctrine of double predestination, not everyone is comfortable with how McCormack interprets Barth’s notion that Jesus is not only the object of election — the one in whom God’s salvific judgment is enacted — but also its eternal subject. Many critics suggest that McCormack’s reading is problematic not only insofar as it purports to be an accurate interpretation of Barth, but also because it supposedly compromises God’s aseity, infringes upon God’s freedom, undermines the gratuity of God’s grace, and entails what the philosophers refer to as “modal collapse” wherein everything that might appear to be contingently true (i.e., creation, reconciliation, and redemption) is in fact necessarily true. If Jesus were essential to the identity of God, then God’s existence would in some sense be bound up with the existence of the world in which Jesus lived, thereby making creation necessary and thwarting God’s freedom to be otherwise. Or so the critics seem to suggest. Be that as it may, respondents to this prompt will be tasked with assessing McCormack’s proposal in dialogue with the argument in Ian McFarland’s latest book, The Word Made Flesh.

  • Particular attention should be given not only to McFarland’s explicit references to McCormack on pp. 30n14 and 87n42, but also to the concerns for clarity identified in prompts (1) and (2) above. Indeed, respondents should consider it prerequisite to attend to prompt #2 (“The Grammar of Christology”) in particular when approaching this subject. Cf. Michael T. Dempsey (ed.), Trinity and Election in Contemporary Theology if additional dialogue partners are needed.

5. Dialectical vs. Analytic Christology

  • In recent years, two distinct schools of thought have been acquiring greater prominence: (1) “dialectical” theology; and (2) “analytic” theology. Respondents to this prompt will be tasked with assessing the viability (or otherwise) of these two schools of thought insofar as they impinge upon the task of Christology.

  • Particular attention should be given to the presuppositions, tools, methods, and goals of the respective schools of thought, along with an assessment of their relative significance (or otherwise) for theological reflection.

6. Conciliar Orthodoxy?

  • The question as to the nature of “conciliar orthodoxy” has proved relevant as of late, and attempts to answer this question have varied to a great extent largely dependent upon whether or not one has a preference for historical theology on the one hand, or systematic theology on the other. Respondents to this prompt will be tasked with addressing some (or all) of the following:

    • (1) Is there such a thing as “conciliar orthodoxy”?

      • On this point see, inter alia, Timothy Pawl, In Defense of Conciliar Orthodoxy (2016), and Virginia Burrus, “History, Theology, Orthodoxy, Polydoxy,” in Modern Theology (2014).

    • (2) In what ways might certain aspects of “conciliar orthodoxy” (if there be such a thing) stand at odds with (or in harmony with) various christological impulses in the New Testament?

      • On this point, consider addressing, amongst others, claims from Leo’s Tome, Maximus the Confessor on dyothelitism, and the conciliar commitment to Mary’s perpetual virginity.

    • (3) If “conciliar orthodoxy” is, as Richard Bauckham argues, a conceptual translation of the early high Christology of the New Testament into the idiom of Greek metaphysics, then what hope might there be for the Christian kerygma to be translated into different conceptual categories? Is this something that the Church ought to pursue, or is a retrenchment to patristic sources the best way forward for contemporary theology?

7. The genus tapeinoticon

  • Questions remain as to the compatibility of Martin Luther’s Christology and that of the Chalcedonian Definition. Is Luther best understood as the precursor to the modern endorsement of divine passibility, or simply an extension of his late medieval context? Whatever the case may be, multiple scholars on Luther’s theology have noted his unique understanding of the communicatio idiomatum (“communication of the attributes”), moving beyond a mere communication of divine and human attributes to his person, but instead to a sharing (in some sense) of certain attributes among the two natures. This becomes prominent, of course, in the Eucharistic debates wherein the genus maiestaticum (“genus of majestic”) is employed by some Lutherans to secure the ubiquity of Jesus’ humanity on the basis of a communication of attributes from the divine to the human nature. Respondents to this prompt, however, will focus their attention instead on the logical possibility of (what is now known as) the genus tapeinoticon (“genus of humility”) as it might or might not appear in Luther’s later Christology. It is our hope to have essays representing both sides of the debate — both with regard to Luther could rightly be said to have adopted the genus tapeinoticon and with regard to the viability of the genus tapeinoticon.

  • Particular attention should be given not only to David Congdon’s essay, “Nova Lingua Dei: The Problem of Chalcedonian Metaphysics and the Promise of the Genus Tapeinoticon in Luther’s Later Theology,” but also to the concerns for clarity identified in prompts (1) and (2) above. Indeed, respondents should consider it prerequisite to attend to prompt #2 (“The Grammar of Christology”) in particular when approaching this subject.


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Apply to be a panelist.

As indicated above, we are still in the process of finalizing the participants in the book panels that we are planning. If you would like to serve as a panelist, please apply at the below link!

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Apply for a break-away session.

Per the above discussion, we have opened up a “Call for Papers” for break-away sessions to discuss various topics relevant to the task of Christology. If you are interested in participating in one of these sessions, please apply at the below link!

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