Author: theologicalnews

Faithful to the Call: Renewing Theological Ethics from the Ground Up

May 11-13th, 2022 | McDonald Centre, Oxford 

What does faithfulness to the call of Christ demand within the political, economic, and social orders of today’s world? Where can Christians turn for help in discerning that call, and how can Christian ethicists serve those who must make difficult moral decisions? 

In May of 2022, prominent ethicists, theologians, philosophers, and practitioners will gather in Oxford to honour Professor Nigel Biggar’s efforts to do Christian ethics from the ground up. Our presenters will mark fifteen years of Biggar’s work as Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology by offering creative and constructive proposals across a wide range of issues, including bioethics, just war, political theology, and academic freedom.


Speakers include: 

Chris Eberle • Jennifer Herdt • Gerald McKenny • James Orr • Daniel Philpott • Charles Mathewes • Patrick Smith • Eric Gregory • Krishan Kumar • Baroness Onora O’Neill

The McDonald Distinguished Lectures will be given by:

Professor Oliver O’Donovan & Professor Nigel Biggar


Register to attend either in person or virtually here.

Note that in-person registrations are currently limited due to Covid.

The Spring 2022 Los Angeles Theology Conference is Rescheduled for March 15-17, 2023

The LATC conference scheduled for spring of this year (2022) has been reschedule to March 15-17, 2023. The announcement from the LATC website is copied below.


“Dear Friends and Supporters of the Los Angeles Theology Conference (LATC) series,

We are writing to let you know that after much careful thought and reflection, we have decided to reschedule LATC 2022 to 2023. This is due to the ongoing situation with the pandemic, and the complications this raises for in-person conferences like ours. We have always maintained that the in-person experience is vital to the success of LATC, which is all about discussion, engagement, and reflection on the Christian tradition of the past for the purposes of constructive systematic theology for today and tomorrow. For this reason we have decided to reschedule rather than to move the conference online. We remain committed to the vision of LATC, and to its future. But we think it would not be responsible to run the conference this March given the current state of affairs. So, we will now have the conference on March 15-17, 2023 at Biola University in La Mirada, California. The theme remains the same: ecclesiology. We trust that you will understand the reasons for this change given the extraordinary circumstances we are all having to navigate, and look forward to seeing you in California in March 2023!

—Oliver, Fred, and Katya (the LATC Team)”


Speakers and breakout topics are the same as originally scheduled, for now. (Images and content are from LATC website .

Plenary Speakers

Natalie Carnes – Baylor University – “Nature, Culture, Church: Reconsidering the Church-World Divide”

Millard J. Erickson – Independent scholar – “Ecclesiology in a Postmodern Age”

Tom Greggs- University of Aberdeen -“Creatura Verbi: Hearing the Living Word through the Spirit in the Church”

Jennifer Powell McNutt -Wheaton College -“Exilic Ecclesiology: Suffering and Apostolicity in Early Modern Reformed Theology”

Paul T. Nimmo – University of Aberdeen – “The Sanctification of the Church: Contemplating the Progress of the People of God”


Breakout Papers

Kimlyn J. Bender, George W. Truett Theological Seminary
“Confessing Christ, Confessing the Church”

Beau Branson, Brescia University
Jordan Wessling, Lindsey Wilson College
“The Church as a Singular, Persisting Institution”

Joshua Cockayne, University of St. Andrews
D. T. Everhart, University of St. Andrews
“‘Members of One Another’: Towards a Kierkegaardian Ecclesiology”

Stephen T. Davis, Claremont McKenna College
Eric T. Yang, Santa Clara University
“God’s Story and the Sameness of the Church Over Time”

Steven Duby, Phoenix Seminary
“‘Bond of Peace’: Ecclesial Unity as Participation in the Son and Spirit”

Daniel L. Hill, Dallas Theological Seminary
“Bound Together in the Holy Fire: Purgation and the Unity and Holiness of the Church”

Jonathan Hill, University of Exeter
“Communion of Saints: Knowledge and Love in Heaven and Earth”

Alex Irving, St. Mellitus College, East Midlands
“The Body of Christ: A Soteriological Basis for the Theological Marks of the Church”

Matt Jenson, Torrey Honors College, Biola University
“Either/Or: On the Necessary, But Maverick, Distinction between Church and World”

Adam Johnson, Torrey Honors College, Biola University
“The Cruciform Ministry of the Church: Refracting the Saving Work of Christ”

Marguerite Kappelhoff, University of Divinity, Melbourne
“The Marks of the Church and the Triune God: ‘Seeking and Creating Fellowship’”

Kimberley Kroll, Grand Canyon University
“Holy Branches: A Constructive Model of the Spirit’s Presence in the Church”

Steven Nemes, North Phoenix Preparatory Academy
“The Church and Infallibility”

Open Theology (Call for Papers) – Cultural Trauma and the Hebrew Bible.

Open Theology (https://www.degruyter.com/OPTH) invites submissions for the topical issue “Cultural Trauma and the Hebrew Bible,” edited by Danilo Verde (KU Leuven) and Dominik Markl (Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome).

Deadline – March 31, 2022


In his work titled Trauma: A Social Theory, American sociologist Jeffrey C. Alexander argues: “Cultural trauma occurs when members of a collectivity feel they have been subjected to a horrendous event that leaves indelible marks upon their group consciousness, marking their memories forever and changing their future identity in fundamental and irrevocable ways” (p. 19). From this perspective, the mere occurrence of historical catastrophes or collective traumas does not necessarily result in cultural trauma, since cultural trauma only emerges when a collective catastrophe indelibly shapes a group’s collective memory and produces a profound revision of that group’s collective identity. Cultural trauma studies by no means constitute a single, monolithic research paradigm; yet, scholars in this field largely agree that cultural traumas “are for the most part historically made, not born” (Neil J. Smelser, Psychological Trauma and Cultural Trauma, 37), in the sense that they are the result of complex social processes.


Assuming the perspective of cultural trauma studies in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament scholarship involves understanding how texts and traditions that eventually formed the HB/OT both represented and shaped ancient Israel’s collective identity as profoundly disrupted and in need of recreation. The HB/OT frequently refers to collective experiences of disasters and crises. We accept papers that investigate the interrelationship between biblical representations of collective suffering and the creation of collective identity in ancient Israel and early Judaism in light of cultural trauma theory. Authors will explore biblical texts such as collective laments, curses, narratives, etc. not only as texts representing and voicing the community’s experience of catastrophic events, but also as tools to shape cultural trauma in ancient Israel and early Judaism. Authors are also encouraged to explore relevant texts as “equipment for living” (see  Kenneth Burke, Literature as Equipment for Living, 593-598) for the addressed community, namely as the literary and religious heritage through which the carrier groups of biblical texts attempted to build social resilience by coping with and giving meaning to collective suffering. Among others, topics or areas of focus might include:

  • Representations of collective trauma in the HB/OT: Narrative texts
  • Representations of collective trauma in the HB/OT: Poetic texts
  • Biblical strategies for the shaping of cultural traumas
  • Biblical strategies for the shaping of social resilience
  • Cultural trauma in the HB/OT and in ancient near Eastern literature: Patterns and motifs
  • Carrier groups of cultural traumas and their agendas in ancient Israel and early Judaism
  • Cultural trauma hermeneutics and historical critical approaches
  • The use of the Bible in shaping cultural trauma in the history of Judaism and Christianity

Authors publishing their articles in the topical issue will benefit from:– Transparent, comprehensive, and efficient peer review.

– Free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions. Because Open Theology is published in Open Access, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by so called Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors. Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk (katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyter.com) before submitting their manuscripts.


HOW TO SUBMIT – Submissions will be collected by March 31, 2022, via the on-line submission system at http://www.editorialmanager.com/openth/
Choose as article type: Cultural Trauma and the Hebrew Bible
Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors, available at: 
https://www.degruyter.com/publication/journal_key/OPTH/downloadAsset/OPTH_Instruction%20for%20Authors.pdf

All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.
Further questions about this thematic issue can be addressed to Danilo Verde at danilo.verde@kuleuven.be. In case of technical or financial questions, please contact Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk at katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyter.com

Open Theology (Call for Papers) – After the Theological Turn: Essays in (New) Continental Philosophical Theology

(This announcement is a second call)

“Open Theology” (https://www.degruyter.com/opth) invites submissions for the topical issue “After the Theological Turn: Essays in (New) Continental Philosophical Theology”, edited by Martin Koci (University of Vienna).

DESCRIPTION

This topical issue aims to explore, interrogate and reflect on the ways in which contemporary continental philosophy, and phenomenology in particular, unfolds and advances the development of philosophical theology. What does it mean to practice theology after the philosophical return to religion? During the last few decades, the renewal of theology has been much discussed in light of philosophical lectures that have revisited fundamental Christian concepts. However, the debate seems to be stuck on rather formal questions about whether the theological turn happened or not, whether it has been a legitimate or illegitimate development, and whether theology and philosophy can benefit at all from reconsidering their disciplinary borders. Moreover, from the theological perspective, crucial issues continue to be unresolved: What should the proper propaedeutic framework for theological work be in a secular context? How to formulate theologically valid as well as contextually plausible truth-claims? What kind of grammar should be employed in theology to create not only rational but also credible discourse? The working hypothesis behind this thematic issue is that philosophical—in particular phenomenological—engagement with theological concepts transforms the fundamental theological practice, revisits its rigor, and provides the possibility of developing an intelligible grammar for articulating normative theological claims. 

     We invite scholars in theology and continental philosophy of religion to address the following questions: Is phenomenology a suitable ancilla theologiae to provide theologians with sufficient philosophical grammar? Is it possible to develop, after the demise of metaphysics, a phenomenological theology? How does theology look after Marion, Henry, Chrétien, Lacoste, Falque et al.? Does theology benefit from philosophical reconsiderations of fundamental Christian concepts such as Revelation, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, etc.? The nerve and, at the same time, novelty of raising the question about after the theological turn is a critical application of explicit theological perspectives to thus test both the potential of and limits to philosophical reconsiderations of the theological for formulating plausible as well as credible theology.

Authors publishing their articles in the topical issue will benefit from:

– transparent, comprehensive and fast peer review,

– free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions.

Because “Open Theology” is published under an Open Access model, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors.

Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk (katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyter.com) before submitting their manuscripts. 

HOW TO SUBMIT

Submissions will be collected until April 15, 2022, via the on-line submission system at http://www.editorialmanager.com/openth/.

* Choose as article type: “After the Theological Turn”
* Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors, available at: https://www.degruyter.com/publication/journal_key/OPTH/downloadAsset/OPTH_Instruction%20for%20Authors.pdf
* All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.

Further questions about this thematic issue can be addressed to Martin Koci at martin.koci@univie.ac.at. In case of technical or financial questions, please contact journal Managing Editor Katarzyna Tempczyk at katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyter.com.

Winter Seminar on Progress in Theology. Jan 27-29, 2022 (Abraham Kuyper Center)

From the 27th till the 29th of January 2022 the Winter Seminar on Progress in Theology will take place. The program schedule is now online!

We are looking forward to a great discussion on the status of the discipline of theology. Among the speakers are Katherin Rogers, Kevin Schilbrack, Benedikt Göcke and Jennifer Frey. Join the seminar to discuss the theological epistemology, the influence of secularization on the discipline of theology, the intellectual tasks of theology, and many more interesting topics.

Description

Whereas many contemporary universities originated from theological programs, over the past centuries the status of theology as a proper academic discipline has become heavily contested. Among the many allegations levelled against theology is the idea that there is no progress in theology. The aim of this Winter Seminar is to investigate under which conditions, if any, theology can still function as an intellectually respectable player in the field of public academic studies. In particular, it zooms in on the notion of progress in theology. Is there any such progress? If not, is that a problem? If so, what shape does such progress take and are there ways in which theology might make more progress?

More information and registration

The seminar is organized by the Abraham Kuyper Center, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, as a part of the research project on Epistemic Progress in the University.

The seminar takes place online and on location at the Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam.

Online attendance is free. Click here to register through Eventbrite.

More information can be found on the website of the Abraham Kuyper Center.

“Death & Religion” CFP by Open Theology (second call)

 A call for papers has been issued by Open Theology for a topical issue on “Death and Religion”

This is a (second call). Submissions will be collected until April 30, 2022


    “Open Theology” (https://www.degruyter.com/journal/key/OPTH/html) invites submissions for the topical issue “Death and Religion”, edited by Khyati Tripathi, Jennifer Moran Stritch and Peter G.A.Versteeg.

    Death and religion share an interdependent relation. Where death is an event or state that threatens to disintegrate worlds and meaning, religion can be seen as a practice that categorizes, consoles and makes sense of this kind of disintegration. According to Oxford dictionary, death is defined as “end of life”, but behind this simple definition, there is a web of complex ideas that could be understood from not just biological but also religious or cultural perspectives. Death has been conceptualized differently in different religious traditions as their texts and practices demonstrate. According to Lifton, religion is ‘life power’ and dominates death. Similarly, Davies put forth rituals as culture’s ‘words against death’.

     The relationship between death and religion should be seen as a broad scholarly query, which includes philosophical and theological questions, as well as more applied perspectives such as social work. Although death is a clinical process of organs that cease to function, dying and death are events that are surrounded by various sense-making practices, ranging from intricate traditional ceremonies as part of established religious repertoires, to more personal, individualized rituals. Social-cultural context, therefore, is of utmost importance to understand how we interact with dying persons and dead bodies, and why we do it in that particular way.

    In theology we see how faith traditions historically account for the reality of death, reflecting upon its existential meaning and thus trying to understand how to deal with the event of death. As such, a theology of death raises both practical (e.g. in spiritual care) and systematical (e.g. in ethics) questions regarding death and dying.

     In psychology death anxiety or fear of death invited a great deal of interest starting in the late 1950s with Fiefel’s work on death anxiety and religion. Different studies pointed at different relationships between death anxiety and religiousness; some studies found a positive relationship between the two while others found an inverse relationship.  Some research argued for a curvilinear relationship between death anxiety and religiousness, explaining that moderately religious participants have more death anxiety than those who are extremely religious or not religious at all. The relationship between religion and death anxiety has been an inconclusive one because of the multidimensional nature of both religion and death anxiety. There is, however, a lack of scholarship on death anxiety and religion in non-western cultures.

    In cultural anthropology, death studies have developed into a substantial research niche. There has been ample attention for practices pertaining to e.g. the process of dying, death as transition, as well as to the interaction with the dead body. Important here, too, is the global perspective on death, also in the sense of engaging with ontologies of life and death outside of the established scientific-medical spectrum.

    This special issue encourages scholars from different disciplines, not just restricted to the ones we mentioned, to contribute to this debate. Of special interest are situations in which religion becomes overbearing and a burden to carry forward in times of death, or if religious practices are obstructed, for example, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How do these crisis situations affect the relationship between religion and death? This special issue aims at invoking curiosity, enquiry and interest in looking at the different facets of this topic.

     The special issue on ‘Death and Religion’ invites empirical (qualitative and quantitative), review/conceptual and analytical papers focusing on the different facets of this relationship from scholars in different disciplines such as: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Theology, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Thanatology, Health Humanities, Social Care and Social Work. Among others, topics or areas of focus might include:

  • Death anxiety and religiosity in non-western cultures
  • The different perspectives to ‘Extrinsic Religiosity’
  • Is ‘Intrinsic Religiosity’ really the reliever of anxiety?
  • Psychological/sociological/psychosocial significance of death rituals
  • The changing nature of death rituals
  • Personal religious beliefs and ideas about death
  • Belief in afterlife and death anxiety
  • The changing relationship between death and religion due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The non-religious traditions and death
  • Autoethnographic accounts of performing/witnessing death rituals
  • Death as latent and religion as evident in Freudian texts
  • Religious Literacy and the end of life care
  • Extinction as ultimate death and other morbid anxieties of the Anthropocene

Authors publishing their articles in the topical issue will benefit from:

– transparent, comprehensive and efficient peer review,

– free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions.

Because “Open Theology” is published in Open Access, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by so called Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors.

Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk (katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyter.com) before submitting their manuscripts.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Submissions will be collected until April 30, 2022, via the on-line submission system at http://www.editorialmanager.com/openth/

Choose as article type: “Death and Religion”

Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors, available at: https://www.degruyter.com/publication/journal_key/OPTH/downloadAsset/OPTH_Instruction%20for%20Authors.pdf

All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.

 Further questions about this thematic issue can be addressed to Khyati Tripathi at khyatitripathi27@gmail.com. In case of technical or financial questions, please contact journal Managing Editor Katarzyna Tempczyk at katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyter.com

Two Funded PhD Scholarships in Philosophical Theology – St. Andrews Univ – Apply by 15 Jan. 2022

Two funded PhD scholarships are available for those interested in doing research in philosophical theology.

*Deadline is 15, January 2022*

As part of the international research initiative Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology, two fully funded PhD studentships are being offered in philosophical theology in the broadly continental tradition.  

Scholarships comprise home or overseas fees, as well as living support of c. £16,000 per year. Students will be part of the School of Divinity and pursue their proposed projects under the supervision of Prof Judith Wolfe and/or Dr King-Ho Leung

Projects should participate in the vision of Widening Horizons

Questions? 

Informal enquiries may be directed to Prof Wolfe or Dr Leung

How do I apply? 

Applications should be submitted through the PhD application portal of the University of St Andrews by 15 January 2022. 

Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology (WHiPT)

Deadline Extension – TheoLogica CFP on Analytic Science Engaged Theology

The journal TheoLogica  has published a CALL FOR PAPERS on ANALYTIC SCIENCE-ENGAGED THEOLOGY 


Deadline for submissions is now extended to January 31st 2022 


Joanna Leidenhag (University of St Andrews) 

Benedikt Paul Göcke (Ruhr University Bochum/ University of Oxford) 

Analytic theology and Science-Engaged Theology are two of the most exciting  movements within theology in recent years. Both are interdisciplinary endeavours that  seek to use the tools and insights from others sub-disciplines (areas of analytic  philosophy and the natural sciences, respectively) in the service of theology. Analytic  theology and science-engaged theology both maintain the primacy and integrity of the  theological task, whilst simultaneously inviting other disciplines to enrich theological  reflection, criticism, and declaration. 

What these recent trends show is that theologians no longer need to (if they ever did) fear forms of rationalism or empiricism that, in previous generations, have been used to  exclude theological discourse from the public square or academic University. It is clearly  the case that theologians have long appealed to reason and experience as sources for  theological reflection and correction. But in analytic theology and science-engaged  theology, we can see that theologians can also use (as well as critique) the highly  constrained, specialised, and systematised forms of reasoning and evidencing that is  found in analytic philosophy and the natural sciences. Analytic theology and science engaged theology are in this sense complementary movements that signal that theology  has now reached a kind of quiet confidence that does not need to fight, flee or submit to  other forms of inquiry. 

Whilst analytic theology and science-engaged theology have developed separately, they  substantially overlap on the question of how theology can best engage other disciplines.  Thus, there is scope for a further alliance of these movements in the form of analytic  science-engaged theology. Such an analytic science-engaged theology would use the tools  of both analytic philosophy and some specific area of the natural sciences within their  theology. We are inviting papers that exemplify this kind of fine-grained, interdisciplinary,  constructive theological work. We are not primarily looking for papers that discuss the  possibility or nature of analytic science-engaged theology, but for papers that exemplify  this sub-field by exploring a theological question using both scientific and analytic  resources. 

We welcome all forms of analytic science-engaged theology; in particular, we are very  interested in papers that engage a theological tradition outside of mainstream Christianity,  or which prioritize the voices of marginalized groups.” 

EXTENDED Deadline for submissions: October 1st 2021 January 31st 2022 

Full papers should be submitted via our website:  

https://ojs.uclouvain.be/index.php/theologica/index or sent to:  managingeditor.theologica @ gmail.com. In order to contribute equally to scientific international discussions held in several languages, articles written in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish are accepted. Visit the TheoLogica homepage for a description of the journal and instructions to authors.

Register soon! Online conference Nov 8-9 on Dutch theologian K. H. Miskotte’s recently translated wartime text – Biblical ABC’s

The Aberdeen Centre for Protestant Theology is delighted to be working with colleagues in the Netherlands at the PThU, De Nieuwe Bijbelschool and Miskotte-Stichting to host an online conference on 8th-9th of November 2021 on Kornelis H. Miskotte’s book ‘Biblical ABCs’. This important wartime text has been newly translated into English this year and published this autumn by Rowan and Littlefield.

Katherine Sonderegger, Philip Ziegler, Susannah Ticciati, Christopher Chalamet, Rinse Reeling Brouwer, Collin Cornell, Eleonora Hof and Mirjam Elbers will all contribute to the discussion of the meaning and topicality of K.H. Miskotte’s theology of resistance. 

You can register now at: https://www.miskotte.com/.

Registration is open until 5th November 2021.

Tickets are only – €10.50

All those who register will receive a 50% discount code to put toward purchase of the book.

SET Foundations is accepting applications for summer 2022!

SET Foundations has a wonderful opportunity for early and mid-career theologians and philosophers of religion. We are excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for our Summer Session 2022 The focus is on Experience to Evidence: Theory Construction and Confirmation

SET Foundations (Building Foundations in Science-Engaged Theology: Insights from Philosophy of Science ) is hosted by Loyola University Maryland. Our goal is to connect scholars working in philosophy of religion and theology with recent insights from philosophy of science on topics such as causation, explanation, modeling practices, scientific confirmation, and natural laws.

Bavinck Centenary Conference – December 6-7, 2021 – Brisbane School of Theology.

To mark the centenary of the death of Dutch theologian and statesman, Herman Bavinck (1854-1921), Brisbane School of Theology will be convening a two-day conference. Five plenary sessions will examine the contours of Bavinck’s theology, two roundtables will consider Bavinck’s relevance for contemporary Christianity, and short papers will address various aspects of Bavinck’s life, thought, and legacy. Previously planned for June, the conference was postponed 6 months on account of COVID-19. It will be convened in person (this December) in Brisbane but with a Zoom option for those who cannot attend because of travel restrictions

Plenary Sessions

‘Herman Bavinck’s Use of Scripture’ Koert van Bekkum, Kampen Theological University
‘Herman Bavinck’s Appropriation of Reformed Sources’ Henk van den Belt, Free University of Amsterdam
‘Herman Bavinck’s Use of Philosophy’ Oliver Crisp, University of St Andrews
‘Herman Bavinck as a Trinitarian Theologian’ Graham Cole, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
‘Herman Bavinck as a Politician’ James Eglinton, University of Edinburgh

Short Papers

Registration

  • Registration for In Person Attendance closes November 22.
  • Registration for Zoom Attendance – closes December 5.

See website for registration links and attendance costs.

ACCOMMODATION – Click here for official conference webpage and accommodation links.

William J. Abraham 1947-2021

Last week many in the theology community gave voice to sorrow at the sudden passing of theologian William J. Abraham. Abraham was a winsome philosophical theologian, Methodist scholar, and philosophical theologian. Among his many publications are books on divine revelation, the Christian canon, evangelism, divine action, and grief. Abraham was one of the editors for the Oxford Handbook of the Epistemology of Theology. This year, the fourth of his four volume set on Divine Agency and Divine Action was released. Comments appeared quickly across social media about how “Billy” Abraham impacted lives as a teacher, scholar, and friend. We have included links to some tributes to Abraham below.

You can read about William Abraham’s legacy at the Eerdman’s blog here.

A United Methodist News article on Abraham’s life and passing can be found here.

A “Tribute to William J. Abraham” can be read on the Wesleyan Covenant Association website here.

Frederick Schmidt’s memories can be read here on Patheos.

Prof Christoph Schwöbel  (1955-2021)

We regret to report that friends of professor Christoph Schwöbel have shared news, online, of his very recent passing away. Professor Schwöbel was the 1643 Chair in Divinity at University of St. Andrews. Some of Professor Schwöbel’s distinguished career includes being professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Tubingen since 2004, teaching at the University of Heidelberg (1999-2004), the University of Kiel (1993-1999), King’s College London (1986-1993) and the University of Marburg (1981-1986). You can access a list of his sixty plus publications online here at the University of St. Andrews website. During a 2019 recording of Logos Summer Institute, here, Schwöbel was introduced as one who enriched the theological community where he worked with a brilliant mind and humble disposition.

Image Credit: (Image from https://theology.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/people/staff/ )

The Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology project announces new funding opportunities.

Interactions between Christian thinkers and continental philosophy often have a critical focus, whether on the intellectual debt continental philosophers owe to the Christian tradition, or on the ways secular philosophers critique classical theological accounts of ultimate reality. The newly-funded Widening Horizons in Philosophical Theology project at the University of St Andrews focuses on the joint potential of theology and continental philosophy for discovery and growth, using the intellectual resources continental philosophy makes available to open new horizons in philosophical theology.

Widening Horizons is offering twelve grants for research projects that advance this constructive aim. Applications may be for

  • small projects of up to £60,000 (including c. £8,000 fixed costs); or
  • large projects of up to £160,000 (including c. £23,000 fixed costs).

Projects should start between 1st October 2021 and 1st March 2022, and end between 30th September 2023 and 28th February 2024. Most activities may be concentrated within a shorter period if desired.

The call for proposals for these projects is now open until 31 May 2021 (17:00 BST). Application details and further information can be found at: https://philosophical-theology.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/.

Details about the wider multi-year project can be found here.

The Edinburgh Dogmatics Conference

The Edinburgh Dogmatics Conference will take place by Zoom Conference on Tuesday 1stand Wednesday 2nd June 2021.

The conference is organised by the Rutherford Centre for Reformed Theology.

The subject is the Doctrine of the Church and the speakers are: Professor Gerald Bray; Dr Andrew Clarke; Professor Oliver Crisp; Professor David Fergusson Professor Tom Greggs; Professor Tony Lane; Professor Tom Noble; and Professor Stephen Williams.

The Cost of the Conference is £25.

The conference is intended for academics, postgraduate students, ministers and others with a serious interest in academic theology. 

To book a place at the conference, email:  director@rcrt.scot Those who book will receive a full programme and information about how to pay.

Analyzing Theology Series – Call for Monograph Proposals in Analytic & Systematic Theology.

Analyzing Theology is a series of short (i.e., sub 70,000 word) entry level monographs in Christian theology being published with Wipf and Stock. The series showcases work in analytic and systematic theology from world-leading scholars. Monographs in the series are aimed at: (i) introducing cutting-edge analytic and systematic theology, (ii) providing a platform for original contributions in analytic and systematic theology, and, (iii) connecting questions of theoretical significance to theology with the practices of actual theological communities.

There are forthcoming volumes in the series by Nicholas Wolterstorff, Eleonore Stump and Joshua Cockayne.

The series is being edited by Joshua Cockayne and Jonathan Rutledge. If you are interested in submitting a proposal contact Joshua Cockayne (jlc22@st-andrews.ac.uk) or Jonathan Rutldege (jr229@st-andrews.ac.uk).

(Cover image credit Berk Ozdemir – Pexels)

Open Theology – Call for Papers: “Death and Religion.”

The theological journal, Open Theology invites submissions for the topical issue – “Death and Religion”. (https://www.degruyter.com/journal/key/OPTH/html)

Edited by: Khyati Tripathi, (UPES, India), Jennifer Moran Stritch (Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland) and Peter G.A.Versteeg (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands).

Flyer: https://www.degruyter.com/publication/journal_key/OPTH/downloadAsset/OPTH_CFP%20Death%20and%20Religion.pdf

    Death and religion share an interdependent relation. Where death is an event or state that threatens to disintegrate worlds and meaning, religion can be seen as a practice that categorizes, consoles and makes sense of this kind of disintegration. According to Oxford dictionary, death is defined as “end of life”, but behind this simple definition, there is a web of complex ideas that could be understood from not just biological but also religious or cultural perspectives. Death has been conceptualized differently in different religious traditions as their texts and practices demonstrate. According to Lifton, religion is ‘life power’ and dominates death. Similarly, Davies put forth rituals as culture’s ‘words against death’.

     The relationship between death and religion should be seen as a broad scholarly query, which includes philosophical and theological questions, as well as more applied perspectives such as social work. Although death is a clinical process of organs that cease to function, dying and death are events that are surrounded by various sense-making practices, ranging from intricate traditional ceremonies as part of established religious repertoires, to more personal, individualized rituals. Social-cultural context, therefore, is of utmost importance to understand how we interact with dying persons and dead bodies, and why we do it in that particular way.

    In theology we see how faith traditions historically account for the reality of death, reflecting upon its existential meaning and thus trying to understand how to deal with the event of death. As such, a theology of death raises both practical (e.g. in spiritual care) and systematical (e.g. in ethics) questions regarding death and dying. 

     In psychology death anxiety or fear of death invited a great deal of interest starting in the late 1950s with Fiefel’s work on death anxiety and religion. Different studies pointed at different relationships between death anxiety and religiousness; some studies found a positive relationship between the two while others found an inverse relationship.  Some research argued for a curvilinear relationship between death anxiety and religiousness, explaining that moderately religious participants have more death anxiety than those who are extremely religious or not religious at all. The relationship between religion and death anxiety has been an inconclusive one because of the multidimensional nature of both religion and death anxiety. There is, however, a lack of scholarship on death anxiety and religion in non-western cultures.

    In cultural anthropology, death studies have developed into a substantial research niche. There has been ample attention for practices pertaining to e.g. the process of dying, death as transition, as well as to the interaction with the dead body. Important here, too, is the global perspective on death, also in the sense of engaging with ontologies of life and death outside of the established scientific-medical spectrum.

    This special issue encourages scholars from different disciplines, not just restricted to the ones we mentioned, to contribute to this debate. Of special interest are situations in which religion becomes overbearing and a burden to carry forward in times of death, or if religious practices are obstructed, for example, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How do these crisis situations affect the relationship between religion and death? This special issue aims at invoking curiosity, enquiry and interest in looking at the different facets of this topic.

     The special issue on ‘Death and Religion’ invites empirical (qualitative and quantitative), review/conceptual and analytical papers focusing on the different facets of this relationship from scholars in different disciplines such as: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Theology, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Thanatology, Health Humanities, Social Care and Social Work. Among others, topics or areas of focus might include:

  • Death anxiety and religiosity in non-western cultures
  • The different perspectives to ‘Extrinsic Religiosity’
  • Is ‘Intrinsic Religiosity’ really the reliever of anxiety?
  • Psychological/sociological/psychosocial significance of death rituals
  • The changing nature of death rituals
  • Personal religious beliefs and ideas about death
  • Belief in afterlife and death anxiety
  • The changing relationship between death and religion due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The non-religious traditions and death
  • Autoethnographic accounts of performing/witnessing death rituals
  • Death as latent and religion as evident in Freudian texts
  • Religious Literacy and the end of life care
  • Extinction as ultimate death and other morbid anxieties of the Anthropocene

Authors publishing their articles in the topical issue will benefit from:

– transparent, comprehensive and efficient peer review,

– free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions.

Because “Open Theology” is published in Open Access, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by so called Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors.

Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk (katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyter.com) before submitting their manuscripts.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Submissions will be collected from September 1 to October 31, 2021, via the on-line submission system at http://www.editorialmanager.com/openth/

Choose as article type: “Death and Religion”

Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors, available at: https://www.degruyter.com/publication/journal_key/OPTH/downloadAsset/OPTH_Instruction%20for%20Authors.pdf

All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.

 Further questions about this thematic issue can be addressed to Khyati Tripathi at khyatitripathi27@gmail.com. In case of technical or financial questions, please contact journal Managing Editor Katarzyna Tempczyk at katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyter.com

Find us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OpenTheology

Call for Papers: The Spirit, the Kingdom & Ecumenism – Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Doctrine of the Church.

The theological thought of Wolfhart Pannenberg has generated significant conversations, since  the publication of Revelation as History in 1961. Since his passing in 2014, dozens (269) of doctoral dissertations written in English have engaged his corpus, launching a new generation of  scholars who have been impacted by his life and work. 

In an effort to gather scholars interested in the legacy of this seminal thinker, the Pannenberg Symposium will host a conference on March 25 & 26, 2022, in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago, Institute for Pastoral Studies and the Hank  Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage. 


Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the publication of Systematic Theology, Vol. 3 in English, this conference will address the following theme: 

The Spirit, The Kingdom, and Ecumenism—Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Doctrine of the Church. 

Thus, we would like to extend a Call for Papers engaging Pannenberg’s thought particularly as developed in Vol. 3 of his Systematic Theology. Potential topics include: 

  • Pneumatology: Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
  • Ecclesiology: Nature and Purpose of the Church, doctrine of election
  • Eschatology: The coming kingdom of God and its establishment in history
  • Sacramental Theology: Ecumenical scope, presence of the Spirit in the Eucharist, ministry/ordination
  • Ecumenism in his doctrine of the Church and his work with the World Council of Churches
  • The Church and Society
  • Pannenberg’s political theology and engagement with liberation theology
  • Natural law
  • Theodicy and the coming of Justice

We are especially interested in engaging scholars from a diversity of denominational, cultural, and theological perspectives  to create a critical and constructive conversation about the significance of Pannenberg’s theology for contemporary thought.  Proposals from a wide range of theological approaches are encouraged. 

To respond to the call for papers, please send a proposal of no more than 500 words to pannenbergsymposium@gmail.com.  Proposals will be evaluated on the contribution they could make to the symposium theme, the clarity of the proposed research  plan, and their significance for the study of Pannenberg’s theology. Proposals should be submitted by July 1, 2021 and will be  subject to a blind review process. Doctoral students and junior scholars are encouraged to submit a proposal. A limited number or registration scholarships are available for those in need. 

The organizers for the conference also have two hopes for future efforts growing out of this conference. First, they will be  seeking publication for a selection of the best papers coming out of the conference as part of an edited volume. Second, our  hope is that the conversation generated by the attendees may give rise to further meetings of the Pannenberg symposium on  a regular basis. Scholars who are interested in such an ongoing project are also encouraged to notify the organizers of their  interest in this broader effort.

TheoLogica Call for Papers: Analytic Science-Engaged Theology

Guest editors: Joanna Leidenhag and Benedikt Göcke

Analytic theology and Science-Engaged Theology are two of the most exciting  movements within theology in recent years. Both are interdisciplinary endeavours  that seek to use the tools and insights from others sub-disciplines (areas of analytic  philosophy and the natural sciences, respectively) in the service of theology. Analytic  theology and science-engaged theology both maintain the primacy and integrity of  the theological task, whilst simultaneously inviting other disciplines to enrich theological reflection, criticism, and declaration. 

What these recent trends show is that theologians no longer need to (if they  ever did) fear forms of rationalism or empiricism that, in previous generations, have  been used to exclude theological discourse from the public square or academic  University. It is clearly the case that theologians have long appealed to reason and  experience as sources for theological reflection and correction. But in analytic theology  and science-engaged theology, we can see that theologians can also use (as well as  critique) the highly constrained, specialised, and systematised forms of reasoning and  evidencing that is found in analytic philosophy and the natural sciences. Analytic  theology and science-engaged theology are in this sense complementary movements  that signal that theology has now reached a kind of quiet confidence that does not  need to fight, flee or submit to other forms of inquiry. 

Whilst analytic theology and science-engaged theology have developed  separately, they substantially overlap on the question of how theology can best engage  other disciplines. Thus, there is scope for a further alliance of these movements in the  form of analytic science-engaged theology. Such an analytic science-engaged theology  would use the tools of both analytic philosophy and some specific area of the natural  sciences within their theology. We are inviting papers that exemplify this kind of fine grained, interdisciplinary, constructive theological work. We are not primarily  looking for papers that discuss the possibility or nature of analytic science-engaged theology, but for papers that exemplify this sub-field by exploring a theological  question using both scientific and analytic resources.  \

We welcome all forms of analytic science-engaged theology; in particular, we  are very interested in papers that engage a theological tradition outside of mainstream  Christianity, or which prioritize the voices of marginalized groups.” 

Deadline for submissions: October 1st, 2021 

Full papers should be submitted via our website:  https://ojs.uclouvain.be/index.php/theologica/index. In order to contribute equally to  scientific international discussions held in several languages, articles written in  English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish are accepted. Visit the TheoLogica  homepage for a description of the journal and instructions to authors. 

PDF version of this CFP can be found here.

Yours sincerely, 

Joanna Leidenhag and Benedikt Göcke