Category: Events

Event: Jonathan Edwards & Slavery

Jonathan Edwards and Slavery: Christian Leadership with Feet of Clay

Monday, November 02, 2020, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

DIGITAL PANEL DISCUSSION ON JONATHAN EDWARDS’ LEGACY

Join us for an important conversation on the legacy of Jonathan Edwards examining the issue of slavery in the early American period, and assessing how modern readers ought to interact with these positions today.

Panel speakers Ken Minkema, Leroy Gainey, and James Westbrook will grapple with the realities of slavery and Christian leadership prior to the abolitionist movements. Chris Chun, director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary, will moderate the discussion.

This event will be held completely online and will be streamed on YouTube, social media and at www.gs.edu/jec.

DIGITAL PANEL SPEAKERS

Ken Minkema

Ken Minkema
Executive Editor, Jonathan Edwards Center

Leroy Gainey photo

Leroy Gainey
Senior Professor of Educational Leadership, Gateway Seminary

James Westbrook photo

James Westbrook
Lead Pastor, Realm Church

Chris Chun photo

Chris Chun
Director, Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary

add image

CFP: Wesleyan Theological Society 2021

The 56th Meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society will be held at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA on March 12-13, 2021. The theme for the meeting is: ‘Reading Scripture, Doing Thology: A Wesleyan Witness in Today’s World. The Keynote Address will be given by Dr. Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation & Associate Dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Joel B. Green and the Presidential Address by Dr. Joy J. Moore, Luther Seminary, will offer our two plenary addresses. The Wesleyan Philosophical Society, The Wesleyan Historical Society, and The Wesleyan Liturgical Society will all hold pre-conference meetings. Please make plans to join us for the conference.

Read the full Call for Papers here. Paper proposals are due Oct 1, 2020.

ETS 2020 Annual in Person Meeting Cancelled – Virtual Meeting Scheduled.

From the ETSJets.org Website: “Due to COVID–19 restrictions concerning large public gatherings, the ETS Annual Meeting scheduled for November 17-19 in Providence, R.I., will not be held in person. We regret that we will not be able to meet in person but are pleased that we will be able to hold the full 2020 Annual Meeting in a virtual platform. This will include presentations, discussions, and a virtual exhibit hall allowing attendees to examine publications and meet with publishers. In addition, we are hopeful that the virtual meeting will benefit those who would not otherwise be able to participate in person. Although there is a challenge with time zones to consider, we look forward to the opportunity to bring the ETS Annual Meeting to scholars around the world.Over the next few weeks we will be in touch with each of the session chairs and presenters to work through the details regarding the schedule and the format for each session. We look forward to working with each of you to create a virtual environment that fosters the level of scholarly exchange the Annual Meeting is known for.” Read More…

2020 AAR in Person Annual Meeting Cancelled – Online Meeting to Be Held Instead.

From the AAR website: “In the interest of the health, safety, and well-being of our members, in light of the challenges brought about by the COVID19 pandemic, and in order to uphold our organizational mission, provide opportunities for, and meet our obligations to, our members, the AAR Board of Directors has cancelled the in-person Annual Meeting scheduled for Boston, MA, November 21-24, 2020, and will hold an online Annual Meeting in late November or early December.” This online AAR Annual Meeting is not intended to replicate our typical in-person meeting but will provide registrants with venues for scholarly engagement and networking. We are excited about the opportunities this meeting may open for members who would not have been able to attend the Boston meeting and look forward to learning from the experience.” Read More …

2020 Missiology Lectures at Fuller Seminary – Migration, Transnationalism, and Faith in Missiological Perspective: Los Angeles as a Global Crossroads

MISSIOLOGY LECTURES 2020

Los Angeles has long been a global crossroad of communities migrating in and out. The Missiology Lectures 2020 will explore this case study of migration, transnationalism, and interfaith engagement through keynote presentations, breakout conversations, and panel discussions over five days.

Event registrants will have access to curated content that will be released each morning, as well as the opportunity to participate in live sessions throughout the day.

CONFERENCE ORGANIZERS:

Dr. Kirsteen Kim, professor of theology and world Christianity and associate dean for the Center for Missiological Research, School of Intercultural Studies

Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, assistant professor of integral mission and global transformation, School of Intercultural Studies

Dr. Amos Yong, Dean, School of Intercultural Studies and School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

FULLER studio is pleased to offer a selection of the recordings to be released in the months following the event. To stay updated on this content, sign up for the FULLER studio semimonthly email.

 

SPEAKERS AND ABSTRACTS

Campese, GioacchinoGioacchino Campese

Professor of the Theology of Human Mobility at Pontifical Urbaniana University, Italy

“Catholicity: Migration, Religion, and World Christianity”

Abstract: Migrants and refugees have been since the beginning among the main protagonists of the Christian mission and, as such, the subjects of World Christianity who have carried the faith through their cultural traditions to the ends of the earth. At the same time, with their courage, resiliency, and hope they also represent the pioneers and spokespersons of the Christian pilgrimage toward catholicity––the wholeness, fullness, inclusivity that characterizes God’s reign ––in a globalized world in which conflicts and divisions are politically and religiously motivated. It will be argued that two key concepts and practices that advance the eschatological event of catholicity are synodality and the “culture of encounter” (Pope Francis), which, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, must become two distinctive and essential elements of the mission of World Christianity in the “age of migration”.

Respondent: Dr. Cecil M. Robeck Jr., Senior Professor of Church History and Ecumenics and Special Assistant to the President for Ecumenical Relations

Dochuk, DarrenDarren Dochuk

Associate Professor of History at University of Notre Dame

“Mission: Protestant Migration and the (Re-)Evangelization of California”

Abstract: “Restless tides of humanity” had long made their way to California, with plans for redemption in tow. So noted a Southern Baptist editor when marveling at his denomination’s move into the Golden State “bringing the glad news of salvation and saying to the thousands of lost people, ‘California, here we come.’” Uttered in 1946, amid the state’s postwar boom, these are sentiments that countless Protestants have exclaimed and embraced when first encountering California and its epicenter of cultural transformation, Los Angeles. This presentation will provide a historical overview of Protestant migration in (and out of) Los Angeles from World War II to the present. While observing general patterns of movement and institutional change within Los Angeles’s sprawling Protestant community, it will pay close attention to the ways that migration has made the city a site of particularly intense and innovative evangelization, a crucible of religious transformation on a national scale, and a gateway for global Christianity.

Respondent: Dr. Robert Chao Romero, Associate Professor, César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, UCLA

Flory, RichardRichard Flory

Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC

“Los Angeles: Crossroads for Migrating Faith Communities”

Abstract: Los Angeles has long attracted migrants—both from different parts of the US and from other countries—who are seeking new opportunities in life. As such, the single dominant reality of the region is its diversity; there is no single ethnic group, way of life, or industrial sector that dominates the scene. This applies to the LA religion as well. Los Angeles is the most religiously diverse city in the world, as religion has been transported to the city along with those seeking that new start in life. What is it about Los Angeles that attracts and even encourages such a broad range of people and their many different religious expressions? What happens to these religions as they experience and interact with the culture and diversity of Los Angeles? And, how do they maintain their vitality as they face myriad alternative and competing religious groups and the secular pursuits that the region offers?

Respondent: Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, Assistant Professor of Integral Mission and Global Transformation, School of Intercultural Studies

Kassam, ZaynZayn Kassam

John Knox MacLean Professor of Religious Studies at Pomona College

“Faith Resources: Muslim Migration to Los Angeles”

Abstract: In the past few decades, Muslim migration to the Greater Los Angeles area has coalesced into building strong civic and religious institutions that have positioned Muslims to strengthen both their own communities and build interfaith connections. The tragic events of 9/11 and the subsequent War on Terror have led to increased surveillance and violence against Muslims/misidentified Muslims both domestically and abroad. In addition to ongoing deportations, since the inception of the Trump administration the acceptance rates for Muslim refugees and migrants has diminished under the guise of national security. The larger culture of Islamophobia and population racism have brought significant challenges to Muslim communities and individuals, while the work of Muslim faith-based and civic organizations and their interfaith connections in resettling refugees shows a remarkable degree of commitment to their values.

Respondent: Dr. Matthew Kaemingk, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics and Associate Dean for Fuller Texas

Kim, Rebecca Rebecca Y. Kim

Frank R. Seaver Chair of Social Science, Professor of Sociology, and the Director of the Ethnic Studies program at Pepperdine University

“Inclusion-Exclusion: Asian Migration and ‘Christian’ California”

Abstract: This paper examines how Asian immigrants and their descendants are making their own mark in and outside of the Californian “Christian” landscape despite their history of exclusion in US society. I first discuss the various cultural and structural barriers that Asian immigrants encountered in their efforts to become part of the United States, particularly in California. I then explore how Asian Americans are reshaping and revitalizing the Californian “Christian” landscape through their churches, campus ministries, and missions organizations, and how they are constructing their distinctive faith, theology, and religious practice. I also explain how Asian American Christians hold the keys to a more united multiracial future in California and beyond. I do this by incorporating past and present social scientific research on Asian American Christians, including my own, and drawing from in-depth interview data from the Religious Leadership and Diversity Project (2014–2016).

Respondent: Dr. Daniel D. Lee, Assistant Provost for the Center For Asian American Theology and Ministry and Assistant Professor of Theology and Asian American Ministry

Rodriguez, DanielDaniel Rodríguez

Divisional Dean of the Religion and Philosophy Division and Professor of Religion and Hispanic Studies at Pepperdine University

“Transnationalism: Latino/a Faith Connections with Latin America”

Abstract: This paper contributes to a growing body of literature in the relatively new field of “diaspora missiology,” defined by The Seoul Declaration on Diaspora Missiology as “a missiological framework for understanding and participating in God’s redemptive mission among people living outside their place of origin” (2009). More specifically, this paper advances the diaspora mission discourse in North America by drawing attention to the evangelistic opportunities and theological challenges presented by the Hispanic evangelical church in the United States. Missiological insights from the Latin American diaspora, as well as the early church, suggest that an important step for leaders in the worldwide mission of God is to embrace and actively promote our identity as “a colony of resident aliens” living in modern-day Babylon. The rise of nationalistic, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies in the United States underscore the importance of this paper for God’s missionary people in 2020.

Respondent: Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology

Sanchez, LeopoldoLeopoldo A. Sánchez M.

Werner R. H. and Elizabeth R. Krause Professor of Hispanic Ministries at Concordia Seminary

“Theological Approaches to Migration: Their Impact on Missional Thinking and Action”

Abstract: Theological approaches to migration can take as their starting point hospitality to migrants, law and reform considerations, models on the role of the church in society, and the notion of special relations. What are the potential strengths of each of these approaches to migration for dealing with a complex issue? We argue that a multidimensional theology of migration, which accounts for a diversity of perspectives and concerns, has the potential to promote fruitful missional thinking and action.

Respondent: Dr. Carly L. Crouch, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament

Sexton, Jason_Jason Sexton

Visiting Research Scholar at the California Center for Sustainable Communities in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA

“Borders: Citizenship in California”

Abstract: As California’s cultural epicenter, LA stands at a crossroads: 100+ languages spoken in public schools; the world’s second largest Mexican city; enormous populations of citizens of countries around the world. Like California, LA has projected its image to the world as a place belonging. Yet amid a growing presence of global citizens, this has not always translated to full citizenship. With perpetual amnesia amid the cultural production, especially forgetting injustices done to minorities and Native Californians, California’s residents face difficult positions. Throughout a history of inclusion and exclusion, new ways of coexisting have marked California’s approaches. This was often fueled by California churches’ inchoate understandings of kingdom or heavenly citizenship, which rather than enabling faithful discipleship often disabled more responsible approaches that could have better sought the good of California and its many residents who seek to experience the better lives of the California dream.

Respondent: Dr. Andrea Smith, Professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside

Torrance Workshop-Retreat, July 31 – August 2, 2020 (Online via Zoom)

Location: Global; held online via zoom.  
Date: July 31-August 2, 2020
Sponsor: The Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship. 
Organizers: Brent Purkaple, Geordie Ziegler, Daniel Cameron, Kerry Magruder.
Contact: workshop-retreat@tftorrance.org


Register as a participant: Use the EventBrite link.
Cost: Free (A free Zoom account is required).

Apply to give a presentation: Send an email to workshop-retreat@tftorrance.org giving a title, research question, chief concepts, and likely sources. Indicate your institutional affiliation and explain the context or nature of your anticipated research project. 12 presenters will be accepted.


What is a Workshop-Retreat? The Torrance Workshop-Retreat will consist of successive Zoom meetings over the space of a weekend. Ample breaks in between online sessions will allow time for reading, meditation, and backchannel conversation. The Workshop-Retreat is designed for students, pastors, and interested lay people as well as scholars. 

Torrance Workshop-Retreats are different from other conferences. Rather than a typical conference, this event is a retreat, and a workshop. 

1. Retreat

Come join others in the Torrance tradition for a special weekend retreat of worship and prayer together. The weekend will include three retreat sessions, each lasting 30-45 minutes. In format, facilitators may combine, at their discretion, responsive readings, music, and prayer, with a short homily. The retreat sessions will lead us in prayerful reflection, meditation and worship related to the theme of theology and scholarship in the time of COVID-19. The facilitators may provide PDFs in advance for responsive reading or thoughtful consideration.

2. Workshop

Are you ready to begin a new research project involving T. F. Torrance or the Torrance tradition? There’s no need to wait until you have finished a paper to benefit from the input, advice and feedback of current scholars. Rather than a typical conference, where presentations consist of polished papers, workshop sessions are designed to assist anyone with a new Torrance project, whether they be new to Torrance or experienced scholars or anywhere in between.  


Workshop details

There will be three presenters per session, with 20 minutes for each presentation. Each researcher will present a project for 8 minutes, leaving 12 minutes for discussion. Each 8-minute presentation will consist of at least the three following components: 

  • a statement of the presenter’s overall research question
  • the concepts the researcher is exploring in relation to the research question, and 
  • the sources (both primary and secondary) that seem to be of key relevance to the project. 

The researcher may provide additional details, if desired, depending on the stage of the project. Input will then be provided in a conversational manner, facilitated by the workshop session chair. 

After the three presentations, each workshop session will conclude with a 10-minute reflection by a session Commentator. Commentators will share their impressions of key concepts, offer any tips or general guidance, note particularly useful sources (primary and secondary), or possible misconceptions, etc., related to the topics of that session. 

Up to four workshop sessions allow for up to 12 different presenters. Workshop sessions are plenary in order to encourage the exchange of perspectives across various subspecialties, although sessions may be organized topically depending on the applications received.

Imagine the conversations that might result from spending a weekend at a wilderness retreat center in the mountains together with others in the Torrance tradition. The ethos of plenary sessions, open to all registrants, provides a personal venue for initial queries to be made in sustained conversation with other Torrance researchers. This format is ideal for graduate students considering possible dissertation topics and for experienced scholars in other areas who wish to embark on a new direction in Torrance research. Workshop sessions provide an opportunity for presenters to receive feedback, pointers, and advice from participants. The aim is to help researchers efficiently and effectively launch new projects.

The weekend will conclude with a panel discussion where several scholars will reflect on common themes arising from the presentations, offer general tips and advice for beginning researchers, or identify areas where further study is needed.


Schedule 

All times Central Standard Time (Chicago, Dallas), with apologies to our international friends.

Sessions will begin on time. We encourage participants to sign on to Zoom five minutes before each session. 
 

Friday evening

Retreat Session 1. 7:00pm.

  • Faciliatator/liturgist/homily: Geordie Ziegler

Workshop Session A. 8pm.

  • Chair: Kerry Magruder
  • Presenter 1, 8:00-8:20
  • Presenter 2, 8:20-8:40
  • Presenter 3, 8:40-9:00
  • Commentator, 9:00-9:10: Gary Deddo

Saturday morning

Retreat Session 2. 10:00am.

  • Facilitator/liturgist/homily: Daniel Cameron

Workshop Session B. 11:00am.

  • Chair: Daniel Cameron  
  • Presenter 1, 11:00-11:20
  • Presenter 2, 11:20-11:40
  • Presenter 3, 11:40-12:00
  • Commentator, 12:00-12:10: Thomas A. Noble

Saturday afternoon

Workshop Session C. 2:00pm.

  • Chair: Brent Purkaple  
  • Presenter 1, 2:00-2:20
  • Presenter 2, 2:20-2:40
  • Presenter 3, 2:40-3:00
  • Commentator, 3:00-3:10: Jerome van Kuiken

Workshop Session D. 4:00pm.

  • Chair: Geordie Ziegler  
  • Presenter 1, 4:00-4:20
  • Presenter 2, 4:20-4:40
  • Presenter 3, 4:40-5:00
  • Commentator, 5:00-5:10: Myk Habets

Sunday afternoon

Panel discussion. 3:00pm.

  • Chair: Brent Purkaple
  • Panelists: Gary Deddo, Myk Habets, Tom Noble, Jerome van Kuiken, Brent Purkaple

Retreat Session 3. 4:30pm.

  • Faciliatator/liturgist/homily: Kerry Magruder

Speakers, OrganizersPurkaple, BrentCameron, Daniel J.Ziegler, Geordie W.Magruder, KerryNoble, Thomas A.Deddo, Gary W.Van Kuiken, E. JeromeHabets, Myk

CFP: Christian Theology in the Midst of COVID-19 – Society for the Study of Theology

Christian Theology in the Midst of COVID-19
Online conference: Wednesday 17th June, 12:00-18:00 British Summer Time

Invitation and call for papers

It is planned that the conference will take place online on Wednesday 17th June from 12:00 to 18:00 British Summer time. Details of the online platform to be used will be confirmed later.

This online conference is an attempt to stimulate some initial theological reflection on the global COVID-19 pandemic. Topics for discussion could include: reading the Scriptures in a time of pandemic; historical Christian responses to plagues and pandemics; divine providence, justice and mercy in relation to COVID-19; politics, economics and the common good; ecclesiology, liturgy, worship and mission; ethical questions; questions about trauma, suffering and loss; how to resource the churches’ responses.

Proposals for papers of up to 3,000 words are invited on any of the topics outlined above, or others related to the theme. Since this is an initial exercise in theological reflection, it is recognised that papers might present first thoughts rather than definitive conclusions about the topics addressed. However, academic rigour and potential to make a valuable contribution to the discussion will nonetheless be the criteria used to selecting papers for presentation.

It is anticipated that each paper will have a 30-40 minute time slot. The presenter will have up to 10 minutes to give a brief introduction to the paper, and the remainder of the time will be for discussion. Papers will be circulated to all participants one week before the conference, and presenters should therefore submit them two weeks before the conference date (i.e. by 3rd June).

To submit a paper proposal, please e-mail an abstract of up to 250 words by Thursday 30th April to the organiser, Prof. Neil Messer: Neil.Messer@winchester.ac.uk

To register for the conference, please send your name and email address by Wednesday 27th May to:Neil.Messer@winchester.ac.uk.

For full details, please follow this link.

2020 Barth Graduate Student Colloquium

The Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the fifth Karl Barth Graduate Student Colloquium to be held on August 19-21, 2020. This year’s theme is Barth and politics—broadly conceived as a constructive and critical engagement with Barth’s own politics, political theory, and political theology in conversation with contemporary conversations on the same. Over the course of three days, participants will have the opportunity to engage in an intensive student-led seminar and to get to know other up-and-coming Barth scholars. During the day, participants will take turns presenting papers and leading group discussion on an assigned portion of the text. Two senior scholars will supplement the student-led day sessions by providing evening lectures and opportunities to further the conversation.

We especially encourage women, people of color, international students, new voices, and other under-represented voices in the Barth discussion to submit proposals for this year’s colloquium.

Call for Papers

The text for the 2020 colloquium will be the essays found in Community, State, and Church. We are inviting doctoral students and recent graduates in the disciplines of theology, ethics, religion, and political philosophy. While we expect that all applicants will closely read Community, State, and Church in advance of the colloquium, papers may take up the political themes from anywhere in Barth’s corpus. Papers, therefore, are encouraged to be primarily constructive and thesis-driven, not exegetical. We hope that this set-up will foster fruitful and constructive conversations about the merits, utility, and limits of Barth’s own political thought in conversation with similar contemporary conversations.

Application Information: This colloquium is open to any doctoral student whose interests intersect with some aspect of Karl Barth’s theology. A focus on Barth’s theology in your dissertation is not required. ABD is preferred. Recent graduates may apply. Applicants are required to submit a CV and a statement of interest no longer than 750 words proposing a constructive paper on the colloquium’s theme. Applications should be sent to barth.center@ptsem.edu no later than Monday, March 2, 2020. Notification of acceptance will be made by Monday, March 30, 2020. Successful applicants will present a 20-25 minute paper and lead the discussion that follows. We especially encourage women, people of color, international students, new voices, and other under-represented voices in the Barth discussion to submit proposals for this year’s colloquium.

Cost: The colloquium begins Wednesday morning and concludes on Friday afternoon. All food and lodging during the colloquium will be provided. Lodging will begin on Tuesday evening, August 18. Modest travel stipends are also included.

Questions?: For more information see the Barth Center website or email barth.center@ptsem.edu.

Plenary Speaker – Hana Reichel

Dr. Reichel earned her ThD and MDiv from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, holds a B.Sc. in economics from Fernuniversität Hagen and a BA (Vordiplom) in theology from Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. Reichel’s published work includes articles on Karl Barth and the mission of the church, and a monograph titled, Theologie als Bekenntnis. Karl Barths kontextuelle Lektüre des Heidelberger Catechisms (FSÖTh, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015), eng. Theology as Confession: Karl Barth’s Contextual Readings of the Heidelberg Catechism. Her theological interests include Christology, scriptural hermeneutics, political theology, constructive theology, poststructuralist theory, and the theology of Karl Barth.

For more information see here: http://barth.ptsem.edu/event/2020-barth-graduate-student-colloquium

3rd Annual “Logia” Women Scholars’ Luncheon

Logia and the LA Theology Conference are hosting their third Women Scholars’ luncheon at Biola University on Thursday, January 16th, 12:45-2:00. This is a time for women in theology and related disciplines to come together over a meal for conversation, networking, and support. Theologians, Dr. Lucy Peppiatt and Dr. Esther Acolatse, will offer a brief word of encouragement during the meal. Women who aspire to become scholars in these disciplines are also welcome. Attendance at the conference is not necessary but RSVP by January 10th is required as space is limited. There is no cost to attend.

To register see the Eventbrite Page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-latc-women-scholars-luncheon-tickets-77800014939

Fuller Seminary 2019 Missiology Lectures: Becoming Digital Neighbors

MISSIOLOGY LECTURES 2019

How does technology enable or constrain me in loving my (digital) neighbor?

The 2019 Missiology Lectures will look at how emerging technologies shape human interaction and, more specifically, inform cross-cultural or interreligious encounters.

Join us for a gathering of leading scholars of technology as it relates to theology, religion, and formation, to explore the ways in which modern technology is neither solely a dehumanizing force in the world nor a mere instrument for evangelizing the world, but rather the very means by which incarnation living happens—the media in and through which human bodies love the (digital) other.

Conference attendees will talk about technology as they interact with theologians, educators, missionaries, and ministry leaders, as well as engage in hands-on Virtual Reality experiences.

Conference Organizers: Ryan K. Bolger, Kutter Callaway, Kirsteen Kim

FULLER studio is pleased to offer a selection of the recordings to be released in the months following the event. To stay updated on this content, sign up for the FULLER studio semimonthly email.

SPEAKERS AND ABSTRACTS

 Heidi CampbellHeidi Campbell

PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS

When Religious Internet Memes about Mean: Loving the Religious Other

This lecture is based on research that explores the tendency for Internet memes about religion to promote problematic religious stereotypes. Specifically, this lecture investigates the role the Internet and social media plays in promoting incivility towards non-Christian religious individuals and cultures. The viral nature of Internet memes can encourage the circulation of biased narratives about the religious other online, which threatens our call to be neighborly to those treated with contempt in a digital age. By studying the dominant messages promoted by Internet memes about religion, especially related to Islam and Judaism, we see that online visual and textual discourse about minority religions within American culture relies on hostile tropes and biases about religious individuals. By investigating how such messages communicate about religious others in popular Internet memes, this lecture will ask how memes can be used as basis of dialogue that enable us to embrace and show care for the religious others in our midst, online and offline.

Respondent: Erik Aasland is affiliate assistant professor of anthropology and coordinator of global initiatives at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Pauline CheongPauline Cheong

PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Data, Discernment, and Duty: Illuminating Engagement in the Internet of Things

As contemporary technological innovations are embedded in our “smart” homes, schools and churches, sensors in our neighborhoods, and even microchipped in ourselves, what are the human capacities and knowledge needed to thrive in an era of Big Data and the Internet of Things? Drawing upon her empirical research on intercultural communication, social media, and digital platforms, Dr. Cheong will discuss opportunities and challenges in loving our neighbors in light of intensifying mediatization. Understanding evolving and relational practices of datafication will help shed light on newer constructions of knowledge and authority, including implications for missional engagement and service.

Respondent: Marcia Clarke is affiliate professor of practical theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Ilia DelioIlia Delio, OSF

JOSEPHINE C. CONNELLY CHAIR IN THEOLOGY AT VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

The Techno Human: Better World or Deeper Problems?

There is no doubt that technology has become embedded in human life, from global communications to biomedical enhancements. It is estimated that by 2025 the quality of human life will be significantly improved for most of the global population. But will we have a more just and sustainable planet? However, the values of enhancement cannot supplant virtues of transformation. A world of compassion and forgiveness requires that we go against our nature, not extend our nature. It is going against our nature, however, that we seek to avoid; hence the lure of artificial intelligence. In this lecture, Dr. Delio will explore the resistance of nature to transcend itself apart from the radical otherness of God and engage the cosmotheandric vision of Teilhard de Chardin and his novel idea of Ultrahumanism.

Respondent: Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen is professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Angela GorrellAngela Gorrell

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PRACTICAL THEOLOGY AT TRUETT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Back to the Future: Immortal But Not Fully Alive

Babel-fish earbuds. The Internet of Things. Generative Adversarial Networks. And on the horizon of technological and informational change—a vision of a new humanity—superhumans made immortal by robotic limbs, microchips, gene modification, and nanosystems. How do we share the gospel in a world where people think of death as a solvable problem? What has God done in and through Jesus Christ that speaks to a digital age? How do we tell the stories of what God is doing in a new media landscape? Together, we will consider why the pursuit of becoming fully human should eclipse the quest to become immortal and, in doing so, shape Christian witness in such a time as this.

Respondent: Wilmer G. Villacorta is associate professor of intercultural studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Madison GilbertsonMadison Kawakami Gilbertson

PHD STUDENT IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE AT FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

CO-PRESENTING WITH SARAH A. SCHNITKER

Perhaps too often technology development has neglected the philosophical, moral, and virtue-related elements associated with its production, and therefore the potential for technology to facilitate more positive outcomes for youth has been overlooked. Drawing on the empirical research we have conducted as psychological scientists, we will explore how a virtue-focused approach to tech has the potential to facilitate positive character development outcomes. Instead of inhibiting virtue, how might technology facilitate and instill virtue among users? Rather than trying to persuade adolescents to turn off their devices (a nearly impossible task), we want to present character strength interventions where youth are already spending their time—on their screens. The present tech landscape, the development and outcomes from a virtue-focused technology app, and the missiological significance of this approach will be discussed.

Respondent: Susan L. Maros is Faculty Consultant and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Christian Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary

NoreenNoreen Herzfeld

REUTER PROFESSOR OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION AT THE COLLEGE OF SAINT BENEDICT AND SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY

A New Neighbor or a Divisive Force?

The term AI conjures images of robots or the quasi-human figures of science fiction and film. We imagine digital companions and co-workers that think and act like ourselves. This vision of AI seems to enlarge our neighborhood, giving us something we innately desire—an “other” with whom we can relate, as we relate to our fellow humans. However, there are two things wrong with this vision. First, without a sensate body, computers are incapable of feeling emotion, making them a poor substitute for human relationships. Second, this isn’t the AI we have. We most frequently encounter AI not in some quasi-human or even robotic form, but in faceless algorithms that aggregate our data and manipulate our behavior online. This AI not only fails to give us new neighbors to love but has proven, so far, to be an isolating and politically divisive force, separating us from the human neighbors we already have.

Respondent: Kirsteen Kim is Associate Dean for the Center of Missiological Research (CMR) and professor of theology and world Christianity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Sarah SchnitkerSarah A. Schnitker

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Positive Youth Development and Technology: Developing Character in Youth in the Present Technological Landscape

Perhaps too often technology development has neglected the philosophical, moral, and virtue-related elements associated with its production, and therefore the potential for technology to facilitate more positive outcomes for youth has been overlooked. Drawing on the empirical research we have conducted as psychological scientists, we will explore how a virtue-focused approach to tech has the potential to facilitate positive character development outcomes. Instead of inhibiting virtue, how might technology facilitate and instill virtue among users? Rather than trying to persuade adolescents to turn off their devices (a nearly impossible task), we want to present character strength interventions where youth are already spending their time—on their screens. The present tech landscape, the development and outcomes from a virtue-focused technology app, and the missiological significance of this approach will be discussed.

Respondent: Susan L. Maros is Faculty Consultant and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Christian Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary