Baker Academic

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2017 Christian Scholars' Conference

The 2017 Christian Scholars' Conference (Lipscomb University; Nashville, TN) is quickly approaching. I must confess I'm not exactly enamored of the name of this event, but I hear from others that it is one of the better small annual conferences. This year's theme is Memory, Tradition, and the Future of  Faith, and this year's plenary speakers will be James H. Cone (Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary), Marie Howe (Sarah Lawrence College, New York University), and Shaun Casey (senior fellow at the Berkeley Center; professor, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University). The 2017 CSC will also feature:
  • Greg Sterling (Dean of Yale Divinity School; The Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament) will deliver the Abraham J. Malherbe plenary address.
  • Carol Newsom (Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament at Candler; senior fellow, Center for the Study of Law and Religion) will deliver the J. J. M. Roberts Lecture in Old Testament Studies.
  • Margaret Mitchell (Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature, University of Chicago Divinity School) will deliver the Everett Ferguson Lecturer in Early Christian Studies.
Now listen . . . if these names aren't enough to coax you into making travel arrangements to Nashville, TN, in early June, let me sweeten the pot. I will be presenting twice this year:

  • First, Nick Zola (Assistant Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University) has arranged a panel discussion of memory, tradition, reconciliation, and pedagogy. Here's the session abstract: "Dr. Stuart Zola, former director of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and current interim Provost of Emory University, will present some of the latest research on the neuroscience of memory—how the brain remembers and what factors impair effective communication. Three panel members, each leaders in their fields, will respond with how a more robust understanding of memory function can inform a range of disciplines: Dr. Rodriguez on how Jesus is remembered in the New Testament; Dr. Turner on how individuals reconcile with others and their surrounding systems; and Dr. Erbes on how students best retain and recall classroom information." Stuart Zola has presented at an SBL before, and I'm looking forward to learning from and responding to his work.
  • Second, John Harrison (Professor of New Testament and Ministry, Oklahoma Christian University) has coordinated a session on memory and the Jesus tradition. Here's the session abstract: "For several decades now, memory studies and investigations into early Christianity has opened new questions about what first followers remembered and what affect Christian rituals had on the formation of that memory. In this session, two papers will lead the discussion around specific applications of memory studies and early Christian practice. The Jesus tradition was first experienced by eyewitnesses and then handed down orally for others to remember. Can eyewitness memory actually be detected in the Synoptic Gospels? How did baptism come to function as a preserver, transmitter, and transformer of Christian memory?" With the imminent arrival of the second edition of Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Eerdmans) and the Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries project (Bloomsbury), this session will offer a critical view of the current state of Jesus research and its intersection with memory studies.
So we'll see you in Nashville in June! If you're coming, look me up and let me know. I can't wait to see you!


  1. Replies
    1. If you click on the hyperlink, it'll take you to the website with that information.

  2. Would love to come but can't get off from work to make it. Have a great time. God Bless