We’re now three-quarters of the way through the fall semester, and I’m having a great time teaching Church History I (up to the eve of the Reformation) at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. This is a remarkable young school that is doing some interesting work in downtown Seattle, and I’m glad to have a chance to be a part of it.
It’s just about AAR time again, and I’ll be trekking to Baltimore for this year’s gathering of some 10,000 scholars and students in religion, theology, biblical studies, church history, and all points in between. I gave a paper at the national conference last year when it met in Chicago, but this year I’ll be cruising the book exhibitor’s hall, looking for interesting people to talk to, and with a bit of luck enjoying a few job interviews.
And, of course, I have my eye on some interesting-looking sessions:
- Karl Barth Society of North America (Friday, 4:00-6:30pm)
- – My friend Travis McMaken will present “A Barthian Case for Infant Baptism,” the subject of his Princeton Seminary dissertation (just published by Fortress Press). Hanna Reichel will also give a paper I’m looking forward to, on Barth and the Heidelberg Catechism.
Karl Barth Society of North America (Saturday, 9:00-11:30am)
- – “Ronald F. Thiemann in Memoriam,” including a paper on the theologia crucis from the excellent Paul Dafydd Jones
Eastern Orthodox Studies Group and SBL Development of Christian Theology Group (Saturday, 1:00-3:30pm)
- – This is a book review session on Christopher Beeley’s The Unity of Christ: Continuity and Conflict in Patristic Tradition (Yale University Press, 2012). Thought the book has been in print for a year I’ve just discovered its existence, and will be making a B-line to the Yale book stall to find a copy. It appears to be a significant rethinking of the whole of the development of patristic Christology, and at first glance I think my own reading of the tradition — which I try to summarize in the briefest of ways in the first chapter of my dissertation — runs parallel to Beeley’s work.
Reformed Theology and History Group (Saturday, 4:00-6:30pm)
- – “Sanctified by the Spirit.” I presented with this group last year and am hoping to get more involved in its annual goings-on. This session will focus on critical issues in the doctrine of sanctification according to the Reformed tradition, with Richard Mouw (Fuller Seminary) and Philip Ziegler (University of Aberdeen) among the presenters.
Reformed Theology and History Group (Sunday, 3:00-4:30pm)
- – “Holy Spirit and Spiritual Practices.” A couple of Scotland friends will present here: Christina Larsen on Jonathan Edwards, and Timothy Baylor on John Owen and Barth.
Bonhoeffer: Theology and Social Analysis Group (Monday, 9:00-11:30am)
- – “Contextualizing Bonhoeffer as Preacher.” Aberdeen’s Joseph McGarry will razzle-dazzle us with a paper on Bonhoeffer’s preaching.
There are several others that I have my eye on, but I hope to be able to make these sessions a priority.
If you are at AAR this year and want to chat about theology, church history, doctoral studies, et al, I hope you will drop me a line (darren -dot- sumner -at- gmail.com).