Conference: Theology, the Church and Controversy

There is a theology conference on at the University of Aberdeen this July, which will, in their words: “…explore the dynamics of prophetic difference by asking whether controversy is integral to the Christian church.” Click here for more info. It should be good, among the presenters are: John Webster, Robert Jenson, Carl trueman, David Bentley Heart, Brian Brock and Peter Leithart.

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7 thoughts on “Conference: Theology, the Church and Controversy

  1. Pingback: Aberdeen conference on church conflict : Theopolitical

  2. I hope they make a distinction between controversy worth having and that which is not. That is, faithful controversy over important, even essential, matters, and those that are merely for controversy’s sake.

    I won’t be able to attend, so I won’t get a chance to create a controversy over how the word is pronounced.

    It would be a treat to revisit the “Granite City,” where P.T. Forsyth was born, and where some good solid theology is still done.

    • I imagine, as with the last couple of conferences, that the papers will be put into a volume, but I haven’t heard anything about that yet. I imagine it will take a good while as well. If someone wants to buy me an ipad I will live-blog the event!

  3. Holy crap, that lineup looks awesome.

    To see Hart, Jenson, Webster, and Leithart at the same conference is like theology nerd Nirvana.

  4. Conflict within Christianity, prophesy, is really the subject on many entries on “creeds,” in this blog. Creeds typically attempt to impose unity in a church, in the face of differences.

    I’m interested in such conflicts within Christianity. And welcome the topic of this conference. But I worry that the stated theme of the conference tends to pose the subject of “difference” as a mere intellectual glass-bead-game of Derrida-ian/Saussurian “differance” (Fr.). Without quite addressing the many times conflicts, differences within Christiandom often lead to actual, physical armed conflicts; and to the death and torture of hundreds of thousands of people.

    Of course, freedom to debate all sides of a question is absolutely essential to academic life and progress; and this freedom often needs to be continually re-asserted in all-too-dogmatic religious environments.

    Still, to speak of differences as if they were always happy circumstances, would not be quite right. In fact, we need to look at the many, many times good Christians conflicted in religious principles – and began murdering each other by the millions, as a result of conflicting dogmas.

    Which I suggest, does not recommend loyalty oaths, firm dogmas, or creeds.

    To be sure the larger purpose seems valid: to allow difference. But let’s not over-romanticize Christianity, and its historical conflicts.

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