The 2016 Los Angeles Theology Conference is about the Bible: “The Voice of God in the Text of Scripture.” We’re looking forward to a great gathering at Fuller Theological Seminary on January 14-15.
And here is the big announcement of an addition to our lineup of plenary speakers: Stephen Fowl of Loyola University has agreed to join us to give a paper entitled “‘In Many and Various Ways:’ Hearing the Voice of God in Scripture.” Fowl has long been an influential voice in the theological interpretation of scripture, having published both on its theory (Engaging Scripture, the Blackwell Readings volume, and Reading in Communion) and practice (commentaries on Philippians and Ephesians). Fowl has staked out some definite territory in this highly-contested field, so that any survey of theological interpretation of scripture can take its bearings from “the Fowl approach.” He maintains his position deftly and flexibly in ongoing conversation, retaining the doctrinal stance without lapsing into the doctrinaire posture. At LATC 2016 he will join our other plenaries, William Abraham, John Goldingay, Amy Plantinga Pauw, and Daniel Treier for a series of high-quality papers and a lively exchange.
Anyone who has already been looking forward to this conference will immediately notice a name missing from that list: Richard Hays. Dr. Hays has recently begun treatment for pancreatic cancer (see the public announcement from Duke Divinity School here), and so will not be able to participate in the conference. We pray for his progress in that course of treatment. His absence from the conference left us facing the stark fact that Richard Hays is irreplaceable. His scholarly work –not least his latest work, on the gospels– brings to the task of biblical interpretation a literary sensibility so refined and a theological judgement so poised as to be truly unique among contemporary biblical studies scholars. Hays characteristically combines nimbleness in attention to the text, clarity in communication, and charitableness in conversation; we were glad to have him on board, and we will miss him at this year’s conference.
Our call for papers also brought in a lot of very good proposals, from which we’ve selected nine excellent papers for the parallel sessions. We’ll be announcing those names and titles soon, here and at latheology.com.