Essay / Theology

Anthropology Class for LATC18

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In mid-January of 2018, Fuller Theological Seminary is hosting the sixth annual Los Angeles Theology Conference. The topic is theological anthropology: The Christian Doctrine of Humanity.

As usual, I’m offering a class at Biola’s Talbot School of Theology in conjunction with LATC. The two-day conference itself provides a big chunk of contact hours to build a course around: Five plenary sessions and three parallel sessions make for an intensive experience devoted to the exploration of a classic doctrine. With major theologians speaking on a key doctrine in a carefully-sequenced conference, it’s pretty obvious how you can make this worth academic units at your school: Add some preliminary reading and a post-conference discussion, plus a final reflection paper, and you’ve got a well-rounded educational experience on the task of dogmatics. Several clever profs in southern California have done this (Talbot, Azusa Pacific, and Gateway Seminary have all offered LATC-anchored classes).

Conference registration is open. There’s an early-bird discount in effect through November; there’s a group discount for groups of ten or more; and there’s a student discount. These discounts stack, so if you sign up a group of students in the next few weeks, you can get quite a price break.

LATC18 should be a very good theology event. We have more speakers than usual this year: a few of the breakout papers are co-authored and co-presented, but we also had so many good responses to our call for papers that we added a few extra breakout sessions. All told we are hosting 20 theologians. In an interesting development (for a conference on what we used to call the doctrine of man), 9 of those theologians are women. LATC is always planned with some open time between sessions to peruse the book tables and talk over snacks. The snacks are near the books. It’s that good.

As for the class I’m teaching, I chose one book each from our plenary speakers. If I can just be professorially transparent about it, I picked the books I most want to share with students. Reading a book and then hearing the author in person is a great academic-and-human experience. The five books my class will be looking at in advance are:

Ian McFarland, From Nothing: A Theology of Creation (Westminster/John Knox, 2014).

Frances Young, God’s Presence: A Contemporary Recapitulation of Early Christianity (Cambridge, 2013).

Marc Cortez, Theological Anthropology: A Guide for the Perplexed (T&T Clark, 2010)

Hans Madueme and Michael Reeves, eds, Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin: Theological, Biblical, and Scientific Perspectives (Baker, 2014)

Megan DeFranza, Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God (Eerdmans, 2015)


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