Essay / Theology

Call for Papers: Los Angeles Theology Conference 2014, Advancing Trinitarian Theology

In mid-January of 2014, Fuller Theological Seminary will host the second annual Los Angeles Theology Conference. Last year’s inaugural conference at Biola was a great success. In fact, the book version of that conference is just about to appear in print from Zondervan.

The topic for the 2014 conference is “Advancing Trinitarian Theology,” and we have invited an apt set of plenary speakers for a Trinity conference: Lewis Ayres, Steve Holmes, Karen Kilby, Tom McCall, and Fred Sanders.

Registration will open soon, but the call for papers is already officially open. We are looking for about nine papers to be delivered in parallel sessions during the conference, papers that will make significant additions to the development of the conference theme. Read the conference description carefully, reflect on the issues these plenary speakers are likely to be addressing, and if you have something to contribute to the conversation, consider proposing a paper to the conference.

As we did last year, we are once again limiting submissions to those who hold a doctorate. Why? The primary reason is that we want conference attenders to be assured that if they come to this conference, they will be hearing high quality presentations. We are well aware that some student papers are actually superior to some papers by seasoned faculty, and we like to think we’d be able to pick those out based on proposals alone. But for the time being, eliminating student papers from LATC serves as a good public symbol of high academic standards. As LATC publications continue to appear over the years, we believe the conference’s quality standard will speak for itself. But for the time being, we are not soliciting student papers. If you are in the liminal state of nearly completing a doctorate, try to discern if you’re close enough to the finish line that we should count you as proleptically there.

Last year we also limited proposals to those whose degree is in systematic or philosophical theology. This year we are removing that restriction at the level of credential, while continuing to hold the line in terms of the content of the proposals. We will only consider paper proposals that are systematic-theological in nature, but those proposals may come from scholars whose primary training is in a related field. Scholars in biblical studies, historical theology, and the philosophy of religion are especially likely to have something to contribute to the systematic project of “Advancing Trinitarian Theology.” We do intend for every paper at LATC to be a constructive or descriptive essay in Christian dogmatics. We are not interested in other disciplines simply bringing a quantity of biblical or historical “resources for trinitarianism,” we actually want each speaker to be doing something with the resources.

Aside from that, the call for papers is wide open: the conference is independent and ecumenical, a forum equally appropriate for definitive statements of settled views as well as innovative thought projects that are ready for critical scrutiny and wider discussion. Under the heading of retrieval of the great tradition, and following the lead indicated by the title “Advancing Trinitarian Theology,” we are eager to gather papers that are fluent in, and not dismissive of, the great tradition of trinitarian reflection.

As with last year, the best of the conference proceedings will be published in a forthcoming book of the same name from Zondervan, the conference sponsor.

The call for papers window is open from now until October 12. Please help spread the word.


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