Essay / Theology

Locating Atonement: Coming in January 2015

In systematic theology, three doctrines stand out as mega-doctrines, as conceptual clusters that are right at the center of understanding the faith. Those three classic doctrines are incarnation, Trinity, and atonement.

Those three classic doctrines also happen to be the doctrines that we are taking up in the first three years of the annual Los Angeles Theology Conference.  Our first year (2013) was on Christology: Ancient and Modern,  and our second year (2014) is Advancing Trinitarian Theology. So next year, 2015, the time has come for our annual “explorations in constructive dogmatics” to turn our attention to the doctrine of atonement.

So it is with great excitement that we announce here the title and the plenary speakers for our 2015 conference.

The title of the conference is Locating Atonement. “Locating,” in this case, doesn’t indicate that we’ve lost or misplaced the doctrine! It means that we are inviting theologians who can situate the doctrine of the atonement in its larger systematic theological context, show its connections and implications with other doctrines, and thus throw light on where atonement takes place.

It’s a vast doctrine, and we’re hoping to handle it with appropriate amplitude, so we needed to recruit some estimable theologians. We did. In alphabetical order:

Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary California: Atonement and Ascension

Matthew Levering, Mundelein Seminary: Atonement and Creation

Bruce McCormack, Princeton Theological Seminar: Atonement and Human Suffering

Ben Myers, Charles Sturt University: Atonement and the Image of God

Eleonore Stump, St. Louis University: Atonement and Eucharist

The conference will get the standard LATC treatment: a mid-year call for papers to select nine other presentations for parallel sessions; and a book of selected proceedings published by Zondervan nine months after the conference itself, co-edited by Oliver Crisp and Fred Sanders.

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