Essay / Theology

Welcome to the Los Angeles Theology Conference

Here is the welcome note published in the conference program for today’s theology conference:

Welcome to the inaugural meeting of the Los Angeles Theology Conference, an annual gathering devoted to the discussion of major doctrines of systematic theology. Thank you for joining us in this first year, when we take up the central doctrine of christology.

A theology conference is too serious and too scholarly a thing to be considered a party, but there is nevertheless something festive about gathering with others to hear their arguments and investigations into these important matters of doctrine. Theologians, like all scholars, have to read and write alone before publishing their results for others to (eventually) see and (maybe) respond to. But a good conference is a space where the people who read and write Christian theology come face-to-face, to encounter each other and exchange ideas more directly. Question and answer come closer together than print permits. There is a podium, and for once a minor element of performance enters into what is ordinarily an art confined to the studio. It is no surprise that at this more human scale, we often catch a glimpse of the attitude most appropriate to practitioners of what Karl Barth called the “modest, free, critical, and happy science.”

We have tried to make this conference exactly the kind of thing we would enjoy attending, in hopes that everyone in attendance would benefit from it as well. We have already begun planning the themes, speakers, and arrangements for future meetings of the LATC, so please think of this conference as an event you can plan for in coming years.

Fred Sanders

Oliver Crisp

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