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Graduate Student Conference: Christianity and the Social

March 27–28, 2020

Call for Papers

Annual Princeton Theological Seminary Graduate Student Conference

March 27–28, Princeton, NJ

Christianity and the Social

The planning committee for the annual PTS-GSC invites creative submissions which examine Christian reflection on social life, broadly conceived. Central Christian ideals involve ideas about social life—horizontally between humans, other creatures, and the earth, and vertically between humans, divine beings, and God. The Old Testament/Hebrew Bible portrays God’s social relationship with a variety of communities, especially Israel and its neighbors. These relations are mediated by covenants, lines of descent, temples, monarchies, and more. The New Testament portrays Jesus as inaugurating new social ties, turning strangers and enemies into friends and siblings. This cuts dramatically across religious, political, and ethnic lines.

Christian communities across the centuries have sought to apply what they take to be biblical and Christian ideals in the formation and regulation of their social lives. These social embodiments of Christianity have varied in interesting ways across time, culture, and place. Yet critics from without and within also note that Christian language and ideals often mask disturbing historical realities. Christians have often employed the language of these ideals in the service of empire, domination, slavery, and the like. Such a challenge raises important questions, both critical and constructive, and papers from a broad disciplinary range are welcomed, including but not limited to:

History
Biblical Studies
World Christianity
Religion and Society / Religion and Critical Thought
Political Theory
Theology
Ethics
Philosophy
Sociology
Spirituality
Practical Theology
Hermeneutics

We welcome proposals for 15-20 minute paper presentations. Please send paper proposals of around 300 words to andrew.peterson@ptsem.edu and nicola.whyte@ptsem.edu by December 15, 2019, stating your institutional affiliation and program.

Presentations are expected to be “on the way,” so to speak—they needn’t be publishable in their present form, but we do want well-formulated and thought-provoking presentations. They may explicitly address the conference theme, or they may demonstrate how the conference theme is reflected in a specific area of study. We encourage presentations related to seminar papers, comprehensive exam materials, or dissertation materials. We especially encourage proposals from underrepresented groups in the academy.

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Associate Rector at Trinity Church, Princeton, New Jersey

Nancy Hagner, Class of 2013

“Preaching is one of the most important things we do as pastors. You get to challenge people’s minds and hearts, as the gospel challenges all of us.”