full name / name of organization:
Andrew Armond and Ben Myers
2008 Regional Conference
Christianity and the "Things of this World"
October 2-3, 2008
Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma
Keynote Speaker: Gregory Wolfe
Keynote Address: "The Poetics of Desire: Sacramentalism vs. Gnosticism in
Since its inception, Christianity has had a conflicted relationship with
the material world. Some, believing God's kingdom purely spiritual, have
held the material world as corrupt and irredeemable, awaiting its
destruction and re-creation at the end of time. Others, seeing Creation as
essentially good yet tainted by humanity's sin, have held a more positive
view of a redeemable created order in which humans have a crucial part to
play. A vast array of theological positions can be traced to one's view of
the contested relationship between the spiritual and the material world,
and certainly these positions have been reflected in literature throughout
the Christian era.
This conference seeks papers that deal with the literary outworkings of
one's (or a community's) view of Christianity's relationship to the
material world, which could include papers on the following sub-topics:
â€¢ Christianity's view of the human body, including gender and sexuality;
â€¢ Christianity's relationship to the created order, primarily the environment;
â€¢ Christianity's relationship to the animal kingdom;
â€¢ Christianity's relationship to agriculture and the production and
consumption of food;
â€¢ Differing sacramental views as reflective of a denomination's or sect's
view of the material world and God's participation in it;
â€¢ Materialist theory and the Christian text;
â€¢ and other papers dealing with the conference theme.
Proposals for papers being accepted now. Please send a 300 - 600 word
abstract (including your name, institutional affiliation, and contact
information) as an attachment (.doc, .rtf, or .pdf) to CCL_at_okbu.edu. The
deadline for submissions is 15 May 2008.
In his keynote address, Gregory Wolfe will discuss the various ways
Christian writers have approached the phenomenon of human desire. He will
contrast the sacramentalist vision, which affirms the goodness of desire,
with the Gnostic view, which sees desire as inherently disordered. Drawing
on both classic and contemporary writers, Wolfe will trace the way this
perennial conflict persists in our own time.
Gregory Wolfe is the founder of Image, which Annie Dillard has called "one
of the best journals on the planet." Now one of America's top literary
quarterlies, Image is a unique forum for the best writing and artwork that
is informed by--or grapples with--religious faith. Mr. Wolfe is also the
Writer in Residence at Seattle Pacific University and holds an MA in
English Literature from Oxford University.
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Received on Mon Mar 24 2008 - 07:43:59 EST