Matter '09: A Creative Theology Event and Anthology (Deadline May 15, 2009) Conference: Sept. 17-19, 2009

full name / name of organization: 
Shechem Ministries, Inc.
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Shechem Ministries' "Matter '09: A Creative Theology Event" is now accepting submissions of papers and artwork for the conference September 17-19, 2009, at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Selected papers and artwork will be presented at the conference and will be published in the anthology of the conference, Matter, published by Shechem Press.

All abstracts and digital image samples are due by noon CST on May 15, 2009, with completed artwork and papers due by August 31, 2009 at noon CST. Abstracts (250-500 words), panel proposals, and inquiries should be submitted via email to For more information, please go to

Matter '09 seeks to create a space for meaningful conversation between working artists, theologians, philosophers, and theorists. Throughout the course of the 3-day event, attendees will participate in creative liturgies and will hear keynote presentations with Peter Rollins concerning the intersection of the arts and theology. In addition, the conference features panel discussions, artist and scholar presentations, exhibition space for visual art, a concert, and a theatrical performance.

The theme for the conference is "Christian Relationships": our relationship with God as discussed in Hebrews 12, our relationship with the Church as discussed in Hebrews 13, and our relationship with the world as discussed in Romans 12. Each of these passages offers artists and scholars a host of issues for debate and interpretation.

We are looking for diverse, ecumenical writings and art that illuminate the text both creatively (poetry, 2D or 3D visual art, scripts, etc) and in traditional scholarly forms.

Possible avenues for discussion include:

1) Hebrews 12:
• So great a cloud of witnesses: support for Christian artists within churches
• Christian discipline in the arts
• Run with endurance: "calling" in the arts
• Blood vs. Blood: new metaphors for the atonement

2) Hebrews 13:
• Being outside the camp: Ex-centric Christian arts and theory
• Mutual love: cultivating empathy through the arts
• Marriage reconsidered: a hinge point for the 21st century Church
• Recreated or redeemed: wrestling with present authority

3) Romans 12:
• Transformation in liturgy and the arts
• The body of Christ and the physical body as the site of empathy diversity in ministry
• Genuine blessings for genuine evil
• Presented as a living sacrifice: self-as-source performance art

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Rollins, is a sought-after writer, philosopher, lecturer, and coordinator of the experimental faith collective Ikon ( in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His primary philosophical interests lie in the area of continental philosophy of religion, phenomenology and post-modernism. His newest book, The Orthodox Heretic: and Other Impossible Tales (Paraclete Press), will be released in April of 2009.

Conference registration for those artists and scholars whose papers and/or artwork are accepted for participation is $175. Regular registration for all other conference attendees is $200 before August 15. After August 15, the cost is $225. The conference fee covers all general session fees and entrance fees to all performances, lunches and snacks during the conference, a conference t-shirt, and a copy of the Matter '09 anthology to be shipped out following the conference.