2021 CSC Theme:
Recovery of Hope:
A Vision for Healing, Trust and Restitution
June 9-11, 2021
2020 Conference Defers to June 9 - 11, 2021
A letter from the Director of the Christian Scholars' Conference:
As the coronavirus continues to spread through the U.S., organizations are wisely taking aggressive steps to try to halt its progress.
After vigilant monitoring of national developments, with a keen concern for the health of all participants, serious conversations with advisory board members and multiple stakeholders and Lipscomb's risk management team, we decided that it is both wise and prudent to postpone the 40th annual CSC until June 2021 and on March 18th sent the following letter to our "family of scholars":
As an important member of the CSC community, you have contributed to fostering excellent scholarship, lasting connections, and close friendships. Indeed, the CSC has become a reunion for our scholarly community, an annual event we mark on our calendars for intellectual stimulation and invigorating relationships. Among the qualities unique to the CSC is the comfortable way junior scholars are brought into community with senior scholars through academic sessions, plenary addresses, meals, and intentional social gatherings.
We know you were anticipating CSC 2020 as an opportunity to present your scholarship and receive critical feedback. Even more than that, you were looking forward to the reunion of old friendships and the establishment of new ones.
We will miss our community this June.
We will soon be in personal conversation with each registrant about deferring or refunding fees.
I will be asking the committee chairs for each section to contact in turn each generative and peer reviewed convener about their participants' desires, to discern the most viable option for each paper: deferral to the 2021 conference or other possibilities.
Trusting that deferring the 2020 CSC will be best for all involved, I ask your patience as conference personnel halt work on this year's CSC and begin to merge this year's plans into the 2021 CSC.
Thank you for your interest and support. Please keep an eye out for information about the 2021 conference, June 9 - 11 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.
While the decision to defer the 2020 CSC was unavoidable and wise, to miss this year's gathering of our "family of scholars" is heartbreaking.
However, the postponement will only enhance the re-union celebration in 2021.
The CSC brings out the very best of us and I am pleased to announce that already Laura Nasrallah (the Everett Ferguson Lecturere), Steve McKenzie (the JJM Roberts Lecturer) and Miroslav Volf (the Landon Saunders Lecturer) have already confirmed for the 2021 CSC!
Katherine Hayhoe will join us in 2022, and we are in conversation with our other plenary and endowed speakers, the section chairs, conveners and presenters for next year and beyond.
We're delighted to announce that our friends at Tokens Show, which has been a regular part of the CSC for the past decade, has released a new podcast, entitled: "Tokens: Public theology. Human flourishing. The good life."
And yet more good news: you'll discover that a number of the episodes in season one include live interviews or guests from CSC/Tokens Shows past, like interviews with Poet Laureates Tracy K Smith and Marie Howe, or Director of the NIH Dr. Francis Collins, or investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell.
You can listen below by simply selecting an episode and clicking the play button.
We are pleased to announce the following speakers for the 2021 CSC:
Ibram X. Kendi
Kendi, a historian and New York Times best-selling author, is Professor of History and International Relations and the Founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. He is an Ideas Columnist at The Atlantic and in 2016, his book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, won the National Book award. The following link leads to an article recently published in the Washington Post that features Kendi: https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2019/10/14/anti-racist-revelations-ibram-x-kendi/?arc404=true
Click the following link to see more information regarding Kendi in our newsletter: [link]
Ibram X. Kendi will deliver the Fred D. Gray Plenary Lecture.
Yale's Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Laura Nasrallah, will be delivering the 2021 Everett Ferguson Lecture in Early Christian Studies. Nasrallah's research and teaching bring together New Testament and early Christian literature with the archeological remains of the Mediterranean world, and often engage issues of colonialism, gender, race, status, and power. Her Archeology and the Letters of Paul (Oxford University Press, 2019) focuses on reconstructing the social, economic, and religious contexts of those to whom Paul wrote, focusing on case studies in specific cities and regions. Her first book, An Ecstasy of Folly: Prophecy and Authority in Early Christianity, focuses on 1 Corinthians and on materials from the second- and third-century controversies over prophecy and the nature of the soul.
Click the following link to see more information regarding her in our newsletter: [link]
Laura Nasrallah will deliver the Everett Ferguson Lecture. The title of her lecture is "What Are You Selling? On Travel, Hospitality, and Christ-Followers"
Steven L. McKenzie will present the J.J.M. Roberts lecture in Old Testament Studies at the 2021 CSC. McKenzie is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Religious Studies and the Spence L. Wilson Research Fellow at Rhodes College. He has authored and edited numerous books, commentary series, encyclopedias, and study Bibles, but is perhaps most widely known for King David: A Biography (2000). He co-founded the Deuteronomistic History Section at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting and has served on numerous editorial boards, including the Journal of Biblical Literature, Catholic Biblical Quarterly and Vetus Testamentum.
Click the following link to see more information regarding McKenzie in our newsletter: [link]
Steven McKenzie will deliver the J.J.M Roberts Lecture. The title of his lecture is "Four Questions from Jonah".
Miroslav Volf will deliver the 2021 Landon Saunders Lecture on the Human Being: the Nexus of World and Faith. Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He has earned doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with highest honors) from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He has written or edited more than 20 books and over 100 scholarly articles.
Click the following link to see more information regarding Volf in our newsletter: [link]
Miroslav Volf will deliver the Landon Saunder Lecture. The title of his lecture is: "Meaning and Dimensions of Flourishing."
The CSC distinguishes itself through its mission and by enacting the bold claims that we are:
- Committed to meeting and exceeding national conference standards in each academic discipline,
- interdisciplinary (science dialogues with the arts and social sciences interact with theology, for example) and,
- people of faith. What we mean by “people of faith” is better described than pronounced. So, I include for your consideration (and use) the following prayer, by Professor Leslie Reed, from a recent conference:
A prayer by Leslie Reed
Merciful God, who is both Lord and loving parent, we bow before you today. We acknowledge your presence and your power.
You are the Faithful One. You are One Who Sees. You are One Who Acts.
From generation to generation you have raised up those whom you have called to action – women and men through whom your hand has moved, bringing about reformation, release, restoration, relief, reconciliation, renewal.
We bear witness to those who have gone before us. We honor them, and give thanks for the works you accomplished through them.
We are grateful today for the opportunity to be here, engaging with our brothers and sisters, seeking to enliven our minds and refresh our spirits in community with one another.
We thank you for this opportunity and for the gifts of the mind. But even as we rejoice in the community around us, we see beyond it. We see the brokenness, the poverty, the racial tension, the ideological conflicts round about us. We see wrath, powers, cruel hate. We see injustice. Give us your eyes that we may see indeed.
Convict our hearts and embolden our spirits that we might be agents of change. Let us not only see and know, but bring us to action. Show us how to use the gifts and privilege you have lent us to work your restoration in the world around us. Let us bring your renewal to our universities, our communities, and our churches.
We long to see your will done and your peace reign.
We look to your hand and await you.
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day. Preserve us with your mighty power that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity, but in all we do direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray,
About the Christian Scholars’ Conference
The mission of the Christian Scholars' Conference is to create and nurture an intellectual and Christian community that joins individuals and institutions to stimulate networks of scholarly dialogue and collaboration.
The conference was created in 1981 under the direction of Dr. Thomas H. Olbricht, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Pepperdine University, and has since been hosted by several universities associated with Churches of Christ. The conference calls together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in the liberal arts, sciences, business, law, education and medicine to develop their own academic research and to reflect on the integration of scholarship and faith.
In service to its mission, the CSC has adopted a model wherein the conference is hosted at Lipscomb University and every fourth year rotates to a supporting university. Our recent history and future plans:
Lipscomb University (2008-10)
Pepperdine University (2011)
Lipscomb University (2012-2014)
Abilene Christian University (2015)
Lipscomb University (2016, 2017, 2018)
Lubbock Christian University (June, 2019)
Lipscomb University (June 9-11, 2021; June 8-10, 2022)
The conference is funded by registration fees and the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars' Conference Endowment Fund. If you would like to contribute to the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars' Conference Endowment Fund, please click here.*