Lipscomb University

Christian Scholars' Conference

[2013 Archive]

Updated 4/27/2013

Abstracts

The following abstracts are organized in two collections: panel and presenter. Both are listed alphabetically, panel by title and presenter by last name.

Panel Abstracts

 

“After Penn State: What Did We Learn, What have We Changed, How Now Shall We Lead? Conversations with the Presidents.”

Trace Hebert, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Randy Lowry, President, Lipscomb University

· Bruce McLarty, President, Harding University

· Tim Perin, President, Lubbock Christian University

· Phil Schubert, President, Abilene Christian University

     Penn State presented the right conditions for an ethics crisis. This session will consider how ethics failure can occur within an academic community.  Presidents will discuss their role and the type of leadership needed to prevent conditions that foster failure, knowing that this requires more intentionality than a simple assertion of being a “Christian university.”  Though not immune to failure, our institutions are best prepared to build the culture necessary to empower everyone to be responsible for what happens on campus and to prepare students for a Christ-centered life in a troubled society.

 

“After Penn State: What Did We Learn, What have We Changed, How Now Shall We Lead? Conversations with the Board Chairs.”

Trace Hebert, Lipscomb University, Convener

· David Scobey, Chair, Board of Trustees, Lipscomb University

· John Simmons, Chair, Board of Trustees, Harding University

· Gail Hopkins, Chair, Board of Trustees, Ohio Valley University

· David Flow, Board of Trustees, Abilene Christian University

     Penn State presented the right conditions for an ethics crisis. This session will consider how ethics failure can occur within an academic community.  Trustees will discuss their role as board members and the type of leadership needed to prevent conditions that foster failure, knowing that this requires more intentionality than a simple assertion of being a “Christian university.”  Though not immune to failure, our institutions are best prepared to build the culture necessary to empower everyone to be responsible for what happens on campus and to prepare students for a Christ-centered life in a troubled society.

 

“Ambiguous Ethics in Literature: Exploring the Value(s) of Anti-Heroes.”

Kenneth Hawley, Lubbock Christian University, Convener

· Matthew R. Bardowell, Saint Louis University, “The Problem of Emotion: Legal Codes and the Medieval Icelandic Outlaw“

· Perry Neil Harrison, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, “Anti-Heroic Elements in the Early Robin Hood Ballads”

· Jon Singleton, Harding University, “Identifying with Saul and Sissera: Brontë’s Anti-heroine as a Case Study of the Ambiguous Ethics of Bringing up the Bible in Public”

· Francine L. Allen, Morehouse College, “The Lost Soul Hungering for Centeredness: Sherman Alexie’s Reservation Blues

     An anti-hero is often a conflicted, burdened, and complex figure who faces challenges with a determined commitment to a certain code of values, even if such integrity includes the illegal, the amoral, the immoral, or the inhumane. These characters have value, though, not only to the stories in which they play a part, but also in the lives of those who encounter them on the page. This session will consider how readers are made to question their role in the world and in its sometimes ambiguous, conflicted, and complex challenges.

 

“Augustinian Thoughts for the Twenty-First Century: A Panel on the Political Theology of Charles T. Mathewes.”

James W. McCarty III, Emory University, Convener

· Jeanine Thweatt-Bates, Theologian-at-Large, Evil and the Augustinian Tradition

· John Senior, Wake Forest School of Divinity, A Theology of Public Life

· Victor McCracken, Abilene Christian University, The Republic of Grace: Augustinian Thoughts for Dark Times

· Charles T. Mathewes, University of Virginia, Respondent

     Recent years have seen a retrieval of Augustine for doing political theology, and no one has been more prominent in this retrieval than Charles T. Mathewes. This panel proposes to consider Mathewes’ work on this subject by critically engaging his arguments for contemporary Augustinianism. Each panelist will present a fifteen minute paper on one of Mathewes’s books on the Augustinian tradition and its contemporary import while keeping an eye toward the broader scope of his work on the subject. Mathewes will then provide a fifteen minute response to the panelists. The session will conclude with a public Q&A.

 

“Authors: Reading the Moral Story and Poem.”

John Struloeff, Pepperdine University, Convener

· Ed Madden, University of South Carolina

· Allen Keller, Florida State University

· Forrest Anderson, Catawba College

     This panel features three Christian Scholars’ Conference authors reading from their own recent creative works of poetry and fiction on the theme of “the moral story” or other moral situations and tensions. Forrest Anderson, a fiction writer from North Carolina, and Allen Keller, from Florida, will read from their recent short stories. Joining them will be Ed Madden, a poet from South Carolina, who will be reading from a recently published chapbook that focuses on his time with his father in a hospice care facility. 

 

“Bakhtinian Readings of Cain and Abel & other Narratives in Jewish and Christian Scriptures.”

Charles Rix and James Dvorak, Oklahoma Christian University, Co-Conveners

· Charles Rix, Oklahoma Christian University, “Who is Watching the Children? Ethics of Responsibility in the Story of Cain and Abel”

· James D. Dvorak, Oklahoma Christian University, “‘Not Like Cain’: Marking Moral Boundaries Through Vilification of the Other in 1 John 3:1–18”

· Mark A. Lackowski, Yale Divinity School, “Spoiled to Death: the Burden and Blessing of the Younger Brother in Genesis”

· David Skelton, Florida State University, “Parody as a Discourse of Resistance in Esther 6:1–14: A Bakhtinian Analysis”  

     Mikhail Bakhtin’s exploration of non-monologic unity in the modern novel continues to provoke creative exploration of the multiplicity of ways in which biblical texts make their meaning thereby resisting the hegemony of finalized readings. This session explores the application Bakhtin's literary theory--heteroglossia, dialogism, addressivity, and carnival--to illuminate the polyvalent and unstable nature of ethics in world of biblical stories. This session attends to ethical questions raised in the story of Cain and Abel and other stories in Jewish and Christian scriptures.

 

“Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry: Responses from a Stone-Campbell Perspective.”

Gary Holloway, World Convention of Churches of Christ, Convener

· Robert Welsh, Council on Christian Unity, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

· John Mark Hicks, Lipscomb University

· Mark Weedman, Crossroads College

     From its beginning, the Stone-Campbell Movement’s reason to exist has been to promote Christian unity.  Three emphases of our movement (dating back to Alexander Campbell’s articles “on the Ancient Order of Things”) have been baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and church leadership and ministry. Perhaps the most famous text of the modern ecumenical movement, "Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry," adopted by Faith and Order at its plenary commission meeting in Lima, Peru in 1982, explores the growing consensus--and remaining differences--among churches on these three practices. In two sessions this panel will present responses to Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry from each of the three North American streams of the Stone-Campbell Movement.

 

“Behind the Music:  How Sound Influences Form and Faith.”

Gregory Straughn, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Melanie Shaffer, University of Colorado at Boulder, “Openings and Closings: Post-Metaphysical Relationships in Music and Poetry”

· Michael R. Young, Faulkner University, “Ancient Christian Apps for Integrating Faith and Learning: Silence, Meditation, and Contemplation”

· Matt Roberson, Abilene Christian University, “Truth in Musical Design: Sonata Form in the Age of Enlightenment”

     Because it flows through time, music aligns itself well with narrative structures--beginnings, middles, ends--that can be very similar to rituals. Often, this creates tensions when trying to impose meaning onto music, whether by the analysis of its form or how it supports a poetic text. This session examines several of those tensions, seeking to understanding music’s effect on the “outside world,” including how it influences our faith practices.

 

“Business Deans Speak Out: Teaching Ethics in Business Schools.”

Bryan Burks, Harding University, Convener

· Bryan Burks, Dean, Harding University

· Turney Stevens, Dean Lipscomb University

· Richard Lytle, Dean, Abilene Christian University

· David Khadanga, Dean, Faulkner University

· Mark Steiner, Dean, Freed Hardeman University

· Phil Lewis, Dean, Oklahoma Christian University

     In this session, business school deans from several universities will conduct a panel discussion on the challenges they face in imparting ethics in business degree programs.

 

“The Business of War: Assessing the Ethics of the Military-Industrial Complex and Faithful Christian Witness.”

Matt Tapie, The Catholic University of America and Justin Barringer, Independent Scholar, Co-Conveners

· Kara Slade, Duke University, “Dilbert Agonistes: War and the Business of Engineering Education”

· James W. McCarty III, Emory University, “‘They Got Money for Wars, but Can’t Feed the Poor’: Martin Luther King Jr. on the Interdependent Violence of Racism, Poverty, and Militarism”

· Logan Mehl-Laituri, Duke University, “Minding the Prophet Margin: Just War, Accountability, and the Private Military Contract”

· Justin Barringer, Independent Scholar, “‘I Ain’t No Fortunate One’: Christian Responses to the Business of War”

     War is big business, especially for the United States. The cost of war, and preparedness for war, has effects on the economy, education, collective moral formation, and churches. Drawing upon theology, ethics, and military strategy, the panelists, including a former soldier, a former military contractor, a mechanical engineer, a theological educator, and a Christian writer/editor, will address questions like: “What sort of ethical standards should apply to the business of war?”, “Can citizens hold military leaders, business executives, and politicians accountable?”, and “What does a distinctly Christian witness look like in a world where war is big business?”

 

“Capitalism Business Narratives.”

Andy Borchers, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Charles Frasier and Bill Ingram, Lipscomb University, “Social Consequences of Enhancing Shareholder Wealth”

· Brad Reid, Lipscomb University, “Development of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Harvard Business Review”

     In this session, participants will consider the social consequences of profit maximization and the social responsibility of business to society.  Here we will explore the tension of pursuing divergent goals of profit and social good.

 

“Church Conflict Resolution: Honoring Charles Siburt’s Work and Looking to the Future.”

Garry Bailey, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Steve Joiner, Lipscomb University, Panelist

· Royce Money, Abilene Christian University, Panelist

· Randy Lowry, Lipscomb University, Panelist

· Joey Cope, Abilene Christian University, Panelist

· Garry Bailey, Abilene Christian University, Panelist

· Roland Orr, Abilene Christian University, Panelist

     Respondents:

· John Siburt, CitySquare, Dallas, Texas

· Ben Siburt, Highland Church of Christ, Abilene, Texas

     Charles Siburt was a major influence in Churches of Christ through his experience and insight in church leadership, organization, and conflict resolution.  His influence was felt not only in congregations, but through his passion for teaching students to carry on kingdom work in churches and peacemaking. Panelists will honor Charles in statements about his work and legacy in his teaching and practice.  Panelists will also specifically reflect on the work needed in managing conflict in churches within the current landscape of Churches of Christ and similar faith disciplines. The panel will conclude with reflective responses from John and Ben, the sons of Charles Siburt.

 

“Church of Christ Graduate Students in Theology.”

David Mahfood, Southern Methodist University, Convener

     In this peer-reviewed session, current graduate students in theology who identify with Churches of Christ present some of their recent and promising work. Proposals were invited in concert with Restoration Quarterly, with the intention of selecting one paper from the session to be published in Restoration Quarterly. One paper explicitly engages with an issue distinctive to Churches of Christ, while the other two engage with broader societal and ecclesial issues; together, they perhaps give a sense of the breadth and fecundity of theological work on the horizon within this tradition.  

 

“Churches of Christ and Racism: Engaging Two New Books (Shattering the Illusion & Unfinished Reconciliation).”

Leonard Allen, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Dennis Dickerson, Vanderbilt University, Reviewer

· David Jones, Schrader Lane Church of Christ, Nashville, Reviewer

· Royce Money, Abilene Christian University, Reviewer

· Wes Crawford, Author, Shattering the Illusion: How African American Churches of Christ Moved from Segregation to Independence, Respondent

· Gary Holloway, Editor, Unfinished Reconciliation: Justice, Racism, and Churches of Christ: Revised and Expanded Edition, Respondent

     Like other southern Christian bodies, Churches of Christ perpetuated an illusion of racial unity. Just as the Civil Rights Movement was forcing whites and African Americans to deal with generations of racism, a pivotal event in Nashville shattered the illusion of racial unity among Churches of Christ—a story told in depth by Shattering the Illusion. And since that pivotal 1968 event, the distance between the racial factions has grown—though in more recent years there have been significant occasions of repentance and reconciliation, as shown by the final chapters of Unfinished Reconciliation. Much reconciliation has taken place, but much work still remains.

 

“Civil Rights and the Churches of Christ.”

Tanya Smith Brice, Baylor University, Convener

· Amanda Pittman, Duke University, “Catholics, Communists, and Civil Rights: Political Engagement and Churches of Christ in the Civil Rights Era”

· Lynn Mitchell, Jr., University of Houston, “Lower Rio Grande Valley Churches and Civil Rights”

· Freddie Lorick, Jr., Oklahoma Christian University, Respondent

· Robert Davis, Oklahoma Christian University, Respondent

     This panel examines the struggles of Churches of Christ during the Civil Rights era, particularly as it relates to race relations. One panelist examines the impact of anti-Catholic and anti-Communist sentiments, as documented in Church of Christ literature, on the lack of action towards racial justice highlighted during this era. The other panelist adds to the historical record a narrative of early multiracial church building efforts in the Lower Rio Grande Valley area of Texas, and the response to these efforts by funding congregations. This panel intends to advance the collective narrative of the struggle among Churches of Christ towards racial reconciliation.

 

“Coming to Peace by Being Peaceable? Responding to Michael T. McRay’s Letters from ‘Apartheid Street’: A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine.

Phyllis Hildreth, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Richard Hughes, Messiah College, Reviewer

· Richard Beck, Abilene Christian University, Reviewer

· Tamara Ambar Losel, Nashville Conflict Resolution Center, Reviewer

· Michael McRay, Trinity College Dublin at Belfast, Respondent

     Wendell Berry wrote that regarding pursuits of peace, “there is one great possibility we have hardly tried: that we can come to peace by being peaceable.” This panel explores the stories and reflections in Michael McRay’s brand new book Letters from ‘Apartheid Street’. In early 2012, McRay spent three months in the West Bank, working primarily in Hebron with Christian Peacemaker Teams. His book documents the realities of the Israeli occupation as well as offers reflections on the struggles of trying to be peaceable in violent contexts. 

 

“Compounding Drug Practices: Promise and Danger.”

Jerry Collins, Chair, Ethics Committee, Biomedical Engineering Society and Lipscomb University

· Mark Binkley, Health and Wellness Compounding Pharmacy, Nashville, TN, “Compounding Science: A Critical Component of Personalized Medicine”

· Mark Sullivan, Director of Pharmacy Operations, Vanderbilt University Hospital, “Practicing Compounding in a University Environment”

· John O. Belcher, Lassiter, Tidwell and Davis, PLLC, “Compounding Problems and How To Address Them”

     Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health and former director of the National Human Genome Institute, is enthusiastic about advances in medical diagnosis and treatment afforded by the Human Genome Project. Causes of many diseases that were incurable are being identified and new treatments and new prevention strategies are being devised.  Compounding of drugs into entities containing two or more compounds are an important component of new treatments. This session will discuss economic and ethical ramifications of compounding and other aspects of new medical practices.

 

“A Conversation on the Future of Christian Ethics with Charles Mathewes.”

Shaun Casey, Wesley Theological Seminary, Convener

· Shaun Casey, Wesley Theological Seminary

· Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia

     This informal conversation will address various dimensions of the state of this academic field: the decline of historic graduate programs, the state of the job market, subject matter trends including the return of interest in political theology, environmental ethics, global poverty, and whether or not baseball is an appropriate moral topos.  Ample time will be reserved for audience questions so attendees can engage with one of the conference plenary speakers.

 

Crises in Psychology: When People Researching People goes Wrong.

J. P. Gerber, Gordon College, Convener

· Tabitha Westbrook, Liberty University, INC Research, “The importance of a robust quality-control and quality assurance program in preventing scientific misconduct in psychological research”

· J. P. Gerber*, Gordon College, “Did Stapel’s research fraud lead to knowledge distortion or reputation reduction?”

· Adam Vogel, Gordon College, “Optional stopping in the interpersonal rejection literature: Using databases as detectors”

· J. P. Gerber, Gordon College, Respondent

     Psychology has recently seen a number of high-profile lapses in research ethics. Many of these cases have emerged due to new analytic techniques for detecting and managing fraud, techniques which are broadly applicable to other empirical disciplines. The controversies have centered around data fraud in social psychology and ape cognition, and potentially questionable techniques in neuroscience. This peer-review panel will discuss the impact of recent cases of psychological ethics, the techniques used to uncover fraud, the role of Christian institutions in maintaining research integrity, and the application of these techniques to other disciplines.

* This paper replaces one that was withdrawn due to personal circumstances. As such, it is not peer-reviewed.

 

“The Cultivation and Exportation of America’s Musical Resources.”

Sally Reid, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Megan MacDonald, Florida State University, “Never a Bed of Roses: Radie Britain’s Compositions and the Federal Music Project”

· Vernon L. Williams, Abilene Christian University, “Music as an Anglo-American Cultural Exchange Medium”

· Tracy M. Shilcutt, Abilene Christian University, “Pirate Radio and American Offshore Broadcasting, 1964-1967”    

     Music has been one of this country’s most important exports for the last 150 years. This session examines facets of how the United States cultivated music from its citizens through various government-sponsored programs.  The exportation of this product is then examined in light of both fiscal and ethical lenses, often revealing a conflict between the two. 

 

“Dialogue and Dignity: A BizLabConversation about Partisan Polarization and Economic Progress in Light of As Goes Janesville.

Ted Parks, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Larry James, CitySquare, Dallas, Texas

     The feature documentary As Goes Janesville offers a case study of a changing economy--at the cost of separated families, eroded traditions, and shattered identities--generating political responses that all too often rush past dialogue and hard-won workplace rights in the desperate search for prosperity. In a unique partnership with the Christian Scholars' Conference, BizLab, an engagement initiative related to the film, will bring together workers, business and labor leaders, and theologians to explore the timely issues raised in As Goes Janesville.

 

“Disqualified for the Prize: Ethical Dilemmas in Pastoral Ministry.”

Curtis D. McClane, Johnson University, Convener

· Carson Reed, Abilene Christian University, “Minister Transitions: Work Adjustment Theory and God’s Call”

· Stephen Carmen, Capella University, “The Relationship Between Pastoral Leader Style and Ethical Dilemmas”

· Richard Humphrey, Oxford Graduate School, “Christlikeness: Ethics and the Pastoral Ministry”

· Curtis D. McClane, Johnson University, “The ‘Deep Pain’ of Forced Termination as a Catalyst for Leadership Development”

    Style, transitions, identity and development provide the parameters of discussion for this session. Just as the Apostle Paul himself recognized, obstacles and dilemmas can threaten to destroy pastoral ministries. It will be a unified goal of this entire session to demonstrate awareness of those obstacles and dilemmas, and seek to provide empircal models and approaches which will offer strategic paths of inquiry and tentative resolutions.

 

“Doctor of Ministry Research Presentations: Reflective Praxis for Congregations.”

Dave Bland, Harding School of Theology and Carson E. Reed, Abilene Christian University, Co-Conveners

· Eric Magnusson, Spring Arbor University, “Extending Story Listening as a Practice of Communal Formation at the Lake Orion Church of Christ”

· Matthew Morine, Castle Rock Church of Christ, Castle Rock, CO, “Assessing and Developing a Missional Climate in an Established Church”

· Mark Parker, Grand Central Church of Christ, Parkersburg, WV, “Transforming Leaders: Spiritual Formation Among Master of Divinity Students at Harding School of Theology”

· Stephen Shaffer, Carbondale Church of Christ, Carbondale, IL, “The Initiation of Growth-Focused Relationships”

     The Doctor of Ministry programs at Harding School of Theology, Lipscomb University’s Hazelip School of Theology, and Abilene Christian University Graduate School of Theology serve the practice of ministry and academic research. As practitioner-scholars, graduating students have developed great facility in contextual theology, ministry skills, and in theological reflection. This session offers a sample of the research done by recent graduates, demonstrating the vitality of congregational and ministerial contexts for research and learning.

 

“Does the Holy Spirit really ‘Work?’ Spirit Aggression in the Gospel according to Luke.”

Paul Watson, Amridge University, Convener

· Stuart Love, Pepperdine Universtiy,Presenter, “Does the Holy Spirit really ‘Work?’ Spirit Aggression in the Gospel according to Luke”

· Kindalee Pfremmer DeLong, Pepperdine University, Respondent

· Chris Hutson, Abilene Christian University, Respondent

· Mark Matson, Milligan College, Respondent

     The gospel of Luke uses a powerful vocabulary of good and of evil with regard to the Spirit and to the devil/Satan respectively. That vocabulary is consistent with a social-scientific model of “spirit aggression,” based on non-Western examples of spirit possession and the relationship of spirit aggression to illness. Such a model is instructive when applied to the activity of the Spirit in Luke’s gospel, especially to examples of Jesus’ healings. For Luke, “Jesus’ mission is clearly set within a struggle between two opposing dominions—that of Satan and that of God.”

 

“Doing Theology and Ethics in Churches of Christ: Three Proposals.”

Matthew Tapie, Catholic University of America, Convener

     Given that more and more graduate students who identify with Churches of Christ are working in systematic theology and theological ethics, this generative session is aimed at presenting some of the scholarly approaches to these disciplines that current students find particularly promising and relevant. Each paper makes the case for the appropriation of a particular theological approach as fitting with and relevant for those committed to working from within Churches of Christ. The intention of the session is to generate broader scholarly conversation about what it means to do theology and ethics specifically from within Churches of Christ. 

 

“Drawing Children into Our Midst: Children and Worship.”

Dana Kennamer Pemberton, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Nathan Pickard, Newmarket Church of Christ, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, “Children’s Participation in the Lord’s Supper”

· Ron Bruner, Westview Boys’ Home, Hollis, Oklahoma, “The Mouths of Babes: Children Recognizing God in the House of Praise”

· Chris Gonzalez, Lipscomb University, Respondent

· Dana Kennamer Pemberton, Abilene Christian University, Respondent

     Advocates of intergenerational ministry often call congregations to task for excessive separation of the generations that make up the church. One aspect of church life where an imbalance of participation is most evident in Churches of Christ is in our practice of congregational worship. This session begins with a presentation of the broader theological and practical questions involved with an intergenerational praxis of worship. The session explores these issues more deeply through a theological reflection on a focal point in worship: the Lord’s Supper. Responses from educational and psychological perspectives round out the conversation. 

 

“Economic Theory and Ethics.”

Bill Ingram, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Kevin Brown, Anderson University, “The Moral Status of Preferences: A Framework for Evaluation”

· Russell Dabbs, Lubbock Christian University, "The Economic Supernaturalist”

· Samuel Seaman, Pepperdine University, “Determinants of a Socially Responsible Transaction: A Critical Analysis”

      In this session, participants will ponder the application of economics to ethics.  Whether in socially responsible pricing, directed donation of organs, or the tension of scarce resources in the presence of an infinite God, economics provides a unique lens to view ethical conduct.

 

"The Effective Practice of Ministry." 

Tim Sensing, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Dan Bouchelle, Missions Resource Network

· Allen Burris, Mitchell Church of Christ, Mitchell, Indiana

· Jonathan Camp, Abilene Christian University

· John Knox, Granbury Church of Christ, Granbury, Texas.

· Chris Smith, Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, Brentwood, Tennessee.

     Contributors to The Effective Practice of Ministry: Essays in Memory of Charles Siburt will discuss their DMin research in their particular ministry locations answering the question, “What constitutes effective practice?” Participants include Dan Bouchelle, president of Missions Resource Network; Allen Burris, preaching minister at the Mitchell Church of Christ in Mitchell, Indiana; Jonathan Camp, assistant professor in communication at Abilene Christian University; John Knox, preaching minister at the Granbury Church of Christ in Granbury, Texas; and Chris Smith, preaching minister at the Harpeth Hills Church of Christ in Brentwood, Tennessee.

 

“Ethical Christian Interaction with Vulnerable Children.”

Ron Bruner, Westview Boys’ Home, Convener

     Christians sustain an ancient tradition when they care for vulnerable children. Our changing world, though, requires us to continually test the validity of our ethics and the effectiveness of our practice so as to focus on the best interests of the child and the reconciling intentions of our Creator. Such an examination reveals that care for vulnerable children requires more than love for children; proper care also demands informed practice and thoughtful negotiation of challenging ethical issues. This interdisciplinary session considers adoptive, foster care, and residential child care ethical issues and practices from various perspectives: psychology, social work, and theology. 

 

“Ethical Conduct in the Marketplace.”

Brad Reid, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Dennis Marquardt, University of Texas at Arlington, “Religiosity and Ethical Conduct: Is Mentoring the Missing Link?”

· David Johnson, Faulkner University, “TOMS Shoes: The Challenges of Doing Good and Doing Well”

· Jess Weeden and Orneita Burton, Abilene Christian University, “The Ethics of Gender Neutral Work Environments”

     In this session, we explore the challenge of conducting business in the marketplace in an ethical way.  Whether in creating a workplace and mentoring employees or conducting a socially responsible business, business people face the real test of their ethical conduct daily in the marketplace.

 

“The Ethics and Moral Education of Alexander Campbell.”

Harold Hazelip, Lipscomb University, President Emeritus, Convener

· C. Leonard Allen, Abilene Christian University, “‘No Cross under Our Government’: Alexander Campbell, Ethics, and the Kingdom of God in America”

· J. Caleb Clanton, Lipscomb University, “Alexander Campbell’s Moral Epistemology”

· Thomas H. Olbricht, Pepperdine University, Emeritus, Respondent

     Alexander Campbell lived in an era in Scottish and American higher education that was especially interested in moral education. Moral education in this context was grounded in British empirical philosophy drawing upon both Lockean and Common Sense philosophy. Alexander Campbell proceeded from an empirical epistemology but based it upon data located in the Scriptures. He especially eschewed depending upon moral exemplars from classical era “pagans.” The presenters in this session will assess the features and Biblical sources for Campbell’s morals and ethics. 

 

“Ethics in Constantinian Company: Recovering Theological Resources for Ethics in Imperial Times.”

Christopher J. Dowdy, Southern Methodist University, Convener

· Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia

· Shaun Casey, Wesley Theological Seminary

· Vic McCracken, Abilene Christian University

· Julie Mavity Maddalena, Southern Methodist University

· Tanya Brice, Baylor University

     In an era skeptical towards all institutions, Charles Mathewes’ reconstruction of Augustinian thought makes use of rich theological resources to positively engage democratic politics. This contrasts with other approaches that construe contemporary political life as fundamentally idolatrous, imperialist, or otherwise infected by a “Constantinian Shift.” These conflicting approaches raise difficult questions about authority, reason, and experience for theological educators, social justice advocates, and congregations alike. Dealing especially with Mathewes’ Republic of Grace, this panel draws together a diverse group of ethicists and activists to comment on the methodological foundations that make Mathewes’ theological engagement with politics possible. Mathewes will respond.

 

“An Exploration of the Development of Ethics and Character.”

Candice McQueen, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Terrance Olson and Lloyd Newell, Brigham Young University, “A Moral Starting Point for Moral Education”

· Dan Shepherd, Indiana Wesleyan University, “Jesus’ Ethical Development of His Disciples: Foundations for Curriculum and Instruction in Character Education”  

· Amanda Thorpe, Cornerstone University, “The Case for Christian Worldview Integration in Professional Education”

· Trace Hebert, Lipscomb University, Respondent

     Christian scholars hold that the highest form of intellectual excellence is developed and enriched through moral values, religious participation, and active engagement in creating a caring and just world. Each educator will present a fifteen minute paper on the value of teaching morals through a Christian worldview and the outcomes that can be experienced when ethical frameworks are used in both K-12 and higher education settings.  Panelists will also address what can happen when we choose to ignore our Christian worldview as we seek to develop young minds and practices.

 

“Faith in Public: A Conversation Between John Hare and Charles Mathewes on Religious Commitment, Christian Ethics, and Political Engagement.”

Brad East, Yale University, Convener

· John Hare, Yale University

· Charles Mathewes, University of Virginia

· Brad East, Yale University

     This conversation between Professors Hare and Mathewes will focus on the often volatile intersection of “religion” and “politics.” Specifically, the session will reflect on issues relating to public political engagement on the part of Christians in the American context. Some of these include: the role of religious commitments in political advocacy; the relationship between ecclesial communities and public policy; the contribution(s) which formal Christian ethics has to make in this realm; potential limits on Christian political engagement; abiding disagreement among Christians on matters of principle or strategy; the current state of politicized Christianity and hopes and fears for its future.

 

“The Fierce Urgency of Now: Strategies for Social Change Within the Churches of Christ.”

Jeffrey R. Baker, Pepperdine University School of Law, Convener

· James W. McCarty, III, Emory University

· Jennifer Jeanine Thweatt-Bates, Theologian-at-Large

· Travis Stanley, First Christian Church, Abilene, Texas

· Natalie Magnusson, Rochester College, Panelist

     This panel will examine issues of justice and social change in the Churches of Christ.  When perceiving a need for change, how should congregants, ministers, and leaders act to move their communities to change in favor of justice? Panelists and participants will examine philosophies, strategies, and tactics for social change within congregational Churches of Christ, including observations of culture, tradition, and structures of the people and their congregations, and examination of different theories and means of effecting change and movements within the peculiar structures of the tradition. 

 

“Finding Practical Theology’s Location.”

Tim Sensing, Abilene Christian University, Convener.

· Tim Sensing, Abilene Christian University, Presenter

· Dave Bland, Harding School of Theology, Respondent

· Carson Reed, Abilene Christian University, Respondent

· Gary Selby, Pepperdine University, Respondent

     In the last decade the landscape of the field of practical theology has shifted dramatically. As the discipline moves beyond a skills-based curriculum centered on discrete sub-disciplines, the options going forward are often fuzzy and unorganized. Tim Sensing proposes one possible way forward in the introduction to The Effective Practice of Ministry: Essays in Memory of Charles Siburt entitled, “Finding Practical Theology's Location.” The essay sparks a conversation about the place of practical theology in Churches of Christ and the Academy. 

 

“Generational Change, Business Organizations, and Business Ethics Education.”

Richard Lytle, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Gary Skidmore, COO DachisGroup

· Jennifer Golden, Abilene Christian University, Marketing

· Andy Little, Abilene Christian University, Law 

· Richard Lytle, Abilene Christian University Marketing

· John Neill, Abilene Christian University, Accounting

· Scott Stovall, Abilene Christian University, Accounting

     Over the last four decades, generational differences between college students have called into question both the content and methods of business ethics education. Some argue there is a crisis in business ethics. Others argue that Millennials simply understand their world in markedly different ways, entering the business world after graduation with differing paradigms from their parents, professors, and managers. This research project attempts to describe and examine some of the broad ethical commitments of Millennials and, more specifically, Millennials at a distinctively faith-based school of business, generating discussion about business ethics education in a changing world. 

 

“‘Hey, That Seems Familiar’: Appropriation, Referencing, the Pastiche, and Ethics in the Creative Arts.”

Daniel Adams, Harding University, Convener

· Daniel Adams, Harding University, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road (provenance unknown)”

· Kenny Jones, Abilene Christian University, “Truth and Art in the Age of Copy/Paste”

· Kate Powell, Independent Scholar, "Meditating on the Past: My Reimagining of Rilke’s Reimaginings"

     Creative pieces often borrow, reference, give homage, quote, or appropriate other creative works in some fashion as relates to the creation of works of art­, without the requirement to cite sources. This is the modus operandi in all of the creative disciplines: It specifically references the visual arts, music, theatre, dance and literature. Papers in this session look incisively within a discipline and surface ethical questions from the systemic practice of unoriginal beginnings to original works, and how those questions relate and correlate across the fields of creativity, impacting both creator and audience in social and faith-centered ways.  

 

“Introduction to the New Testament.”

James Thompson, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Carl R. Holladay, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

· M. Eugene Boring, Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University, Emeritus

· David A. Fiensy, Kentucky Christian University

· Kenneth Cukrowski, Abilene Christian University, Reviewer

· Jerry Sumney, Lexington Theological Seminary, Reviewer

     This section is a review of three introductions to the New Testament by scholars from three wings of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Reviewers will focus on recent introductions: Carl R. Holladay's A Critical Introduction to the New Testament: Interpreting the Message and Meaning of Jesus Christ (Abingdon Press); M. Eugene Boring's An Introduction to the New Testament (Westminster John Knox Press); and David A. Fiensy's College Press NIV Commentary, New Testament Introduction. Kenneth Cukrowski and Jerry Sumney will review these books.

 

“Jesus Followers in an Order of Rivalry.”

John Harris, Samford University, Emeritus, Convener

· John Harris, Samford University, Emeritus, Presenter

· Randy Harris, Abilene Christian University, Presenter

· John Barton, Rochester College, Respondent

· Victor McCracken, Abilene Christian University, Respondent

     Since the Fall, humans have attempted to live together through various arrangements of  power. Cain, the first murderer, made the first attempt in building the first city. Augustine sees Remus as analogous to Cain in killing Romulus so he would not have to share Rome. Standing over against the earthly city of rivalry is the heavenly city, a community of love. How should we who are expected to love as Christ loved live in the earthly city of rivalries? How do we live lovingly in the midst of organizational power games?

 

 “John H. Miller and M. S. Mason: A Pictorial Perspective.”

Kathy Pulley, Missouri State University

· Arthur L. Shearin, “John H. Miller and M. S. Mason: A Pictorial Perspective”

· Thomas H. Olbricht, Pepperdine University, Emeritus, Respondent

· Robert E. Hooper, Lipscomb University, Emeritus, Respondent

     In 1930 Churches of Christ were stunned at the death of prominent evangelist Marshal Spencer Mason. The Springfield, Missouri evangelist was shot and killed while holding a gospel meeting in Judsonia, Arkansas, a small town located immediately northwest of Searcy. The Miller homestead, including the house in which Mason died, and the Bethel Grove Church and Bethlehem Cemetery remain. John Miller’s descendants are members of the community. This presentation recalls this tragic incident, using extensive photos and interviews with members of the Miller family and their friends and neighbors.

 

“Law and the Bible: Justice, Mercy, and Legal Institutions.”

Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Pepperdine University, Convener

· Randy Beck, University of Georgia, “Creation, Fall, and the Patriarchs”

· William Brewbaker, University of Alabama, “The History of Israel”

· Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Pepperdine University, “Jesus”

· Jimmy McCarty, Emory University, “The Early Church”

     This session is developed from the book project, Law and the Bible: Justice, Mercy, and Legal Institutions.  The forthcoming volume examines how Christians have historically understood scripture’s teaching on positive/civil law and what those scriptures might teach us today.  The focus will be on the positive/civil law--law that is adopted and enforced by governments, rather than the moral law. Chapters will concentrate on different sections of scripture and will be co-authored by a law professor and a theologian. In this session several authors present brief summaries of issues raised in their essays.

 

 

Literary Proclamations of the Ethics of Emancipation.

Jocelyn Bailey, University of Arkansas and Kimberly Reed, Lipscomb University, Co-Conveners

· Abraham Mata, Lubbock Christian University, "Apostles, Conquerors, and Slaves: The Transforming Role of Sermons in the New World"

· Zack Rearick, Georgia State University, "Putting on 'The Brute': A (Christian) Reading of Savageness as Performance in the Abolition Poems of William Cowper"

· Olga Pahom, Texas Tech University, "Biblical Rhetoric in Louis May Alcott’s Civil War Stories"

 

     When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation 150 years ago, he sought to stake out a higher moral ground for the Union in response to what James Madison called the “original sin” of America: slavery. In doing so, Lincoln joined a large community of writers who had been calling for an end to slavery from the earliest colonial days. This session examines diverse literary responses to ethical issues created by slavery—the negotiation of religious debates, the adaptation of rhetorical strategies, the exposure of the interrelationship of race, gender, and class—all for the sake of Emancipation.

 

"Major Book Review Session: God, Dignity, and Freedom by Ron Highfield."

Mark Powell, Harding School of Theology, Convener

· Mark Cullum, Abilene Christian University, Reviewer

· Ron Clark, Agape Church of Christ (Portland, Oregon) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Reviewer

· Paul DeHart, Vanderbilt University, Reviewer

· Ron Highfield, Pepperdine University, Respondent

     Stone-Campbell theologian Ron Highfield addresses a broad audience in his latest book God, Freedom, and Dignity. Highfield sets out to relieve any fears that God’s all-encompassing will and mastery restricts our freedom and diminishes our dignity. Instead, he maintains that God secures human freedom and dignity, and brings their potential to glorious fulfillment  Highfield explains why we should want to love God and give ourselves completely into God’s care. An interdisciplinary panel will review Highfield’s work from the perspectives of theology, cultural analysis, and ministry. 

 

“Major Book Review Session: The God of Second Chances: Finding Hope Through the Prophets of Exile by Ron Clark.”

John Siburt, City Square (Dallas, Texas), Convener

· Rodney Ashlock, Abilene Christian University

· Denis' Thomas, Lipscomb University

· Larry James, City Square (Dallas, Texas)

     In his latest book, The God of Second Chances: Finding Hope Through the Prophets of Exile, Ron Clark examines the role of the Old Testament prophets during Babylonian captivity as intermediaries between a passionate God and a traumatized people. Clark suggests that the role of the prophets lives on today in the church as those who engage the community, fight for people’s hearts, and reminds others that God gives second chances. An interdisciplinary panel will review Clark’s work and reflect on the prophetic role of the church as representatives of the God of second chances who restores lives and rebuilds communities. 

 

"Major Book Review Session: Moral Formation according to Paul: The Context and Coherence of Pauline Ethics by James Thompson."

Trevor W. Thompson, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Carl R. Holladay, Emory University, Reviewer

· Gregory Sterling, Yale University Divinity School, Reviewer

· Raymond F. Collins, Brown University, Reviewer

· James W. Thompson, Abilene Christian University, Respondent

     In his recent book Moral Formation according to Paul: The Context and Coherence of Pauline Ethics, James Thompson argues that Paul offers a coherent moral vision based not only on the story of Christ but also on the norms of the law. Abraham Malherbe described the book: “Thompson argues that a coherence to Paul’s ethical instruction is found in Paul’s stress on the corporate nature of Christian morality.” This review session will bring together leading thinkers in the field of early Christian studies to analyze and discuss Prof. Thompson’s new book.

 

"Measurement of Spirituality: The Ethical Dilemma Addressed."

Jackie L. Halstead, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Marianne McInnes-Miller, Alliant University, “Measuring Spirituality in the Spiritual Issues in Supervision Scale: Ethical Implications”

· Peter Jankowski, Bethel University, “Relational Spirituality and the Ethical Stance of Intercultural Competence”

· Robert Stewart, Texas Tech University, “The Researcher’s Spirituality as an Ethical Factor in the Measurement of Spirituality”

· David Roach, Texas Tech University

· Scott McDowell, Lipscomb University, Respondent

     Ethics is a primary focus in the conversation of the measurement of spirituality. Can one truly claim the ability to operationalize the mystery of God? How does one measure the divine/human connection? Opinions vary and instruments continue to be created and recreated to address this question. In the academic arena, universities who claim to teach spirituality or spiritual formation are faced with the requirement of the delineation of learning outcomes for these offerings. Researchers from three universities will present papers and discuss the ethical implications. 

 

“The Ministry of Litigation: The Virtue and Pedagogy of Dignity, Justice, and Love in Professional Education.”

Jeffrey R. Baker, Pepperdine University School of Law, Convener

· Tim Hall, President, Austin Peay State University

· Yoli Redero, Professor, Vanderbilt University Law School

· Al Sturgeon, Associate Dean, Pepperdine University School of Law

     The panelists will discuss virtues and methods of integrating concepts of human dignity, love, and justice in professional education. In an age of quantitative assessment, consumerism, cynicism, and binary competition, teachers and students should work to discern and affirm dignity, love, and justice in their professional preparation. Our marketplace often objectifies clients, customers, and their subject matter, and our educational enterprise often values profit-margins and empirical indicators over the development of ethical professionals who work to serve their communities. The participants will discuss pedagogical strategies  and ideas to weave threads of justice, dignity, and love into professional education. 

 

“Modeling Intentional Community: Exploring the Alternatives.”

Nathan Bills, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Kent Smith, Abilene Christian University, Panelist

· Brandon Young, Abilene Christian University, Panelist

· Alden Bass, Lotus House Community and St. Louis University, Panelist

· Jason Adkins, Casteneca Community, Nashville, TN, Panelist 

· Maria Russell Kenney, Communality, Lexington KY and Asbury Theological Seminary, Respondent 

     Fragmenting forces in Western and urban culture are driving many people to a quest for more simple, sustainable, and community-based lifestyles. For Christians, this quest is finding expression in a variety of new and old forms of intentional Christian community. But the process of navigating the major decisions of a new lifestyle is neither intuitively clear nor simple. This panel will highlight and discuss the findings of ACU professors Monty Lynn, Kent Smith, and Brandon Young in their research of eleven North American intentional communities in 2012.

 

Oleanna: The Talk-back Session.”

Greg Greene and Wes Driver, Blackbird Theater, Co-Conveners

· Mike Fernandez, Lipscomb University

· David Compton, Actor (John)

· Jennifer Richmond, Actor (Carol)

· Greg Greene, Blackbird Theater, Managing Director

· Wes Driver, Blackbird Theater, Artistic Director

· Larry Bridgesmith, Bone, McAllester & Norton Law, Nashville, TN

     Join us for a fast-paced conversation in the aftermath of Blackbird Theater's production of David Mamet's incendiary play Oleanna. This is your chance to rail against the director, the characters and/or actors, or David Mamet himself (in absentia). On a more constructive note, topics will include: Moral Dimensions and Dilemmas in Oleanna: What's Right, What's Wrong, and What's Broken?; Academic Freedom vs. the Right to Respect; and Vulnerability and Victimization in Human Interaction. Discussion will begin with interaction among Blackbird directors Greg Greene and Wes Driver, Lipscomb University Theatre Department chair Mike Fernandez, and Oleanna stars David Compton (John) and Jennifer Richmond (Carol) and encourage audience participation.Theatre is therapy, and this is your support group.

 

“Old Testament Theology of Prayer.”

Phillip Camp, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Elaine Phillips, Gordon College, “'The Prayer of the Upright': Confession, Accusation, and Intercession in Wisdom Literature Prayers.”

· Timothy Willis, Pepperdine University, “Kings as Servants: Reading the Prayers of Israel’s Kings.” 

· John T. Willis, Abilene Christian University, “Prayer in the Major Prophets”

      There are several studies on prayer in the Psalms or on select prayers within the Old Testament, but little in the way of a comprehensive exploration of the theology of prayer in all the Old Testament.  This session is the second in a three-year project to examine the theology of prayer in the various sections of the Old Testament with the intent of providing the groundwork for a canonical Old Testament theology of prayer. John T. Willis explores the theology of prayer in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel; Timothy Willis the Former Prophets/Deuteronomistic History; and Elaine Phillips the wisdom literature of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.

 

“Posthuman Ethics: Making Decisions about our Common Future.”

Jeanine Thweatt-Bates, Theologian-at-Large, Convener

· Michael Potts, Methodist University, “A Thomistic Critique of Transhumanism”

· Amy Michelle DeBaets, Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioethics, “‘Better Living Through Science and Democracy’: Feminism and the Discourses of Democratic Transhumanism”

· Steven Kraftchick, Emory University, “Bodies, Selves, and Human Identity: A Conversation between Transhumanism and the Apostle Paul”

     As emerging technologies in many fields change how humans do everything from making children to making war, how do we evaluate the morality of these changes and craft a guiding vision for our common future? This session will explore and critically evaluate specific visions of possible posthuman futures, from theological, ethical, and biblical perspectives. 

 

“The Power of Story and Storytelling I: The Influence of Tolkien’s Faërie in Twenty-First Century Culture.”

Mikee Delony, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Elizabeth Bernhardt, Abilene Christian University, “The Ethics of the Borderlands”

· Brett Butler, Abilene Christian University, “The Domestication of Dragons in 21st Century Fantasy Literature”

· Gregory Jeffers, Abilene Christian University, “Resistance and Oppression: Socialist Theory and Christianity in The Lord of the Rings”

· Melissa Weaver, Abilene Christian University, “Galadriel and the Power of the Feminine Prophetic”

     Storyteller J.R.R Tolkien teaches in “On Fairy Stories” that story, especially the “faërie” story, is the vehicle through which we learn who we are, how our world was created, how we should live, and the victory of good over evil through Jesus’ sacrifice. We tell this eternal story of good and evil, over and over, dressed in different clothes and populated by different characters, but all derived from what Tolkien calls the “cauldron of story.”  This panel investigates ways in which “faerie stories” re-examine this story in different ways that represent our cultural values and concerns.

 

“The Power of Story and Storytelling II: Tolkien’s Faërie in Twenty-First Century Print and Visual Texts.”

Mikee Delony, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Amelia Emery, Abilene Christian University, “Empowered by Story: Instruction Through Mythology in Armageddon’s Children”

· Christina Johnson, Abilene Christian University, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Examining the Disney Princesses’ Ethical Definitions of the Female Gender”

· Suzanne Shedd, Abilene Christian University, “‘This Whole Quest for Love’: The Ethics of Myth in The Bachelor"

· Darlene Beaman, Lone Star College, “Modern Day Depictions of Monsters in Grimm's Fairy Tales”

   Christian storyteller J.R.R Tolkien teaches us that story, especially the “faerie” story is the vehicle through which we learn the important spiritual lessons for our lives and culture. He argues that this--our “escape” into a fantasy world of heroism, excitement, sacrifice, tragedy, and joy--is not the escapist fiction that some disdain, but is instead a place to recharge, to cleanse, and to heal our relationships with the real world. This panel examines the ethical value of recent contemporary fantasy representations, considering whether their stories provide healing or harm for their readers or viewers.

 

“Reconceptualizing Gender-Roles in Religious Contexts: Research and Practice.”

Lynette Sharp Penya, Abilene Christian University and Suzie Macaluso, Abilene Christian University, Co-Conveners

· Lynette Sharp Penya, Abilene Christian University, Presenter

· Suzie Macaluso, Abilene Christian University, Presenter

· Brittany Taraba, Abilene Christian University

· Dylan Brugman, Abilene Christian University

· Amanda Rigby, Abilene Christian University

· Denis’ Thomas, Lipscomb University, Respondent

· Claire Davidson Frederick, Woodmont Hills Church of Christ, Nashville, Respondent

· Ken Cukrowski, Abilene Christian University, Respondent

     This panel showcases the most recent research projects presented at the Christian Scholars’ Conference on recent gender-role attitudes in religious contexts. These projects include a scale to measure gender-role attitudes in religious contexts, a gender-role model for egalitarians and complementarians, factors that predict gender-role attitudes, effects of gender-role attitudes, tips for having productive gender role discussions, and a survey of gender-inclusive churches. After briefly reviewing research highlights, we will discuss our newest project that focuses on why women and men leave Churches of Christ and where they go upon departure. Respondents include a social scientist, theologian, and church leader who will discuss what steps come next both in research and in practice.

 

“Reflections on Medical Ethics.”

Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., Weill Cornell Medical College, Convener

· Joseph Fins, Weill Cornell Medical College, “What is the Role of the Medical Ethicist Today?”

· Jennifer Roberts, Boise, Idaho, “Psychiatry and Terminal Care”

· Mark Lanier, Lanier Theological Library, “Defensive Medicine and Threat of Litigation”

· Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., Weill Cornell Medical College, “Ethics in the Medical School Curriculum”

     The practice of medicine often raises significant ethical issues, which this session explores from a variety of perspectives. Medical ethicist Joseph Fins provides insights into the professional role of an ethics case consultant. Psychiatrist Jennifer Roberts discusses patient cases involving ethical issues related to death and dying. Mark Lanier, a plaintiff lawyer, considers the ethics of defensive medicine in relation to the threat of potential lawsuits. Antonio Gotto, dean emeritus of a medical school, examines the core competencies in medical school curricula that deal with ethics and values. 

 

“Restoration History and Divine Command Theory.”

Kraig Martin, Baylor University, Convener

· J. Caleb Clanton, Lipscomb University, “Excerpts from On Revelation, Divine Command, and Morality”

· Kraig Martin, Baylor University, “Alexander Campbell and Divine Command Theory”

     In his recent work The Philosophy of Religion of Alexander Campbell, Caleb Clanton includes a chapter articulating and criticizing Campbell’s moral theory, which seems to be either some version of divine command theory or some combination of divine command theory and a natural law approach. Caleb Clanton and Kraig Martin articulate some of the philosophical objections to these approaches and discuss how they might fit into the broader intellectual history of the Restoration.

 

“Richard Nixon and Communism:  Ethical Dilemmas in History and Fiction.”

Susan Blassingame, Lubbock Christian University, Convener

· Larry Bumgardner, Pepperdine University, “Nixon: A ‘Coat of Many Colors’ on the Danger of Communism”

· Susan Blassingame, Lubbock Christian University, “Nixon: Fictive Portrayals of Nixon’s Exploitation of Communism”

· David Lawrence, Lipscomb University, Emeritus, Respondent 

     Richard Nixon first went to Congress in 1947 as a freshman representative from California and was later elected to the Senate in 1950. To many, Nixon seemed to build his career on the fear of communism and on the destruction of Alger Hiss. Nearly seventy years later, historians and novelists still find Nixon’s fascination with Communists an intriguing study of man and ambition. This session will explore historical accounts of Nixon and communism and examine how fictive portrayals of these events have helped to inform the public’s fascination with Nixon and his ethical conundrums.

 

“Safe, Efficacious, Equitable Health Care.”

Jerry Collins, Chair, Ethics Committee, Biomedical Engineering Society and Lipscomb University

· Mitchell Edgeworth, Vanderbilt University Hospital Chief Operating Officer

· Jerry C. Collins, Chair, Ethics Committee, Biomedical Engineering Society and Lipscomb University, "US Health Care: Expensive and Ineffective"

· Elizabeth Heitman, Departments of Medicine and Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University, “Compassionate Health Care in a Modern Medical Center Environment"

     The US health care system is, for those who have access to it and can afford it, the best in the world.  For millions who do not understand how to use it, who do not trust it, who have been victims of mistakes or egregious practices, or who have been born into situations in which access is not immediately available or trusted, the story is quite different. This session will look at continuing inequities of health care availability in the US, why costs may be high and performance not better, and opportunities for improvement and compassionate practice in health care. 

 

“Screening, As Goes Janesville.

Ted Parks, Lipscomb University, convener.

     The 2012 feature documentary As Goes Janesville, a PBS Independent Lens selection, portrays a Wisconsin town struggling not only with economic survival but community identity after the closing of a General Motors plant. An economic and cultural mainstay of the town for a century, the plant had long provided everyday citizens with prosperity, job security, and pride. The film juxtaposes the travails of individual men and women displaced by the GM closure with the growth of pro-business, anti-union sentiment at the local and state level in Wisconsin politics, culminating in the election and attempted recall of governor Scott Walker.

     The documentary will screen in advance of a session featuring a discussion of the economic, social, and theological issues the film raises. As Goes Janesville is presented by the HumanDocs Film Series, hosted by Lipscomb University's College of Arts and Sciences, in partnership with ITVS Community Cinema, Nashville Public Television, and the Nashville Film Festival.

 

“Seeing the Unseen: Mimesis and Religious Experience in Early Christian Rhetoric and Contemporary Homiletics.”

Robert S. Reid, Dubuque University, Convener

· Gary S. Selby, Pepperdine University, Presenter

· Joel Gregory, Baylor University, Respondent

· Robert S. Reid, Dubuque University, Respondent

     Longinus’s On the Sublime describes the power of language not merely to “persuade the audience” but to “transport them out of themselves,” transforming abstract ideas into “vivid actuality,” creating memories that are “stubborn and indelible.”  In the same way, the New Testament’s poetic passages employ what the rhetorical-poetic tradition called mimesis (imitation) and phantasia (imagination) to create for their audiences a phenomenological consciousness of Christian faith. Contemporary sermons, if shaped by biblical practice, will likewise offer hearers not only explanation and exhortation, but also imaginative experiences that “bring before the eyes” the theological content they seek to advance.

 

“Seeking Justice: Diverse Concepts of a Vital Idea.”

Jeffrey R. Baker, Pepperdine University School of Law, Convener

· Gwen Parker Ames, Nyack College, “Orienting the Map between Two Worlds: In Search of Peace and Social Justice at Christian Colleges”

· Vic McCracken, Abilene Christian University, “Rawlsian Liberalism: A Basic Introduction”

· Tess Varner, University of Georgia,Justice for Nonhuman Nature: The Contested Environmental Voice and John Dewey’s Moral Imagination

     This multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed session will explore diverse conceptions of justice and their divergent, plural effects in the world. Justice is central to Christian scholarship, yet justice defies a common, universal definition. Selected papers will explore the roots of the idea, will advance plural theories of justice, and will demonstrate how theories of justice affect policies and actions in application.   

 

“Service Learning in Christian Higher Education.” A Beyond Boyer Series on Scholarship in Christian Higher Education 

Jeff McCormack, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Judy Hutchinson, Azusa Pacific University, Panelist

· Regan Harwell Schaffer, Pepperdine University, Panelist

· Christin Schatzer, Lipscomb University, Panelist

     The integration of faith and learning is the central tenet of Christian higher education and must be included in all pursuit of scholarship. The Boyer model of scholarship is based on the four pillars of discovery, integration, application, and teaching, and this session will consider service learning as an approach for the scholarship of application. The participants will discuss the design, implementation, measure of outcomes, and effectiveness of service learning in Christian higher education. 

 

"Sports, Culture and Theological Reflection."

Shaun Casey, Wesley Theological Seminary, Convener

· Adam Metz, Alum Creek Church of Christ, Lewis Center, OH, “The ‘Power’ of Sports: Theological Reflections on American Sports as Exousiai

· Steven Bonner, Lubbock Christian University, “Sports as Systemic Abandonment: The Commodification of Youth as Student Athlete”

· Shawn Duncan, FCS Urban Ministries, Atlanta, GA, “Sports and Compensatory Identity: Getting at One of the Roots of the Ethical Dilemmas in Sports”

· Joshua Fleer, Florida State University, Respondent

     From pick-up games in backyards to organized youth sports leagues in neighborhood parks to the international professional leagues played in tax-funded stadiums, few elements of culture are as ubiquitous as sports. The past century has witnessed the professionalization and institutionalization of sports, but at what cost? For a cultural phenomenon as ubiquitous as sports, it is surprising that critical, theological reflection has been all but absent from the culture of sports. This session proposes a theological interpretation of sports as a spiritual Power, and explores the implications for understanding sports within the matrix of the Powers. 

 

“Teaching Business Ethics: Classroom Experiences.”

Andy Borchers, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Mike Kipp, Newport Board Group, “Teaching Leadership as a Spiritual Experience”

· Orneita Burton and Don Pope, Abilene Christian University, “Sustainability in Operations Management: A Christian Perspective”

· Dan Sorensen, Oklahoma Christian University, “An Accounting Ethics Intervention Based on the Moral Philosophy of Adam Smith”

· Allen Frazier, Harding University, "Value Added Factors in Leadership Seminars”

     In this session, participants will share their experiences in bringing ethics into the business classroom.  We will discuss successful strategies for faculty to integrate ethics into a variety of business classes including leadership, accounting, and operations management. 

 

“Teaching Business Ethics to Contemporary University Students.”

Andy Borchers, Lipscomb University, Convener

· Glenn Metheny, Harding University, “Ethics and the Millennial”

· Ray Eldridge, Lipscomb University, “Ethical Leadership and Intentional Learning”

· Marguerite and Keith Cronk, Harding University, “The Influence of Technology on the Millennials’ Perception of Ethics”

     In this session, participants will explore the unique characteristics of contemporary business students in teaching ethics. Changes in college-age students present challenges to recruiting incoming students, many of whom question the morality and ethical nature of for-profit businesses.

 

“Teaching Evolution & Creationism: The Choices We Make that Impact Our Students.”

Donna Nofziger-Plank, Pepperdine University, Convener

· Kirt Martin, Lubbock Christian University

· Stephen Davis, Pepperdine University

     Teaching evolution and creationism in our Christian colleges and universities can often be challenging as we attempt to balance a pursuit of truth with the emotional health of young undergraduates. Our panelists will share multiple perspectives about how they teach this topic in either their science or religion courses, why they make the critical pedagogical choices that they do, and how those decisions impact their students. The session will include active engagement with audience questions.

 

“Teaching Introduction to the New Testament.”

James Thompson, Abilene Christian University, Convener

· Carl R. Holladay, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

· M. Eugene Boring, Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University, Emeritus

· David A. Fiensy, Kentucky Christian University

     Since the Enlightenment, "Introduction to the New Testament" has been both a foundational course in colleges and seminaries and a continuing genre of literature. This session focuses on the foundational course, asking what the introductory class in New Testament should accomplish and what methodologies are most appropriate for today. Carl Holladay, Eugene Boring, and David Fiensy will participate in a panel on the topic.

 

“Theatre and Ethics.”

Laurie Doyle, Lubbock Christian University, Convener

· E. Don Williams, Lubbock Christian University, “Theatre and the ‘C’ Generation” 

· Barrett Huddleston, Oklahoma Christian University, “The First Condition: Censorship in Contemporary Value Based Production”

     In his book titled, Theatre and Ethics, Nicholas Ridout states “…at least some theatre appears to dramatise ethical questions, and it therefore makes sense that we think about what happens when it does.” Since the earliest forms of theatre, the playwright, performers, and audience have often come together to grapple with ethical issues of the era. Has this changed or is it changing in this digital age? Is theatre still a way to present ethical dilemmas and offer possible resolutions? This session will focus on current theatre trends, censorship, and ethics. 

 

“Theopolitical Boundaries I: Anarchism and Christianity.”

David Pritchett, Independent Scholar, Convener

· Nathan Dorris, The Open Door Community, “Counter-Liturgies of the UnKingdom: Rituals and Resistance to the State”

· Richard Beck, Abilene Christian University, “‘It Should Not Be So Among You’: Social Psychological Reflections on Anarchism and the Principalities and Powers”

· Justin Barringer Bronson, Independent Scholar,  “Subordination and Freedom: Tracing Anarchist Themes in 1 Peter”

· John Nugent, Great Lakes Christian College, Respondent

     “Theopolitical Boundaries” is a series of two panels that examines the politics of human behavior through radical theology. The inaugural panel explores the intersection of Christianity and anarchism. Anarchism takes many forms but has as a basic premise the skepticism of the centralization of political power. Thus, the notion of boundaries is fundamental in Christian Anarchism, which critiques state power asserting that God is the only one who should have power over humankind, and any institution vying for allegiance is illegitimate. This panel takes up the critique of power in papers on biblical studies, theological ethics, and the praxis of radical discipleship enclaves. 

 

“Theopolitical Boundaries II: Envisioning Bioregional Praxis.”

Jonathan McRay, Tangly Woods Homestead, Convener

· Kyle Holton, Independent Scholar, “Making Love with the Leviathan: Resisting Amnesia from Placeless Economies”

· David Pritchett, Independent Scholar, “Soil and Salvation: Place and the Dialectic of History in Isaiah’s Oracles of Hope”

· Jonathan McRay, Tangly Woods Homestead, “The meek shall inherit the land: Jesus, the Galilee, and the Kingdom of God”

· Robert Turner, Harding School of Theology, Respondent

     Theopolitical Boundaries is a series of two panels examining the politics of human behavior through radical theology. This second panel explores the intersection of Christianity and bioregionalism, a burgeoning praxis in the wake of social transience, corporate economics, centralized politics, and climate disruption. Bioregionalism is a political economy shaped by cultural and ecological boundaries like watersheds, landforms, vegetation and soil types, and human settlement patterns. As such, bioregionalism aims at cultural transformation through sustainable conservation, resilient economies, and political decentralization. This panel attempts to articulate a bioregional imagination through biblical hermeneutics, ecosocial analysis, and radical discipleship. 

 

“Three Exercises in Analytic Theology.”

Mark Wiebe, Southern Methodist University, Convener

· Mark Wiebe, Southern Methodist University, “A Defense of Foreknowledge: Three Challenges Facing Open Theism”

· Kraig Martin, Baylor University, “Critique of Theistic Physicalism”

· David Mahfood, Southern Methodist University, “Cumulative Case Reasoning as Tradition-Neutral Rationality”

     This session will be the dedicated to the exploration of various topics in the emerging field of Analytic Theology. Analytic Theology considers questions and issues relevant to Systematic and Philosophical Theology with an emphasis upon the aims and tools of Analytic Philosophy. Analytic Theology therefore typically places priority upon such things as linguistic clarity and dialectic rigor. With these aims and priorities in mind, we will address a wide range of subjects, from Theistic physicalism and dualism to divine foreknowledge to cumulative case arguments and the fruitful engagement of Christianity with liberalism.

 

“Tobias Wolff and the Moral Story.”

John Struloeff, Pepperdine University, Convener

· Forrest Anderson, Catawba College, “A Learned Sin: Academic Integrity in the Fiction of Tobias Wolff”

· Allen Keller, Florida State University, “Humor and Brutality: How Tobias Wolff Uses Satire to Highlight Humanity’s Dark Side”

· Lisa Siefker Bailey, Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, “Memory Has Its Own Story to Tell: Truth and Narrativity in Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life

· John Struloeff, Pepperdine University, “Tobias Wolff and the Moral Story”

     This panel will examine the work of the noted American short story writer, novelist, and memoirist, Tobias Wolff, through the lens of “the moral story.”  Seamlessly interwoven into his stories--whether fiction or nonfiction--are the moral choices and consequences common in our modern lives.  Each of his characters confront their deepest flaws and make consequential--and masterfully revealing--decisions.  This panel will examine a range of Wolff’s works, including key stories, such as “Hunters in the Snow” and “The Chain,” his memoir, This Boy’s Life, and his novel, Old School.

 

“Two Restorationist Traditions:  Mormons and Churches of Christ.”

Richard Hughes, Messiah College, Convener

· Richard T. Hughes, Messiah College, “Two Restoration Traditions: Mormons and Churches of Christ in the Nineteenth Century”

· Ruth Knight Bailey, East Tennessee State University and Journal of Mormon History, “Seeing Through a Glass Darkly--And Then Finding Another Restoration Tradition Face-to-Face”

· Kathy Pulley, Missouri State University, Respondent

     On the American religious landscape, there are only two major Christian traditions that, from their beginnings until the present hour, have self-consciously thought of themselves as “restorationist” and that continue to use the language of “restoration” to describe their objectives.  Those two are the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and churches in the Stone-Campbell Movement.  Yet, in spite of their restorationist claims, these two Christian traditions differ from each other profoundly.  How, then, can we make sense of the differences that divide these traditions while at the same time honoring their restorationist claims?

 

“The Value of High School Research for Universities, Students, and Secondary Educators.”

Christopher Shrock, Baylor University and the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, Convener

· James Baird, Oklahoma Christian University

· Carrie Abood, Lipscomb University

· Edna Manning, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, President Emeritus

     This session aims to assess the value of the traditional research paper for high school students. Presentations from two students, both from the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, will serve as an occasion for dialog about the advantages and shortcomings of term papers. The panel will focus on the question of how universities and high schools might cooperate by using student research to approach a variety of educational goals—college preparedness (at both the remedial and advanced levels), scholarship, and the love of learning.

 

“What Are/Should Be the Theological Emphases of Churches of Christ?  A Conversation.”

Mark Powell, Harding School of Theology, Convener

· Mark Powell, Harding School of Theology, “Restore My Spirit: A Theological Vision for Churches of Christ.”

· John Mark Hicks, Lipscomb University, Panelist

· Greg McKenzie, Arequipa, Peru, Panelist

· Leonard Allen, Leafwood Publishing, Panelist

     What does it mean to do theology from a Restoration perspective?  What are the key emphases of theological reflection in Churches of Christ?  To begin a conversation over these questions, a paper will propose five loci of Restoration theology that are both descriptive (who we have been in the past) and constructive (where we need to go in the future).  Churches of Christ are/should be: (1) Trinitarian, (2) Biblical, (3) Sacramental, (4) Communal (emphasis on the church as a community of spiritual formation that is distinct from society), and (5) Missional.  A panel discussion will follow.

 

“What is the Future of the Sermon?”

Chris Altrock, Highland Church of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee and Dave Bland, Harding School of Theology, Co-Conveners

· Ron Clark, Agape Church of Christ (Portland, Oregon) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary

· Bob Palmer, Sulphur Well Church of Christ, Springville, TN, Small Church

· Jerry Taylor, Abilene Christian University and Joshua Jackson, North Atlanta Church of Christ, Atlanta, GA, African American Church

· Chris Smith, Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, Nashville, TN Suburban Church

· Todd Flowers, Inner City Church of Christ, Nashville, TN, Inner City Church

     This panel will discuss the future of the sermon in the context of worship in Churches of Christ.  The panelists represent different church contexts including a church planting context, suburban church context, African-American church context, small rural church context, and an inner-city church context.  The panelists will interact with brief video clips from homileticians such as Fred Craddock, Tom Long, and John McClure who come at this question from different perspectives.

 

“What We Expect from Christian Higher Education: Eight Honors, First-Year Students from Four Christian Colleges Speak to that Issue.”

Richard T. Hughes, Messiah College, Convener

· Ashtyn Boland, Abilene Christian University

· Rachel Hurst, Abilene Christian University

· Stephen Johnson, Abilene Christian University, Faculty Sponsor

· Danielle Isbell, Belmont University

· Tom Dearduff, Belmont University

· Jonathan Thorndike, Belmont University, Faculty Sponsor

· Tahreem Fatima, Lipscomb University

· Nicole Marton, Lipscomb University

· Paul Prill, Lipscomb University, Faculty Sponsor

· Alicia Sims, Messiah College

· Addie Gingell, Messiah College

· Richard Hughes, Messiah College Faculty Sponsor

     This session features eight honors students from four different Christian institutions of higher learning—all first-year students in the 2012-13 academic year—speaking about their vision of what Christian higher education ought to be. The audience will serve as respondents. 

 

“With Friends Like These: Critical Engagements with the Release of Rachel Held Evans’s Year of Biblical Womanhood.”

Christopher J. Dowdy, Southern Methodist University, Convener

· Lauren Smelser White, Vanderbilt University, “Beyond the Scandal of (Female) Embodiment in Domains of Theological Discourse: A Response to Rachel Held Evans’s Respondents”

· Kate Roberts, Duke University, “Social Performance of Whiteness: Ordering Women’s Bodies”

· Jessica Goudeau, University of Texas “The ‘Othered’ Woman: Imagined Boundaries in the Online Discourse about Rachel Held Evans’s A Year of Biblical Womanhood

     Rachel Held Evans’s Year of Biblical Womanhood (Thomas Nelson, 2012) was released to a storm of controversy and media attention. The turbulent response is indicative of the multiple identities Held Evans has dared to negotiate: evangelical, skeptic, progressive, feminist, and more. At another level, the criticism and support alike signal complexity and contradiction in how—and by whom—women’s bodies are discussed and defended. This session explores implications of this book and its reception from a variety of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. 

 

Presenters' Abstracts

 

Daniel Adams, Harding University, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road (provenance unknown)”

     Citation of source material is foundational in Western culture. Politicians are brought down by plagiarism; science thrives on it, as does the credibility of writers and journalists. What about the creative arts? A music recording would be unusual if accompanied by a works cited list, as would a sculpture with a certificate of artistic influence. Why the difference? Is there a difference between a pastiche appropriation and Googling images to copy? This paper will present results of a survey of practice within Church of Christ affiliated universities. How do current faculty in the creative disciplines train students in this regard?

 

Francine L. Allen, Morehouse College, “The Lost Soul Hungering for Centeredness: Sherman Alexie’s Reservation Blues

     Native American writer Sherman Alexie in his novel Reservation Blues focuses humorously upon lost souls among the Spokane Indian Reservation in the small town of Wellpinit, WA. The  main character, Thomas-Builds-the-Fire, stands as an unlikely hero and leader. He is beset with deep insecurities; yet, he eventually begins to rise from his lost state and assume his role as a community leader. Unlike his friends on the reservation, he has attempted to remember traditions and values that have sustained Indian communities for years. Thomas comes to possess a centeredness that spares him the destructive end that so many of his friends experience.  

 

C. Leonard Allen, Abilene Christian University,‘No Cross under Our Government’: Alexander Campbell, Ethics, and the Kingdom of God in America”

     “There is now no cross under our government. . . . Hence no man in these United States has to carry a cross for Christ's sake.” These words of Campbell provide a lens through which to see key features of his view of moral progress in America, of the kingdom of God, and of the nature of Christian discipleship.

 

 

Gwen Parker Ames, Nyack College, “Orienting the Map between Two Worlds: In Search of Peace and Social Justice at Christian Colleges”

     This paper offers an examination of transformational change occurring among students who are gang members or gang affiliated during their pursuit of higher education at Christian colleges. Spiritual perceptions of gang members and gang affiliates are probed throughout the study, as well as the ability of faculty and administrators to recognize indicators and risk factors associated with these students that may impact matriculation. Through in-depth analysis, the study seeks to illuminate the viability, results, and implications of Christian college education as the pinnacle for change and ultimately peace and social justice for this population.

 

Ken Badley, George Fox University, “Teaching for Character in an Age of Celebrity”

     We live in a society full of messages that the measure of a person has much to do with fame, regardless of how temporary that fame is or on what foundation it is based. The corollary message is that gravitas and character are of little concern. After examining some of the sources of celebrity culture, this session works with the distinction between character and celebrity to seek ways to help students approach their own ethical questions and those of society in well-grounded and life-giving ways.

 

Ruth Knight Bailey, East Tennessee State University and Journal of Mormon History, “Seeing Through a Glass Darkly--And Then Finding Another Restoration Tradition Face-to-Face”

     This story begins with my Idaho upbringing as a Latter-day Saint, inspired by belief in a heavenly restoration of the fullness of the ancient gospel of Jesus Christ. Much later in life, after moving to Elizabethton, Tennessee where I began studying 19th-century “Saints” in Appalachia, I also found friendly neighbors who said they were “Christians only.”  In a head-scratching journey through Appalachian studies, footnotes to “the new Mormon history,” and paths near Milligan College, I discovered a familiar-yet-different restoration vision that helped me to better understand the people next door.

 

Cliff Barbarick, Abilene Christian University, “‘Following in His Steps’: Reclaiming a Petrine Metaphor from Legalistic Individualism”

     In 1 Peter 2:21-25, the author exhorts slaves to follow in the steps of Jesus. Commentators often evince discomfort with the language of imitation, in part because of a Protestant anxiety about “works righteousness.”  Martin Luther, for example, distinguished between conformitas (as a Spirit-enabled process) and imitatio (as human effort to emulate Christ), and his distinction still influences the discussion of the imitatio Christi metaphor. Rightly understood, as we will demonstrate, the metaphor implies the imitation of Christ is a divinely-enabled, corporately-experienced transformation.

 

Matthew R. Bardowell, Saint Louis University, “The Problem of Emotion: Legal Codes and the Medieval Icelandic Outlaw”

     The character of the outlaw is a lonely figure in medieval Icelandic culture. They are cast out from society and haunt the uninhabited, inland places in an effort to survive the vulnerability that outlawry brings. The outlaw occupies a unique place in Icelandic society precisely because they stand outside of it. This presentation examines Gisli Sursson’s Saga and Njal’s Saga in order to consider the limitations in the Scandinavian ethical codes that alienate these characters. These outlaws have value for the modern reader in that they show the consequences for the individual and for a community in which significant elements of humanity fail to be acknowledged. 

 

Justin Barringer, Independent Scholar, “‘I Ain’t No Fortunate One’: Christian Responses to the Business of War"

     Christians have employed a number of tactics to demonstrate opposition to war including public protests, destruction of military property, prayer services outside weapons manufacturing sites, draft dodging, and signing petitions. With the changing face of modern warfare, it is pertinent to ask how Christians might adapt our peace witness in response. By combining insights from the work of scholars such as John Howard Yoder and Andrew Bacevich, and the example of activists such as the Berrigans and Bayard Rustin this paper will attempt to map out possible Christian responses to the increasingly complex business of war.

 

Darlene Beaman, Lone Star College, “Modern Day Depictions of Monsters in Grimm's Fairy Tales”

     Tolkien, when speaking of the recovery, escape, and consolation of the fairy story equates evil with ugliness and beauty with goodness. Likewise, in Grimm’s Fairy Tales true undisguised appearance reflects the good or evil nature of the character through beauty and ugliness, respectively.  Newer versions of Grimm’s Tales such as the TV series Grimm and the 2013 film Hansel and Gretel, however, celebrate a character’s choice to choose goodness over his or her outward appearance.  Contemporary cultural acceptance of ugly goodness demonstrates a timeless desire for the beauty of virtue that is reflected by actions, regardless of appearance.  

 

John O. Belcher, Lassiter, Tidwell and Davis, PLLC, “Compounding Problems and How To Address Them”

     Despite good intentions, thousands of errors occur within the US health care system each year. Some of these are correctible. Many are expensive to correct. Some lead to tragedy. In his recent book (Unaccountable) Dr. Marty Makary avers that 100,000 wrongful deaths occur in US hospitals each year. A recent example in Nashville is the deaths of several people after epidural injection of a fungally contaminated compound intended for pain relief. Mr. Belcher will discuss legal recourses available to victims of medical mistakes and their families within the context of tort reform. 

 

Elizabeth Bernhardt, Abilene Christian University, “The Ethics of the Borderlands”

     Unlike humans, fairies and other supernatural creatures exercise certain codes of restraint according to the laws of their world. Generous hospitality is required; a fairy vow is unbreakable, and fairies are often incapable of lying. Fey folk often require virtue without emotion. What happens when humans brush the borders of the fey? Often the flawed hearts of mortals have more goodness than even the most rule-following of magical creatures. By tracing human-fairy interactions through ancient to modern tales, this essay will examine what magical creatures can teach us about legalism, love, and what it means to be human.

 

Mark Binkley, Health and Wellness Compounding Pharmacy, Nashville, TN, “Compounding Science: A Critical Component of Personalized Medicine”

     The mapping of the human genome has opened the opportunity for personalized medicine, in which specific disorders can be tested for and identified and specialized therapies for individual treatment can be devised. Modern pharmaceutical science can enhance the therapeutic process. Dr. Binkley, an award-winning compounding pharmacist, will discuss the possibilities and limitations inherent in compounding science and present an array of best practices to minimize the possibility of errors in compounding and treatment.

 

Susan Blassingame, Lubbock Christian University, “Nixon: Fictive Portrayals of Nixon’s Exploitation of Communism”

     Hundreds of books have explored the career of Richard Nixon: his rise, his downfall, and his attempts to restore his reputation. One area overlooked in this intense study of Nixon is his portrayal in fiction. Several novels, short stories, movies, even an opera have featured Richard Nixon as a character. What can these works of fiction, such as Robert Coover’s Public Burning (1976), contribute to our understanding of the complexities of Nixon’s character? This study will examine the early years of Nixon’s relationship with communism not through a historic lens but through a fictive one. 

 

Spencer Bogle, Southern Methodist Univerity, “Theology at the Margins in the Churches of Christ.”

     Churches of Christ have a long history of ecclesiological development at the margins of political and economic movements. We find ourselves once again connected to the margins of the global economic system, particularly through missions and development. Presence in these spaces provides a forum for theological conversation that connects commitments to scripture, a growing appreciation of historical theology, and voices from a wide range of experience within the global economic system. When exercised together in the context of a free-church movement, these each hold great potential for enhancing an ecclesial identity deeply rooted in Christology.

 

Steven Bonner, Lubbock Christian University, “Sports as Systemic Abandonment: The Commodification of Youth as Student Athlete”

     Pick-up games and backyard baseball are disappearing from the childhoods of America’s youth.  In their place--specialized sports camps, private trainers, and ESPN programming! Children have fallen victim to the adult-driven billion-dollar a year youth sports economy. This paper will argue that “sports” is contributing to the systemic abandonment of America’s youth. The omni-present nature of American sports has created the “student athlete”: an object trained to win championships. It is no longer about the kids, fun, or play. Rather, children are forced to specialize at early ages as parents live vicariously through their children’s play. 

 

Joel A. Brown, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, “The Peculiar Institution and the Stone-Campbell and Mormon Restoration Movements”

     The issue of American slavery challenged the moral and religious fabric of a young and increasingly divided nation in the nineteenth century. Two American-born Christian Restoration movements—the Stone-Campbell and Mormon Movements—provide interesting case studies for understanding both the role Christianity played in the debate for and against the peculiar institution as well as the ways in which the slavery dilemma shaped Christian denominations in America. This paper focuses particularly on the tensions leaders in both movements faced as they weighed their own moral convictions against the concerns of the young movements under their care.

 

Kevin Brown, Anderson University, “The Moral Status of Preferences: A Framework for Evaluation”

     In Welfare Economics, an efficient arrangement is achieved when no one person can be made better-off without making someone else worse-off (‘Pareto Optimality’). Moreover, being made “better-off” is often defined by deriving utility from preference satisfaction. However, little work has been done to appraise the moral value of our preferences.  That is to say, some preferences are more morally appropriate than others (some conceptions of what provides utility are superior to other conceptions). In this paper, I utilize non-ideal theory to give critical moral thought to this important field of economics.

 

Ron Bruner, Westview Boys’ Home, Hollis, Oklahoma, “Luke 15 Redux: Coping with Premature Departures”

     Many residential child care facilities expend significant energy attempting to create trauma-sensitive environments for youth in their care, whether adopting particular models (such as Sanctuary or TBRI) or constructing a program of their own design. Some of the most difficult ethical challenges in maintaining the integrity of such settings center on cases where young people make mistakes that endanger their ability to remain. For Christians engaged in this work, the eternal perspective complicates these ethical dilemmas. What resources might we bring to bear to give wisdom and hope in these difficult moments?

 

Ron Bruner, Westview Boys’ Home, Hollis, Oklahoma, “The Mouths of Babes: Children Recognizing God in the House of Praise”

     Scholars and practitioners on the theoretical leading edge of intergenerational ministry remind their readers that the worship of the church is core to the spiritual formation of children. For this formation to happen, intergenerational ministers suggest that children must experience “legitimate peripheral practice” and “shared praxis,” not a separate worship for children. What might these terms mean to churches within the Stone-Campbell Restoration tradition? What worship practices might properly form the spiritual lives of children growing up among those congregations? This work seeks to explore possible answers to these questions.

 

Larry Bumgardner, Pepperdine University, “Nixon: A ‘Coat of Many Colors’ on the Danger of Communism”

     The menace of communism dominated Richard Nixon’s career--but his reaction to it varied with the times. Gaining fame as a hard-line anti-communist, Nixon labeled his opponent the “Pink Lady” to win a Senate seat in 1950. Only 22 years later, President Nixon would open the door to what was then called “Red” China. Was this a gradual shift to match the times? Was it shrewd diplomatic strategy? Or was it political opportunism--exploiting whatever position was expedient at the time?  The politics and ethics of Nixon’s evolving position will be analyzed by focusing on milestones of Nixon’s dealings with communism.  

 

Orneita Burton, Abilene Christian University and Don Pope, Abilene Christian University,  “Sustainability in Operations Management: A Christian Perspective”

     The topic of sustainability has received global attention. By definition, sustainability suggests activity that operates without negatively impacting profit (economic), planet (environmental), and people (social). Although many attempts have guided efforts to preserve and improve the conditions of nature and mankind, such activity operating outside mainstream operations can lead to high operational costs and less than optimal solutions. To achieve sustainability, we suggest using a value chain approach in teaching operations management to change how students think about life and business. This work presents pedagogical frameworks of instruction that promote sustainability while providing for the wants and needs of people.  

 

Brett Butler, Abilene Christian University, “The Domestication of Dragons in 21st Century Fantasy Literature”

     Dragons appear in nearly every culture throughout history, named and unnamed, physical and symbolic, and are regarded differently depending on their cultural context. For example, Western dragons are generally considered vicious and evil while Chinese dragons symbolize blessings or good tidings. I will argue that recent literature features “domesticated” dragons, coddled pets rather than fearsome or revered creatures, and will explore possible cultural causes for this evolved ideology, including ideas of animal rights and post-modern philosophy. I  will explore the varying dynamics of the ethical treatment of dragons and extrapolate on the relationship between these cultural ideologies and human-dragon interaction.

 

Robert M. Calhoun, Independent Scholar (Chicago), “Are keeping the Law or doing the things of the Law the same as fulfilling the Law in Paul's theological ethics?”

     A central mystery clouding comprehension of Paul’s statements regarding the law emerges in connection with his insistence that Gentiles should not obey the law, particularly circumcision, but nonetheless that it should be “fulfilled.” This essay explores the distinctions in meaning between “keeping” or “doing,” and “fulfilling”: the former tend to appear in contexts where obedience to the law’s commands stands in view; the latter appears only in ethical contexts. So, for Paul, do these words equate? Is it possible in his view that, while one might or might not “keep” the law, one does not “fulfill” it by this method?

 

Stephen Carmen, Capella University, “The Relationship Between Pastoral Leader Style and Ethical Dilemmas”

     Many organizations, including profit and nonprofit, have used the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) instrument to measure leadership styles (Avolio & Bass, 2004). Leader styles include transformational, transactional, and passive avoidant. It is unknown what, if any, impact a pastoral leader's style has on ethical decisions. This session will present patterns in ethical dilemmas addressed in the literature as it relates to pastoral leaders' style. Data will be categorized into a theoretical framework including Avolio and Bass’ MLQ (2004) as well as ethical theories, including utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism.

 

J. Caleb Clanton, Lipscomb University,  “Alexander Campbell’s Moral Epistemology”

     Alexander Campbell thought that humans cannot initially acquire moral truths unless they receive those truths via faith in the testimony of those to whom the moral law had been divinely revealed. I show that Campbell’s elimination argument for this view is unsound. Campbell did provide some interesting resources for responding to one of the more obvious challenges to his moral epistemology—what I label the problem of biblical silence—by arguing that the law expediency becomes salient when the biblical texts leave an issue unaddressed. I raise several challenges for this position.

 

Jerry C. Collins, Chair, Ethics Committee, Biomedical Engineering Society and Lipscomb University, "US Health Care: Expensive and Ineffective"

     The US has by far the most expensive health care system in the world, with the latest advances in technology. Yet many of the indicators of a healthy society, such as infant mortality, are considerably below those of many other nations. Many communities do not have functional access to health care; the situation has not materially changed over the last century. Entitlement costs are soaring and programs continue to pay premium, non-negotiable prices for the drugs and technology they use. This session will look at reasons for excessive costs embedded in the US health care system and ask what changes can be made.     

 

Keith Cronk and Marguerite Cronk, Harding University, “The Influence of Technology on the Millennials’ Perception of Ethics”

     The premise of this paper is that technology usage by millennials has contributed to the crisis in ethics, supported by five lines of reasoning. Firstly, technology has facilitated the opportunity for cheating and copyright infringement. Secondly, technology-facilitated communities have engendered a trust in the community rather than established authorities. Thirdly, there is a dependence on Google for truth. Fourthly, unsupervised exposure to information, without context or meaning abounds. Finally, overstimulation and multi-tasking distracts from deep thought where information, context, and morality connect.

 

Russell Dabbs, Lubbock Christian University, “The Economic Supernaturalist”

     In his eponymous book and elsewhere, Robert Frank has argued for viewing the world through the eyes of “The Economic Naturalist,” one who perceives the manmade landscape of ordinary existence as the result of implicit cost-benefit calculations. Would an “Economic Supernaturalist”—one who applies economic principles like cost-benefit analysis to spiritual matters--be a contradiction in terms? Is economics—and its personification, the rational, calculating, and self-interested homo economicus—at odds with the Supernatural generally, and the Christian life specifically? This paper will argue that it is not, and that homo economicus Christianus—an “Economic Supernaturalist”—is not an oxymoron.

 

Amy Michelle DeBaets, Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioethics, “‘Better Living Through Science and Democracy,’ Feminism and the Discourses of Democratic Transhumanism”

     Transhumanism is a socio-political movement that calls for radical social changes in order to free people from the confines of a limited existence within the human condition, promising the opportunity to achieve greater happiness, intelligence, and longevity through enhancement technologies. Democratic transhumanism, or technoprogressivism, focuses on reducing social inequalities and expanding access to transhuman technologies for all people. This presentation will offer a political and ethical analysis of the technoprogressivist movement from a feminist theological perspective, highlighting both continuities and discontinuities in the values that they espouse, and will offer ways to think critically about technology, policy choices, and the humans of the future.

 

Sheila Delony, Abilene Christian University, “Teacher Reflection as Faith-Informed Ethical Practice”

     Much of the work of teaching occurs behind closed doors. While teachers are held accountable for lesson plans and test scores, mental processes such as reflection are largely invisible and unchecked. Though there are consequences for a lack of reflection, they are virtually unseen or unaccounted for. Neither deadlines nor dire consequences demand a reflective disposition, but a virtue ethic of teaching does. Reflection is the hallmark of an effective teacher who approaches her craft with intentionality, her students with humility, and herself with honesty. Reflection should be in the fiber of a teacher informed by faith in Christ.

 

Shawn Duncan, FCS Urban Ministries, Atlanta, GA, “Sports and Compensatory Identity: Getting at One of the Roots of the Ethical Dilemmas in Sports”

     What leads to a multi-national betting scandal rocking European soccer and drunks brawling after a college football game? Pride, anger, greed? Perhaps. What about a crisis of identity? We call schools alma mater (“nursing mother”) and returning there for a sporting event “homecoming.” Whether it is school, state, or national pride, this paper suggests that sport controls emotions, wallets, and decisions when it contributes to one’s sense of self. This paper analyzes sports and the (minor to catastrophic) ethical breakdowns they cause as problems of compensatory identities.  

 

 

James D. Dvorak, Oklahoma Christian University, “‘Not Like Cain’: Marking Moral Boundaries Through Vilification of the Other in 1 John 3:1–18”

     Group/community identity and the formation of moral boundaries are inextricably bound together. Establishing these boundaries incontrovertibly involves privileging certain ideological points of view and concomitant value positions over others. In this paper, I adopt Appraisal Theory, which is heavily influenced by Bakhtin’s notions of heteroglossia and dialogism, to analyze how the author of 1 John uses the Cain and Abel tradition to try to position his readers to love their fellow believers. I analyze how the writer naturalizes this value position by engaging and positioning his voice vis-à-vis other voices sourced in the text.

 

Brad East, Yale University, “Patiently Awaiting the Death and Resurrection of the Universe: Eschatological Memory and Ecological Ethics in 2 Peter 3:1-13”

     This paper considers the (in)famous passage of the earth's “burning up” in 2 Peter 3:1-13. It proceeds in three steps. First, an exegetical reading that situates the image of God’s coming judgment in relation to the flood—which purified, not annihilated. Second, a theological explication that connects divine judgment to the wider scriptural notion of longed-for divine justice as well as the christological shape of God’s eschatological liberation-through-judgment. Third, a proposal regarding the content of the church’s witness in a world of unabated ecological destruction, finding in this text a resource rather than a hindrance for faithful care of creation.

 

Stephanie M. Eddleman, Harding University, “Jubilee: Words of Rest, Reflection, and Recovery”

     Second-hand beliefs, worn out imagery, truisms about God. These do not satisfy; they do not feed the seeking soul. Opening one’s soul to creativity is opening one’s self to God, to the creative Spirit. Celebrating this creativity allows us to be fully alive and rekindles our passion for life and for God, a God that can be known but not fully comprehended. This presentation is a collection of poetry and prose vignettes about one woman’s quest, an honest look at life that reveals both the pain and the transcendent moments, those epiphanies of Spirit that keep us longing for God.

 

Ray Eldridge, Lipscomb University, “Ethical Leadership and Intentional Learning: What can a Christian college of business learn from military academies about character development?”     

     What frameworks could proactively affect business student’s ethical development?  Consider the profession of arms that faces moral challenges of harsh combat environments. A 2012 Gallup Poll revealed 75% of Americans rated the US military the top organization they had confidence in compared to religion at 44% and business at 21%. Institutions such as the USMA and The Citadel immerse future officers with ethical development. This session reviews both the components and supporting research that form this model for character development. Despite differences in mission, an understanding could help Christian business schools intentionally produce graduates committed to a life of ethics.

 

Amelia Emery, Abilene Christian University, “Empowered by Story: Instruction Through Mythology in Armageddon’s Children”

    In Armageddon's Children, Terry Brooks creates a society of children teetering on the brink of extinction in which they move from a life of danger and survival to a "promised land" of safety and bounty. This family re-interprets bits of biblical narratives to create their own mythology. By taking charge of their own stories, they are able to see their leader as a Moses figure who leads them through difficult challenges to the promised land, and as their story unfolds it brings back hope and a future for these children and for others.

 

Allen Frazier, Harding University, “The Value of a Business Leadership Seminar: A Historical Perspective of Past Participants” 

     Harding University started the “Leadership Seminar” with a simple description: “An off-site seminar focusing on leadership aspects of business, community, family and church. This course utilizes guest speakers, discussions, presentations, activities and various books on leadership.” Beginning in 2004, the seminar provides seniors a professional development opportunity.  Over 190 students have completed this seminar. This paper provides key details of our leadership seminar and explores student perspectives on how successful this seminar has been in their professional development.  Our goal is not only continued success, but also to share hints with other schools interested in developing their own leadership seminars.

 

Charles Frasier, Lipscomb University and Bill Ingram, Lipscomb University, “Social Consequences of Enhancing Shareholder Wealth”

     In a 1981 speech, Jack Welch re-introduced a corporate obsession with “enhancing shareholder value”.  From a Dow below 800, the U.S. economy experienced two long expansions peaking at a Dow of 14,200.  The economy then experienced a financial crisis in 2007 with the Dow dropping to 6,500 and surging to 13,896.  During 1981-2013, the U.S. experienced financial and accounting scandals, including Enron and WorldCom.  Financial regulators, investors, and others continue to study the causes of flagrant misuse of financial information.  Is it an overplay of shareholder wealth management?  Would a more socially responsible approach have prevented such volatile economic consequences?

 

J. P. Gerber*, Gordon College, “Did Stapel’s research fraud lead to knowledge distortion or reputation reduction?”

     The high profile fraud of Diederik Stapel has led to calls to revise research practices in psychology. However, it remains to be shown whether Stapel’s fraud has unduly influenced substantive findings in social psychology. This paper gives preliminary results of a meta-analysis of 60 years of social comparison research, including over 600 research papers. The effect sizes in Stapel’s work were not significantly different to other researcher’s findings, suggesting that knowledge about social comparison has not suffered from Stapel’s misconduct, even though the field’s reputation has. It appears that, sometimes, you can fake too well.

* This paper replaces one that was withdrawn due to personal circumstances. As such, it is not peer-reviewed.

 

Joe Gordon, Marquette University, “Deification by Ascent: Paul’s Ascent (2 Cor 12:1-10) in its Historical and Theological Contexts”

     New Testament scholars have recently begun to explore the roots of deification/theosis in Scripture. I argue that Paul's narration of his heavenly ascent in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 should have a place in discussion of the early development of deificatory themes. An exegesis of this text in its relationship to 1.) the historical development of apocalyptic and mystical themes and 2.) Paul’s soteriology and ethics will show that this pericope has a unique place in antecedent and subsequent literature, and that Paul’s mention of his experience serves his purpose of emphasizing that God is transforming believers into Christlikeness.

 

Jessica Goudeau, University of Texas “The ‘Othered’ Woman: Imagined Boundaries in the Online Discourse about Rachel Held Evans’s A Year of Biblical Womanhood

     In 2012, Rachel Held Evans published A Year of Biblical Womanhood to both acclaim and derision in the online evangelical community, with a rhetorical division between “egalitarian” and “complementarian” responses. I examine the boundaries of this online conversation to demonstrate how the negative reviewers positioned Evans’s book, body, and viewpoints as a foil against which to define their own imagined community. By using terms to appeal to a share sense of who “we” are, many online reviewers “Othered” Evans and her supporters.

 

John Hare, Yale University Divinity School, “Three Arguments for the Dependence of Morality Upon Religion”

     This paper gives three arguments for the dependence of morality upon religion: from Providence, from Grace, and from Justification. The first argument is that morality becomes rationally unstable if we do not have a way to assure ourselves, through belief in God, that morality and happiness are consistent. The second argument is that we are born preferring ourselves to the demands of morality, and reversing this priority needs assistance from outside ourselves. The third argument is that we need some answer to the question “Why should I be moral?” The religious answer to this question is that God calls us to it.

 

Perry Neil Harrison, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, “Anti-Heroic Elements in the Early Robin Hood Ballads”

     This study explores the morally ambiguous tactics Robin Hood and his associates utilized in the course of their rebellion against authority during the earliest of the Robin Hood ballads, with emphasis being given to “A Gest of Robin Hood” and “Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne.” Attention will be paid to the way these traits are softened or expunged in subsequent literary and, eventually, media adaptations of the outlaw and his band. This presentation will also examine possible cultural explanations for why the audience of the original ballads would have found heroic appeal in the illegal, and often violent and callous, actions displayed by the outlaws.

 

Elizabeth Heitman, Departments of Medicine and Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University, “Compassionate Health Care in a Modern Medical Center Environment”

     Admissions to a modern medical center for patients and families unaccustomed to the environment can be traumatic. The diagnosis of the patient’s illness and the uncertainty of where family members can stay, of what they can expect in treatment of the loved one, of how long the stay will be, of how to pay for it, and other factors add to the emotional burden. An experienced, compassionate professional will through case studies develop principles of how to help patients and families through periods of crisis.

 

Kyle Holton, Independent Scholar, “Making Love with the Leviathan: Resisting Amnesia from Placeless Economies” 

     The curse of placeless, global, capitalistic industry creates a kind of societal amnesia that keeps us from identifying our own demise. This paper integrates the ecological concept of “extended phenotypes” and the oriental “imaginal world” storied in oral myth as a way to extend the bioregional classification of watershed into a mythic framework. I hope to integrate a bioregional response to the problem of the global commons and cost-benefit policy by arguing for local myths that are informed by ecological, global systems and founded on a relational worldview that resists modern amnesia induced by the abstraction of currency. 

 

Andrew Huddleston, Abilene Christian University, “Ethics in High-Stakes Testing”

     High-stakes testing policies create numerous ethical dilemmas for teachers. Such policies promote a narrowing of the curriculum, excessive test coaching, cheating, and educational triage practices in which teachers focus on those nearest passing while excluding lowest performing students. These adverse consequences are most prevalent among low-income and ethnic minority students and have led researchers to conclude that increases in test scores have resulted from score distortion rather than gains in academic learning. Drawing on Parker Palmer’s concept of teaching with heart and soul, the author explores possibilities for reclaiming an ethic of caring in teaching and testing.     

 

Barrett Huddleston, Oklahoma Christian University, “The First Condition: Censorship in Contemporary Value Based Production”

    This presentation will explore the tension between audience sensitive censorship in value based academic production and demonstrate the inherent conflict between post-structural oppositional consciousness and the performance of Christian drama. The understandings of censorship featured in the presentation will include historical models and contemporary reflections by authors such as Oscar Brockett, J.M. Coetzee, and Adam Parkes. This paper will consider some of the current postmodern cultural attitudes toward censorship (particularly focusing on younger audiences such as “Generation X” and “Mosaics”) and pose the question of how audiences navigate the role of artistic restriction when seeking value based performance. 

 

Richard T. Hughes, Messiah College, “Two Restoration Traditions: Mormons and Churches of Christ in the Nineteenth Century”

     In many respects, two upstart Christian movements of the early nineteenth century—Mormons and Churches of Christ—shared more in common with each other than they shared with the other Christian churches that surrounded them. The core of that commonality was the fact that both these movements claimed to be restoring the ancient gospel and primitive church. Yet, even in their own time, these two traditions were vociferously opposed to one another. How can we make sense of these two restoration movements in early nineteenth-century America?

 

Richard Humphrey, Oxford Graduate School, “Christlikeness: Ethics and the Pastoral Ministry”

     Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his Ethics wrote, “There is only one ethic, Christian Ethics.”  Then he said, "There is the fallen man ethic, the ethic of Adam and Eve searching for knowledge of good and evil."  The church for two thousand years has essentially followed not Jesus’ teachings but the ethics of the philosophers, especially Plato, Kant and the utilitarians. Bonhoeffer asked a tantalizing question of Nazi Germany: what if the German parents and schools had taught their children to follow Jesus Christ’s teachings and life instead how to be good Germans? The same question can be asked of America today. Others (Yoder, Webber, Boyd and Willard) pick up Bonhoeffer’s theme and take it further.

 

Peter Jankowski, Bethel University, “Relational Spirituality and the Ethical Stance of Intercultural Competence”

     The ethics codes of the major mental health professions mandate intercultural competence. Intercultural competence refers to (a) accurately perceiving cultural differences and commonalities, and (b) acting in culturally-appropriate and sensitive ways. In contrast, descriptions of a Christian social ethic are less united in a shared vision of intercultural competence as an ethical mandate. Questions remain about specific aspects of spirituality that might be consistent with intercultural competence. Researchers are also increasingly drawing attention to the need to assess functional and dysfunctional aspects of spirituality. The present study involved the examination of the relation between dimensions of spirituality and intercultural competence.

 

Gregory Jeffers, Abilene Christian University, “Resistance and Oppression: Socialist Theory and Christianity in The Lord of the Rings

     I will apply the work of Iris Marion Young (socialist theorist and political philosopher) and Walter Wink (New Testament scholar and Peace activist) to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, arguing that although Young and Wink provide similar descriptions of oppression, their forms of resistance are largely divergent because Wink’s, while far more radical and compelling as a story, requires the existence of the Christian God to work. The Lord of the Rings demonstrates the way that Wink and Young’s theories of oppression go hand in hand, but embraces Wink's theory of resistance over Young’s.

 

Christina Johnson, Abilene Christian University, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Examining the Disney Princesses’ Ethical Definitions of the Female Gender”

     Walt Disney films have mastered the goal of inspiring young girls to “personally identify” with the Disney princesses (England 1), in the process causing questions about the ethical representations of the female gender. However, recent female heroines have featured more gender equality. As a current reader and scriptwriter for Disney’s Lucas Films, I argue that by using a feminist lens to examine the new Disney princess archetype, one may better understand the recent emphasis on strong, women protagonists. My paper will also feature examples from my own screenplay in order to demonstrate the  importance of creating a more gender-appropriate princess archetype.

 

David Johnson, Falkner University, “TOMS Shoes: The Challenges of Doing Good and Doing Well”

     TOMS Shoes pioneered a One-for-One strategy in 2006, whereby for each pair of shoes sold, TOMS gives a pair to a poor child. Their mission integrates business with social welfare.  TOMS’ strategy has garnered praise and consumer goodwill. The TOMS model, however, has attracted criticism. Some suggest that charging a premium price to support donations is unsustainable. Others claim that donated shoes are inferior to those made for sale. Still others question the effects on local economies. This leads to a broader question of whether the distribution of free goods is actually helpful, and what the unexpected consequences might be.

 

Kenny Jones, Abilene Christian University, “Truth and Art in the Age of Copy/Paste”

     “Art is a lie that tells the truth” - Picasso. If so, what are the ramifications? Could a pastiche produce a truthful self-portrait? Is it more honest to use appropriated images than pretending to be original? Google and Photoshop have tangled ethics with epistemology and ontology. Examples come from cultural images that re-present “truth” via appropriation strategies--Vic Muniz, Shepard Fairey. This paper will weave together examples from Art History, AP press photos, Copyright cases, and my own art production and teaching to wrestle with the question: "What is a true image, an image that represents truthfully--historically, legally, ethically, philosophically, spiritually?”

 

Joe Kauslick, Abilene Christian University, “Learning to Love: Public Engagement as Christian Practice”

     In light of Christian religious aims, how are Christians to understand public engagement within a liberal democracy? I will argue that Christians should understand public engagement as a practice through which they can cultivate love. I first develop a concept of love as a virtue, drawing on the writings of Maximus the Confessor. With this concept of love in mind, I argue next that this virtue can be cultivated through public engagement. My hope is to offer an understanding of Christian public engagement that views a liberal democracy as a helpful context for Christians to pursue their religious aims.       

 

Mike Kipp, Newport Board Group, “The Accidental Leader: Navigating The Spiritual Crises of Leading”

     Leadership is a journey often begun by accident and punctuated by the unexpected. Understood as "taking personal responsibility for collective action", leading can test, shape, and break the spirit in unique ways. Anyone who leads faces five predictable and recurring spiritual crises: authenticity, vocation, struggle, redemption, and integrity. Failure to confront and grow from these runs the risk of creating a "dis-spirited leader" who is truly a danger to self and others. This session will explore each in an engaging manner. This program is based on personal "defining moments" and in-depth conversations with over 2,000 CEOs. 

 

Vadim Kochetkov, Abilene Christian University, “The Value of Autonomy in the Apocalyptic Thought of Barton Stone and David Lipscomb: Amending Richard Hughes’ Proposition”

     Richard T. Hughes has fashioned a proposal for how the Churches of Christ might reaffirm their identity and work toward resolving contemporary moral challenges by reviving the apocalyptic vision of Barton W. Stone and his successors. Aiming to affirm and expand his proposal, this paper argues that Hughes underestimates Stone’s and Lipscomb’s prioritization of radical autonomy. This prioritization motivated their commitments to anti-traditionalism and political separatism. To reclaim the apocalyptic vision in a way that does not entail the trappings of either political or religious separatism we must revise their traditional conception of autonomy and associated motivations.

 

Steven Kraftchick, Emory University, “Bodies, Selves, and Human Identity: A Conversation between Transhumanism and the Apostle Paul”

     Paul’s statements about the human, embodied person (e.g., Romans 6-8; 1 Corinthians 15:34-54; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:16-5:10) suggest that his "anthropology" was fluid. While he argued for human embodiment, Paul also argued that the empirical body is destined for transformation. There is thus an interesting overlap of Paul’s conceptions of the embodied human with those of transhumanists as well as a significant divergence between them. A comparison of both sets of convictions reveals the promise and problems of each, allowing for a sustained conversation about the nature of the human person as she enters into a new phase of technological existence.

 

Mark A. Lackowski, Yale Divinity School, “Spoiled to Death: The Burden and Blessing of the Younger Brother in Genesis”

     The story of Cain and Abel is an excellent example of biblical prose with an extensive reception history. However, the story is too often read in isolation from the rest of Genesis, which develops the motif of sibling rivalry on multiple occasions. I will argue that these stories of sibling rivalry are engaged in an intertextual dialogue revealing an important theme running throughout Genesis: a theme variously reflected in other parts of the Hebrew Scriptures. It will be shown that Genesis is not only a skillfully crafted piece of literature, but a substantial source from which to draw moral inquiry.

 

Andrew Langford, University of Chicago, “Commending Tychicus and Forging the 'Letter from Laodicea': The Function of Onomastic Intertextuality in Eph 6:21-22”

     The postscript of Ephesians (6:21-22) contains the most extensive verbatim quotation (29 consecutive words) of a Pauline letter in the New Testament. While this feature has often been noted on the question of literary dependence, it has far less frequently been appreciated as a crucial clue as to the purpose and epistolary situation of Ephesians. This paper argues that the reproduction of the commendation of Tychicus (Col 4:7-8) is meant by the author to signal that Ephesians should be read in tandem with Colossians and that Ephesians’ readers should identify Ephesians as the “epistle from Laodicea” from Col 4:16.

 

Frank Lilley, Vanderbilt Divinity School, “Orphans and the Household of God: Oikonomia and International Adoption”

     To broaden biblical and theological consideration of international adoption and placement of vulnerable and poor children, I propose understanding adoption from the perspective of the oikonomia tou theou—the “household” or “economy” of God. Though Christian theology of adoption often focuses on soteriological analogies, oikonomia language gives a framework for a theology of adoption that incorporates soteriological, ecclesiological, Trinitarian, and eschatological concerns. Moreover, oikonomia language likewise affords a better way to treat adoption’s economic complexities, particularly in the case of children adopted from developing countries in conditions of deep poverty. 

 

Jarrod Longbons, University of Nottingham, “You Can’t Have One Without the Other: Human Ecology and the Ecology of Nature”

     The human and non-human worlds are both, for Christians, parts of God’s one and unified creation. Therefore, discussion about the ecology of one sphere necessitates parallel consideration of the other. Pope Benedict XVI gives this assessment in Caritas in Veritate. Benedict’s argument bears the power to break free from the trappings of the ideological left and right. This essay uses the arguments of Benedict and others to critique neo-liberal, dualistic society and illuminate the appropriate way to value both nature and human society. Under the category of “creation,” you cannot have one without the other.   

 

Megan MacDonald, Florida State University, “Never a Bed of Roses: Radie Britain’s Compositions and the Federal Music Project”

     Radie Britain (1899-1994) was a successful American composer by almost any measure. Britain, as well as many other women composers, first found opportunities in the Federal Music Project. Specific aims of the program directly benefited Britain, including the desire to include music by both Americans and women. The paper focuses on three pieces by Radie Britain that were inspired by American heroes: Lindbergh, Jefferson, and Edison. Britain’s experience, representative of many women composers, highlights a time in history when the US government stepped in to support the talents of women musicians, and to move towards gender equality in America’s music culture. 

 

Eric Magnusson, Spring Arbor University, “Extending Story Listening as a Practice of Communal Formation at the Lake Orion Church of Christ”

     While much work has been done on church growth and personal spiritual formation, the area of communal formation through practice is ripe for exploration. This paper considers the potential of a practice of story listening as a way of forming community across social circles at the Lake Orion Church of Christ. Informed by social Trinitarian theology and employing insights from grounded theory and hermeneutic phenomenology, the intervention involved empowering participant-researcher pairs to facilitate story listening groups of four to five people from different social levels in the congregation to discover the potential of story listening in communal formation.

 

David Mahfood, Southern Methodist University, “Cumulative Case Reasoning as Tradition-Neutral Rationality”

     Alasdair MacIntyre has been highly influential in developing the view that rationality is inherently "traditioned" and thus there can be no "neutral" position from which to adjudicate between competing traditions. MacIntyre’s view thus suggests an epistemological incommensurability between Christianity and liberalism. In this paper, however, I will argue (A) that MacIntyre’s analysis of conflicts between traditions actually depends on the possibility of tradition-neutral rationality, and (B) that Basil Mitchell’s analysis of cumulative case reasoning provides a promising candidate for how such rationality might work, suggesting that Christianity can fruitfully and confidently engage with a liberal society.

 

David Mahfood, Southern Methodist University, “What Shall We Restore? Canonical Theism and Theology in Churches of Christ.”

     This paper argues for canonical theism (CT) as a potential approach for theologians working within Churches of Christ. The argument proceeds by first identifying overlapping concerns between CT and Restorationism, and then identifying points at which CT offers a helpful corrective to Restorationism with respect to those concerns. Expanding on arguments Mark Powell has made, I suggest that CT’s insistence on restoring a vision of God from the early church can be fruitfully appropriated by Church of Christ theologians, alongside their traditional commitment to the restoration of a vision of the church. 

 

Dennis J. Marquardt, University of Texas at Arlington, “Religiosity and Ethical Conduct: Is Mentoring the Missing Link?”

     Perhaps the most logical variable to examine as an antecedent to high ethical leadership would be religiosity, since religion inherently entails a system of morality. Unfortunately, the research in this area has yielded inconsistent results and has led scholars to depict the relationship between religiosity and ethics as a “roller coaster ride.” This paper contributes to the organizational science literature by building a conceptual model proposing that mentoring moderates the relationship between religiosity and ethical decision-making. A sample of over 200 business students is used to test the model.

 

Rick R. Marrs, Pepperdine University, “Isaiah and Micah (and John T. Willis)--Prophets for All Seasons”

     A discussion of the place and use in the life of the church of scholarly insights and studies regarding the OT prophets. Specifically, I will review how Professor Willis has incorporated and communicated his substantial scholarly work in the academy into his more popular teaching and publications for lay audiences.

 

Kraig Martin, Baylor University, “Critique of Theistic Physicalism”

     Recently, a growing number of theist philosophers have argued for some sort of materialism about the human being. Lynne Baker and Kevin Corcoran have argued that the human person is constituted by, but neither identical nor reducible to, the body. Trenton Merricks has argued that human persons are identical to their bodies.  Steven Post, Nancey Murphy, and Malcolm Jeeves have argued for a ‘nonreductive’ physicalism. I challenge each of these views by articulating four different notions of dualism and arguing that the traditional theist ought to accept each of these four different forms of dualism.

 

 

Abraham Mata, Lubbock Christian University, "Apostles, Conquerors, and Slaves: The Transforming Role of Sermons in the New World"

     Even though sacred Spanish oratory predated the Emancipation Proclamation by more than 350 years, these texts had direct implications for the religious and socio-political understanding of humanity and slavery in the Americas. Nevertheless, the genre of Spanish sermons remains one of the least-studied areas in the field of Colonial Literature. These sermons’ historical contexts, biblical themes and symbology, and rhetorical devices provide important insights on the role of the Church and Empire as they relate to enslavement, resistance, and redemption in the New World.

 

James McCarty III, Emory University, “The Case for Christian Social Ethics in the Churches of Christ.”

     This paper will make the case for social ethics as a theological discipline to be included in colleges and seminaries affiliated with the Churches of Christ. I will make this case in four moves: first, defining “Christian social ethics” as a discipline; second, tracing its history in the United States; third, noting and theorizing the historical absence of social ethics in CofC schools; and, fourth, making the case for its inclusion as a theological discipline, envisioning the social sciences and lived experience as locations of divine revelation that inform faithful engagement in the world. 

 

James W. McCarty III, Emory University, “‘They Got Money for Wars, but Can’t Feed the Poor’: Martin Luther King Jr. on the Interdependent Violence of Racism, Poverty, and Militarism.”

     In his criticisms of the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr. applied his ethic of interdependence to the connections between war, race, and poverty in the United States. His critiques, therefore, went beyond typical arguments about the justice or injustice of specific acts in war. Rather, King’s critique of war was tied to broader cultural and political systems. Specifically, he argued that the injustices of modern war are necessarily tied to the injustices of racism and widespread poverty. This paper proposes that this framework is still relevant to U.S. military action in the twenty-first century.

 

Curtis D. McClane, Johnson University, “The ‘Deep Pain’ of Forced Termination as a Catalyst for Leadership Development”

     The pain and trauma of forced termination is so powerful that often any positive results from the experience cannot be fathomed. It will be the purpose of this presentation to present case studies of those Christian leaders who can interpret the experience later from a developmental stage perspective. Toward this end, a theory of leadership development will be posited that recognizes the catalytic role of “deep pain.” A Pauline model styled as “Open-Hearted” leadership will be shown to emerge from such a heuristic platform of personal crisis. 

 

Vic McCracken, Abilene Christian University, “Rawlsian Liberalism: A Basic Introduction”

     John Rawls lays out a powerful and eloquent defense of a liberal theory of justice that continues to define current academic conversations about social justice and public policy.  This paper offers a basic introduction and defense of Rawls's theory, explaining both the basic framework of liberal justice and the practical implications for how liberals conceive the just society.

 

Marianne McInnes-Miller, Alliant University, “Measuring Spirituality in the Spiritual Issues in Supervision Scale: Ethical Implications”

     The Spiritual Issues in Supervision Scale (SISS) is a Likert-type instrument that measures the frequency with which spirituality is attended to in clinical supervision of counseling. No one has explored the ethical implications of operationalizing spirituality in the SISS. The presenter will initially contextualize her definition of spirituality in the SISS, and then she will address possible ethical repercussions of reducing such a complex concept to a simple definition, and using this definition in a measurement of individuals’ experiences in clinical supervision.

 

Jonathan McRay, Tangly Woods Homestead, “The Meek Shall Inherit the Land: Jesus and the Galilean Kingdom of God”

     Jesus’ vision of the kingdom of God grows from the soil and seasons of the Lower Galilee and the sea. In this fertile ecotone where creation and empire overlap, Jesus enacts the transfigured earth through social renewal, liberation from debt and occupation, and love of enemies. In a way, the kingdom of God is like ecosynthesis, which is the evolution of native and exotic species into new ecosystems. This interpretation offers ground for bioregional engagement without baptizing the state, sectarian withdrawal, or nostalgia for Christendom. Instead, transfiguration of the earth is reinhabitation: empowering people to live well together in place.

 

Logan Mehl-Laituri, Duke University, “Minding the Prophet Margin: Just War, Accountability, and the Private Military Contract”

     First World nations have increasingly been fighting wars with the assistance of Private Military Contractors (and/or Companies--PMCs) without uniform allegiances to any one country. Modern notions of justice in war, however, are built around the sovereignty of the nation-state, not commercial entities. This paper will explore what constitutes accountability for PMCs and what relevancy accounts such as "Just War" retain in modern conflict that includes non-state actors, as well as explore the need for prophetic distance provided for by the theological accounts of Just War.

 

Glen Metheny, Harding University, “Ethics and the Millennial”

     A study from the Josephson Institute revealed that 64 percent of today’s high school students report having cheated on a test in the past year, while 30 percent have stolen from a store. Yet despite such statistics, the Institute reports that 93% of all high school students reported being satisfied with their ethics. We are quickly becoming a nation unrestrained by truth. The weakness of character in teenagers is only the latest symptom of a willingness to lie that permeates our culture. How, as Christians teaching in higher education, should one handle such issues with a new and different generation?

 

Adam Metz, Alum Creek Church of Christ, Lewis Center, OH, “The ‘Power’ of Sports: Theological Reflections on American Sports as Exousiai

     In a statement during which the NCAA announced sanctions following their investigation of Penn State University, NCAA President Mark Emmert remarked: “One of the grave dangers stemming from our love of sport is that the sports themselves can become too big to fail, indeed, too big to even challenge.” Such a description greatly resounds with the New Testament notion of “powers” and “principalities.” This paper seeks to articulate the cultural manifestation of sports according to Paul's use of exousiai and explores ways in which sports functions both within its God-given intention and within its nature as a Fallen Power. 

 

Lynn Mitchell, Jr., University of Houston, “Lower Rio Grande Valley Churches and Civil Rights”

     The historians in Churches of Christ have lacked an adequate record of the social justice and ecumenical activity of the churches in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. This region was a nurturing ground for numerous young preachers. More is written about their personal negatives than the rightful accounts of bringing African-American members of Churches of Christ to the Valley after they faced numerous social obstacles in Gallatin, TN. This paper highlights the efforts of preachers like Wendell Scott in an effort to record the previously overlooked Civil Rights activities of African-American and Mexican-Americans. 

 

Matthew Morine, Castle Rock Church of Christ, Castle Rock, CO, “Assessing and Developing a Missional Climate in an Established Church”

     Transitioning an established congregation to a missional congregation is a precarious process. The dissertation was a journey by seven members to assess the readiness of the Castle Rock Church to become missional. Instead of charging into the missional frontier, the team explored the health of the congregation and gauged the receptivity of the members to the missional activities. There were five action research cycles to understand the theological, cultural, and systemic dynamics that undergird the congregation. Through three years of missional activities, the team through trial and error stimulated positive progress in this missional journey. 

 

John Nugent, Great Lakes Christian College, “Kingdom of Priests: An Underdeveloped Image of the Church”

     Key dimensions of Israel’s priesthood helpfully illuminate the church’s role in this world. This essay draws upon a wide array of Old Testament texts pertaining to the origin and function of Israel's priests to show how churches ought to emulate Levitical cities of old. To fulfill their priestly vocation, they ought to be cities of exile, cities of refuge, cities of sacrifice, and cities on a hill. After establishing the biblical background for each type of city, this essay discusses the different roles that God, unbelieving powers, and the church have been called to play within each type.

 

Terrance Olson and Lloyd Newell, Brigham Young University, “A Moral Stating Point for Moral Education”

     Assume that moral excellence is more fundamental than intellectual excellence. To offer the kind of moral education that invites individuals to live ethically, we must account ontologically for how we are sometimes moral and ethical, and sometimes not. This problem is illustrated in a question posed by the Lord: “Why call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46, KJV). Moral education must show the answer to the Lord’s question and account for how we can understand a moral truth (e.g., the Golden Rule), yet deceive ourselves and not live by it (1 John 1:6-8).

 

Olga Pahom, Texas Tech University, "Biblical Rhetoric in Louis May Alcott’s Civil War Stories"

     Louisa May Alcott’s use of biblical concepts in her Civil War stories creates a convincing model for accomplishing urgently needed political and social changes. Focusing on slavery, gender inequality, and suffering in Hospital Sketches, “M.L.,” and “An Hour,” Alcott uses the concepts of faith, hope, and love from 1 Corinthians as rhetorical devices and as solutions that would lead to the abolition of slavery and gender inequality. Alcott’s subversive handling of these biblical themes resonated with her nineteenth-century audience and highlights the importance of biblical rhetoric in the cause of abolition and the remedying of injustices.

 

Mark Parker, Grand Central Church of Christ, Parkersburg, WV, “Transforming Leaders: Spiritual Formation Among Master of Divinity Students at Harding School of Theology”

     Seminaries concern themselves with the spiritual formation of ministers in training. How they understand such formation and how they seek to promote it depends largely on how the seminary relates spiritual formation to its academic goals. This project utilized an action research team for a two-year qualitative study to investigate the state of spiritual formation at Harding School of Theology and give focused attention to improving it. During this two-year period the team utilized chapel experiences, interviews, and case studies to demonstrate various approaches a seminary might take to enhance spiritual formation.

 

Branson Parler, Kuyper College, “Pioneering Culture: John Howard Yoder, the Church, and the Common Good”

     The church must be properly distinct from the world so that it can truly serve the world. This essay argues that John Howard Yoder’s theology of culture avoids both self-enclosed, tribalistic sectarianism and compromised, syncretistic Constantinianism. The Christian community is called apart from the broader culture in order to pioneer new forms of culture for the sake of the broader culture and the common good. This essay explores how Yoder’s view of the church/world distinction, the sacraments, and the transformation of culture all inform a biblical theology of culture that is relevant to an increasingly post-Christian world. 

 

Elaine Phillips, Gordon College, “‘The Prayer of the Upright’: Confession, Accusation, and Intercession in Wisdom Literature Prayers.”

     Confessional and academic communities potentially collide in undertaking a study of prayer. In the Wisdom Literature, however, that collision is fruitful. Paradoxically, God’s oft-felt absence in the anguish of human experience drives us to prayer as we seek to transcend our own frailty and cling to our trust in our compassionate and loving God. These darker experiences and the resultant agonizing questions are the very basis of Job and Ecclesiastes, but there are also significant glimpses into prayer in Proverbs as well.

 

Nathan Pickard, Newmarket Church of Christ, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, “Children’s Participation in the Lord’s Supper”

     Stone-Campbell Movement churches historically mark boundaries for participation in the Lord’s Supper. For example, most congregations exclude children because of theologies of the table and children developed through particular interpretations of Scripture. If, however, the church roots a theology of the table in the Messianic banquet and the table etiquette of Jesus, is there space for children? If congregations make room for children, what might they accomplish? Does the practice of welcoming children to the table find roots in the larger narrative of Scripture? This work explores theologies empowering children to participate in the Lord’s Supper, thus forming their spiritual identity.

 

Amanda Pittman, Duke University, “Catholics, Communists, and Civil Rights: Political Engagement and Churches of Christ in the Civil Rights Era”

     Churches of Christ were no strangers to political activity when the Civil Rights era began; however, writers and leaders were slow to mention it in positive light. As a basis of this hesitancy, the church was growing strong in their anti-Catholic and anti-Communist sentiments as they viewed church and state. Churches of Christ took the view that if it wasn’t threatening their religious freedom of expression, it was better to remain uninvolved, including the battle against racial discrimination. This paper examines the reaction of the church during the Civil Rights era which brings into question the relationship between faith and political involvement.

 

Michael Potts, Methodist University, “A Thomistic Critique of Transhumanism”

     Transhumanism holds that through technological progress a human being can transcend bodily  limitations. Human nature is indefinitely malleable, irrelevant, or nonexistent. This paper develops a Thomistic case against transhumanism. It begins by defending the notion of a common human nature.  Next it defends the position that human beings are body-soul unities. The soul is non-mechanistic and irreducible to the material components of the body, opposing the transhumanist acceptance of physicalism. The essentiality of bodily existence refutes the belief that human beings will eventually transcend their bodies. If the Thomistic theory of human personhood is well-grounded, transhumanism fails as a research program.

 

Kate Powell, Independent Scholar, "Meditating on the Past: My Reimagining of Rilke’s Reimaginings"

     As an artist and art historian working within the Christian tradition, the inescapable tension between borrowing and originality inspires me.  My current endeavor, an artist book inspired by poet Rilke's Book of Hours, revels in appropriation. Not only will the book quote the poems, it will also pay homage to the tradition of medieval Books of Hours. This paper will use the artistic process to analyze the friction between originality and appropriation. It will also address the ethics of quoting Rilke’s poetry and referencing the medieval manuscript tradition in today’s society of copyrights and intellectual property.

 

David Pritchett, Independent Scholar, “Soil and Salvation: Place and the Dialectic of History in Isaiah’s Oracles of Hope”

     From the beginning of Genesis when God breathes life into clay, the scriptures acknowledge an intimate link between humanity and the earth. This essay examines the prophetic corpus of Isaiah in light of that theme, arguing that in Isaiah’s visions, restoration coincides with a people living rightly in place. Salvation, according to Isaiah, has the feel of fertile soil and the taste of grapes. Following this earthy eschatology, the paper ends with a call for disciples to re-inhabit their own places with a bioregional faith attuned—like Isaiah’s oracles—to history as well as humus. 

 

 

Zack Rearick, Georgia State University, "Putting on 'The Brute': A (Christian) Reading of Savageness as Performance in the Abolition Poems of William Cowper"

 

     Of all major 18th-century British poets, William Cowper argues most passionately that slavery shames England and affronts God. Cowper contends that slaves’ speech, actions, and dispositions—all used by slavery supporters to justify racist views—are not just culturally inscribed upon them, but are also (begrudgingly) performed by them. Cowper writes that slaves are forced to abandon their “generous nature” with the result that each “puts on the brute.” This reading of “savageness” as willed performance raises compelling questions about the arbitrariness of the savage/European dichotomy and about the link between these performances and the “blasphemy” of the European slave trade.

 

Carson Reed, Abilene Christian University, “Minister Transitions: Work Adjustment Theory and God’s Call”

     Research in career theory in recent years has developed a number of theories that inform guidance counselors, psychologists, and therapists in their work with clients regarding career and career development. This paper is an initial exploration of work adjustment theory (Person-Environment Correspondence Theory) and how it might inform ministers and congregations in matters of longevity, satisfaction, and the particular role that ministers play within ecclesial communities. 

 

Brad Reid, Lipscomb University, “A Historical Overview of Corporate Social Responsibility as Written in the Harvard Business Review”

     This article briefly reviews the development of corporate social responsibility as reflected in the pages of the Harvard Business Review. The HBR has sufficient history and prestige to be representative of developing management thought from 1924 until 2012. The results indicate that while the concept of corporate social responsibility has a long history, the particular expression has changed and become more central to authors over time.

 

Charles Rix, Oklahoma Christian University, “Who is Watching the Children? Ethics of Responsibility in the Story of Cain and Abel”

     The Bible’s first question dealing with fraternal relationships “Am I my brother’s keeper?” raises key questions about relational responsibility: who is “the keeper” of whom and why does it matter? As the notion of being a “keeper” and a “watcher” is elsewhere associated with YHWH in the Hebrew scriptures, the issue arises as to whether or not Cain’s question suggests that in some way YHWH shares responsibility for Abel’s demise. This paper employs Mikhail Bakhtin’s literary theories of dialogism and heteroglossia to illuminate ways in which Cain’s question may be heard and interpreted and the attending ethical implications of each reading.

 

Matt Roberson, Abilene Christian University, “Truth in Musical Design: Sonata Form in the Age of Enlightenment”

     Over the past few decades, the Christian academy has conversed broadly about the purposes of Christian education and the integration of faith and learning, and more recently there has been talk of “enlarging the conversation” and moving “beyond integration.” Regardless of how we frame these issues, converting theory into pedagogical praxis continues to present difficulties for professors. How does the teaching of math or music look different in a Christian classroom than it would otherwise? This paper explores ways that theology informs the teaching of music history, using the topic of sonata form as an example.   

 

Kate Roberts, Duke University, “Social Performance of Whiteness: Ordering Women’s Bodies”

     Held-Evans and cohorts offer a safe progressivism that avoids naming real harms, where the greatest tragedy of conservative evangelical interpretations is women not being able to say “vagina.” Her move to put on the apron of Biblical Womanhood fetishizes conservative Christian women’s lives, placing them as a spectacle upon the Western stage. Likewise, the surrounding conversation presupposes a particular womanhood exists, and only serves to illumine the social impulse to clearly delineate the boundaries of women’s bodies. This paper hopes to elucidate this conversation as a form of whiteness in which Held-Evans’ biblical womanhood can only be affirmed or disavowed by particular bodies. 

 

Beth Robinson, Lubbock Christian University, “A Modern Call of James 1:27”

     The Churches of Christ have a strong history of caring for orphaned and abandoned children.  Yet it has grown more difficult to care for vulnerable children in our society; agencies must understand how to help children process traumatic histories that actually change their brain structure and development. As children have presented with more severe behavioral and emotional issues, many church-supported agencies have left the arena, refusing to take severely traumatized children they feel ill-equipped to help. These agencies understand the call of James 1:27 to care for orphans, but need further training to meet the needs of these children.    

 

Melanie Shaffer, University of Colorado at Boulder, “Openings and Closings: Post-Metaphysical Relationships in Music and Poetry”

     Song and opera are in a constant process of renegotiating their position along the axes of textual and musical importance. Typically our analyses of music are concerned with how the music sets the poetry's form, how the music expresses the poetry, or what interpretive value music gives to the text. When composers set the poetry of authors such as Holocaust survivor Paul Celan, is there a possibility that the form and semiotics of the music inflict meaning upon a text that resists understanding or redemption? This paper explores the possibility of a musico-poetic dimension in which music and poetry function antagonistically.

 

Stephen Shaffer, Carbondale Church of Christ, Carbondale, IL, “The Initiation of Growth-Focused Relationships”

     This DMin project introduced growth-focused relationships involving healthy accountability to the congregation. Growth-focused relationships were motivated theologically using the body image from Romans 12 as the telos of the fully realized human ontology. The community virtues in Romans 12 were applied as practical guides encouraging support and preventing common fears and abuses. Abductive analysis indicated that participants experienced personal growth and improved relationships while avoiding both fear and guilt. Additional discoveries included the participants’ motives and goals for growth, their latent interest in relationships, the importance of training, and the role of leadership associated with the congregational practice.

 

Suzanne Shedd, Abilene Christian University, “‘This Whole Quest for Love’: The Ethics of Myth in The Bachelor"

    Reality television has exploded into a popular culture phenomenon in recent years. With its spike in popularity, reality TV has attracted scholarly interest; however, most attention focuses on audience response to and motivation for viewing programs. I am more concerned with the rhetorical strategies employed in reality television that appeal to viewers and compel them to keep watching. Centering specifically on The Bachelor, I examine the elements of myth and fairytale evident in the show that connects audiences to similar stories pervading our culture and will explore the ethical implications of exploiting myth to promote such a morally questionable show.

 

Dan Shepherd, Indiana Wesleyan University, “Jesus’ Ethical Development of His Disciples: Foundations for Curriculum and Instruction in Character Education”  

     The curriculum of Jesus’ character education system included several key elements. Jesus emphasized the principle of reversibility. This ethical foundation applies to everyone equally, friend and foe alike. Jesus taught that ethics were all-encompassing of a person, including feelings, actions, and motivations. Three primary instructional approaches to teach these character education lessons seem most evident throughout Jesus’ ethical teachings. First, Jesus taught ethical behavior through stories or parables. Second, he reinforced his ethical lessons through practice and guided experiences, and third, the Savior taught his disciples how to live ethically by developing deep and meaningful relationships with them. 

 

Tracy M. Shilcutt, Abilene Christian University, “Pirate Radio and American Offshore Broadcasting, 1964-1967”

     While the 1960s rock 'n' roll era is generally associated with a British musical invasion of the United States, there occurred a counter assault by American music just off the coast of the British Isles.  The offshore radio “pirate” Radio London blitzed the BBC listening audiences with singularly American commercial broadcasting. Broadcasting from a decommissioned U.S. Navy minesweeper, Radio London soon captured the greatest market shares across the British Isles with significant revenue returns. While it was a commercial success, Radio London assaulted the BBC’s sense of moral uplift and created ethical issues for both the British and the Americans.

 

Jon Singleton, Harding University, “Identifying with Saul and Sissera: Brontë’s Anti-heroine as a Case Study of the Ambiguous Ethics of Bringing up the Bible in Public”

     Lucy Snowe, the anti-heroine of Villette, repeatedly identifies with all the wrong characters of the Bible as a way of conveying her psychological suffering as a lonely, marginalized (Protestant) English teacher in a dark and unfriendly (Catholic) European city. Her backwards-seeming Bible-reading illuminates the socio-political consequences of the ways we identify with biblical narratives. Brontë’s anti-heroine subverts her own contemporaries’ easy equations of affluence with divine favor. She goads us, as well, to reconsider the place of the Bible in twenty-first century popular culture and public discourse.

 

David Skelton, Florida State University, “Parody as a Discourse of Resistance in Esther 6:1–14: A Bakhtinian Analysis”

     I examine the comedic language in Esther 6:1-14 through the lens of Mikhail Bakhtin to explore parody’s function as a discourse of resistance. The Triumph of Mordecai brings together the dialogical hybrid of imitation, legitimation, and subversion with the carnivalesque vision of renewal and rebirth through laughter in the public square. Mordecai’s kingly procession, while not overthrowing Persian rule, subtly resists it by making Persian authority appear as one-sided, contradictory, and absurd. In doing so, this comedic tale gives Esther’s audience a means of self-preservation in a hostile world.

 

Kara Slade, Duke University, “Dilbert Agonistes: War and the Business of Engineering Education”

     Articles in the popular press regularly proclaim “our” need for graduates trained in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).  Who is the “we” in these accounts, and what needs are engineers and other practitioners of technology being expected to fulfill?  This presentation will address the extent to which engineering education in the United States is tied to the desires of the defense industry, as well as the implications of this relationship for those who teach and those who learn in technologically-oriented professions.

 

David M. Smith and Samuel L. Seaman, Pepperdine University, “Determinants of a Socially Responsible Transaction: A Critical Analysis”

     God created the heavens and the earth. A thankful humanity should acknowledge the grandeur of His creation, acting in ways that preserve and enhance it. We propose that socially responsible agents are guided by such principles and that they engage in honest transactions; specifically, that they advocate a socially responsible approach to pricing. The nature of value creation (and pricing in particular) in a business transaction is analyzed via a multidisciplinary eco-systemic approach that accounts for “social, cultural, and environmental vulnerabilities.” We seek help from Aristotle, Aquinas, Biblical scholars, and contemporary economists in defining such terms and developing the methodology.

 

Daniel Sorensen, Oklahoma Christian University, “An Accounting Ethics Intervention Based on the Moral Philosophy of Adam Smith”

     Improvement of the ethical reasoning and behavior of accountants is a key concern for the accounting profession and for higher education in accounting.  A number of scholars have proposed virtue ethics as an appropriate moral framework for the accounting profession.  Adam Smith, the “father of modern economics”, wrote an important work on moral philosophy, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. It contains important insights on moral virtues and the seminal concepts of sympathy and of the Impartial Spectator. This research tested the effectiveness of an intervention in accounting ethics education based on the moral philosophy of Adam Smith.

 

Robert Stewart, Texas Tech University, “The Researcher’s Spirituality as an Ethical Factor in the Measurement of Spirituality”

     An interesting and conceivably troublesome factor in the study of spirituality is the influence of the researcher’s own spirituality. It is a factor of ethical tensions inherent when a researcher’s spiritual interests and values motivate her particular approaches to studying spirituality, including how the researcher defines and chooses to measure spirituality. This paper will address these ethical tensions by drawing broadly from literature on social science ethics and from particular studies of spirituality. This review should provide recommendations to guide spirituality researcher’s navigation of the tensions.

 

Michael Strickland, Amridge University, “The Evangelical Scholar’s Ethical Dilemma, or When Critical Findings are at Odds with the Faith Community: The Trials of A.B. Bruce and Robert Gundry”

     This paper explores the trials of two evangelical scholars. In 1889 Alexander Balmain Bruce offered several redaction-critical observations in his publication, The Kingdom of God. So much controversy erupted in Bruce’s fellowship that he faced a heresy trial. Almost a century later, Robert F. Gundry’s Commentary on Matthew suggested that Matthew made major redactional changes to his sources. Gundry subsequently faced a trial from the Evangelical Theological Society in which his orthodoxy was challenged. This paper examines both trials, their differing outcomes, and possible wisdom to be gleaned, especially with regard to source and redaction critical approaches to the Gospels.

 

Mark Sullivan, Director of Pharmacy Operations, Vanderbilt University Hospital, “Practicing Compounding in a University Environment”

     Dr. Mark Sullivan, director of pharmacy operations at Vanderbilt Hospital, oversees thousands of drug delivery operations every year.  At Vanderbilt, he has served in numerous roles including staff, clinical, project and management positions. His clinical responsibilities included support of several transplant and medical services. He led teams that implemented multiple automated dispensing systems. He also served on various teams and committees involved with the implementation and support of the computer physician order entry system at Vanderbilt. He will discuss concerns within a major medical center in making certain that drug delivery and compounding choices are economical, efficacious, and safe. 

 

Trevor Thompson, University of Chicago/Abilene Christian University, “Beyond the Mourning Thessalonians: A Reconsideration of 1 Thessalonians 4:13” 

     In the earliest extant Christian document, Paul famously directs the Thessalonians to avoid λuπη (1 Thess 4:13), commonly translated in this passage as “grief” or “mourning.” Interpreters debate whether Paul is absolutely prohibiting grief qua grief or simply rejecting a manner of grief found among those “without hope.” The noun λuπη, and cognates, had a broad semantic range encompassing both physical and emotional pain. This paper will seek to argue that Paul is not concerned with mourning for the deceased. Rather, Paul seeks to remove the mental distress of uncertainty about the deceased from Christ-believers in Thessaloniki.

 

Amanda Thorpe, Cornerstone University, “The Case for Christian Worldview Integration in Professional Education”

     The integration of faith and learning is an essential component of Christian professional education. In order to truly impact students and develop intellectual excellence, the entire framework of professional education must be built on the foundation of the Christian worldview model. By using a Christian worldview model, instructors can foster distinctively Christian patterns of thinking within the context of rich and varied content area learning. This is of particular importance in the area of undergraduate and graduate level teacher preparation, where it is absolutely essential that learners receive the ethical, moral, and professional training required to make a difference of eternal significance in the world around them.

 

Ted Troxell, Central Michigan University, “The Politics of Practice: Postanarchism and Theology in Conversation”

     This essay explores the relationship between theologian John Howard Yoder’s ecclesiological reflections in Body Politics and postanarchist theorist Todd May’s political philosophy in Our Practices, Our Selves. May sees practice as a primary point of analysis in postanarchist thought; Yoder puts forward a particular set of practices as being formative for the church in a way that is both consistent with and complementary to postanarchist thought. May’s postanarchist critique offers analytical tools for understanding the contemporary world on its own terms, while Yoder’s ecclesiology offers resources for postanarchism to flesh out a politics on the ground.

 

William Lofton Turner, Betts Chair, Dept. of Human & Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University, Health Care Inequities Among the Underserved

     Dr. Turner is a world-recognized expert in the following areas: 1) the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based, family focused prevention and intervention programs in community settings using community-based participatory methods; 2) the development of culturally sensitive and appropriate family therapy intervention strategies in clinical and community settings; and 3) the translation of clinical and basic research to health policy related to finding solutions to mental and physical health disparities in America's poor and minority families in both rural and urban settings. He will present in combinations of these areas.

 

Tess Varner, University of Georgia, “Justice for Nonhuman Nature: The Contested Environmental Voice and John Dewey’s Moral Imagination”

     While many agree that there is a Christian obligation for creation care, the extent to which we must take such care is widely disputed. Even more challenging are questions about how we might ever know what our obligations are to nonhuman stakeholders. In this paper I identify a rich resource for justice for nonhuman nature in John Dewey’s concept of the moral imagination, which can be extended to apply to the kinds of transactions through which we can be “in conversation” with nonhuman nature. The moral imagination, in this sense, may allow members of a given biotic community to have their interests better represented in the conversation of justice.

 

Adam Vogel, Gordon College, “Optional stopping in the interpersonal rejection literature: Using databases as detectors”

     This paper explores a simple methodology to monitor research integrity and quality in the field of interpersonal rejection. Using correlations between sample size and effect size, optional stopping can be detected. Data from a published meta-analysis of rejection studies were reanalyzed using this method. No significant correlations were observed for any dependent variables suggesting rejection research is not plagued by optional stopping. However, one research group did show a significant correlation between sample size and effect size (r = -.55). A model for online monitoring of research results as a means to detect data fraud will be discussed.

 

Melissa Weaver, Abilene Christian University, “Galadriel and the Power of the Feminine Prophetic”

     Galadriel is undoubtedly one of Tolkien’s most enigmatic female figures while she plays the powerful role of a prophet. I argue that Galadriel’s femininity plays a role in her prophetic power in the way other literature has featured intuitive and prophetic females. My exploration of the feminine prophetic through other mythological works includes the Christian Bible and will illustrate the powerful implications of the feminine prophetic tradition. 

 

Sean Patrick Webb, Texas Tech University, “The Kingdom of God against the State: Conflict with the Government in the Thought of Brigham Young and David Lipscomb”

     Essential to any restoration movement is the construction of an identity which stands outside of, and therefore can critique, contemporary culture. For second-generation leaders Brigham Young and David Lipscomb, antipathy with the state became central to the articulation of this outgroup identity and to its preservation when they felt their churches were being threatened. Though the radically different manifestations of this antagonism reveal the two very different characters of the movements, their common hostility to the state in times of crisis suggests important commonalities in the way corporate identity was constructed in the Stone-Campbell and Mormon restoration movements. 

 

Jess Weeden, Abilene Christian University and Orneita Burton, Abilene Christian University, “The Ethics of Gender-Neutral Work Environments”

     With the existence of single-gender dominated occupations, the push to improve occupational diversity remains important. There have been efforts to create gender-neutral work environments to promote equity and to achieve benefits from diversity. However, societal effects of gender-neutral environments leave unanswered questions. This research considers the ethical ramifications of gender-neutral environments. Our research question “What ethical considerations are important in fostering gender-neutral work environments?” positions quantitative approaches to diversity as both negatively received and ineffective in improving outcomes. Considering Kant’s Categorical Imperative, we examine whether gender-neutral environments are an ethical and sustainable approach to achieve workforce balance and diversification. 

 

Tabitha Westbrook, Liberty University, “The importance of a robust quality-control and quality assurance program in preventing scientific misconduct in psychological research”

     Fraud is a significant concern in psychological research; however, the greater risk is unintentional scientific misconduct. Psychological research is not always well documented and, when combined with high-pressure environments, has led to efficacy misrepresentation. This paper explores how adding quality checks similar to those employed by pharmaceutical research may help to avoid unintentional scientific misconduct in psychology by ensuring reliable data and protecting subjects. Highlights of regulations will be provided in the context of quality management. Through robust quality oversight it is hoped misconduct is addressed before results are published.

 

Lauren Smelser White, Vanderbilt University, “Beyond the Scandal of (Female) Embodiment in Domains of Theological Discourse: A Response to Rachel Held Evans’s Respondents”

     Rachel Held Evans’s mention of female genitalia in Year of Biblical Womanhood sparked reactions of censorship and endorsement, both of which largely neglected her work’s broader theological content. Here, I pose a long-standing question to her respondents: how can we include women in theological exchange without over-determining their contributions in light of their embodiment, but still account for material gender distinctions with socioreligious awareness? Comparing Marcella Althaus-Reid’s and Sarah Coakley’s theological work with gender theory, I highlight Coakley’s answer as the more promising—yet no less demanding—approach for evangelical Christians’ moving beyond the scandal of embodiment in theological discourse.

 

Mark Wiebe, Southern Methodist University, “A Defense of Foreknowledge: Three Challenges Facing Open Theism”

     Open Theism contrasts with more traditional portrayals of providence and freedom by affirming a Libertarian notion of action but denying divine foreknowledge. Open theists believe this move offers a more cogent depiction of the future and free human action, and that it enables a stronger response to the problem of evil. I will focus on the latter contention, offering three challenges. The first two challenges assert the triviality of a move to Open Theism, while the third highlights a fatal dilemma facing any portrayal of providence that excludes foreknowledge.

 

Nathaniel Wiewora, University of Delaware, “'Something New'?: Campbellites and the Book of Mormon”

     Antebellum Campbellites saw quite a bit of themselves in Mormonism, especially in the ways Mormons read the Bible. Accusing them of propagating a new bible or a false scripture, antebellum Campbellites treated the Book of Mormon like any of the other denominationally approved biblical translations. This position dictated how Campbellites could respond to Mormonism. Since Campbellites sacralized the right of the individual to interpret scripture for themselves, they had become increasingly troubled that any interpretation of the Bible was possible. The presence of the Book of Mormon reflects an anxiety that Mormons had taken these impulses to their logical conclusion.

 

E. Don Williams, Lubbock Christian University, “Theatre and the ‘C’ Generation” 

     Eric Bentley’s definition of theatre is, “A performs B for C.” Brecht suggests, “[T]heatre consists in this: making live representations of reported or invented happenings between human beings, and doing so with a view to entertainment.” This paper explores the movement toward “digital theatre” and its attempt to attract an audience Neilson describes as the “connected” or “C” generation while fulfilling the “live” criterion of theatre. It further considers the efforts being made by three groups to navigate theatre into the digital world, and will determine whether they are seeing success, or if it is just “much ado about nothing.” 

 

Vernon L. Williams, Abilene Christian University, “Music as an Anglo-American Cultural Exchange Medium”

     During World War II a new American-style of music made its appearance in England, dominating the Anglo-American cultural exchange that reached dramatic proportions after 1942. American big band music took the British Isles by storm during the war years. Glenn Miller’s arrival in England with his new Army Air Corps Band in 1944 triggered a new blitz for the British. Miller’s band played over eight hundred concerts and aired live concerts on the BBC. The resulting “invasion” signaled a new optimism in wartime Britain and created new tensions between the ethics of prior generations and the emerging post-war world.

 

John T. Willis, Abilene Christian University, “Prayer in the Major Prophets”

     The books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel demonstrate that prayer plays a vital role in the community of faith. Yahweh is anxious to hear and answer the prayers of his faithful people, but requires them to help and support the oppressed, the poor, the widow, and the orphan in daily living. There are various types of prayer: thanksgiving, confession, complaint, supplication, and intercession for others. Praying for self-centered purposes is futile. 

 

Timothy Willis, Pepperdine University, “Kings as Servants: Reading the Prayers of Israel’s Kings.”

     Within the Historical Books of the Old Testament, there are three direct references to individuals praying and what they prayed. All three are kings--David, Solomon, and Hezekiah. This paper examines these three prayers to identify common motifs, showing how these motifs provide important lessons about worship and prayer for modern Christians.

 

Michael Wright, Independent Scholar,“Still and Still Moving: Poetry and Human Connection”

     Poetry is an art form to live with and live in, to carry along with us, to be carried by—it is interpreted through the flux and flood of time.  We come to understanding of the text and of ourselves as we live—an understanding that never finishes, that only contracts and expands, that breathes with us as we breathe.  This ongoing interpretive exchange between poem and self is this article’s subject, with a particular focus on criteria for assessing the spiritual qualities within poetry and a theological framework for engaging poetry outside the boundaries of traditional devotional literature.

 

Michael R. Young, Faulkner University, “Ancient Christian Apps for Integrating Faith and Learning: Silence, Meditation, and Contemplation”

     The exercise of Christian spiritual disciplines of silence, meditation, and contemplation seem almost counter intuitive in a society with instant access to information. The practice of these disciplines appears to particularly run against the grain in education where the applications of new technologies fill the classroom with sound and visual content. Can the spiritual exercises be a source for envisioning the integration faith and learning? The philosophical insights of Gadamer, Ricoeur, and Buber display supportive connections between the spiritual disciplines and the development of attention for learning. These connections are then validated by recent research on contemplative pedagogy and practice.