The conference ended Saturday, and I am still recovering from the 20 or so presentations I attended. My Saturday presentations were:
“Origen and the Christian Canon of the Old Testament”
“The Clothing of Divinity: Scripture as Incarnation According to Origen”
“Origen and the ‘Tractus de epithalamio’ of Gregory of Elvira”
“Origen and Africanus on the Hebrew Criterion of Canonicity”
“Can a Heavenly Body be Disabled?
“Resurrecting Deformities: Augustine on Scars and Marks on Heavenly Bodies”
“The Rhetoric of Heaven: Augustine’s Exposition on the Psalms of Ascent”
There is no human bliss equal to twelve hours of work with only six hours in which to do it.” Anthony Trollope
I am in Chicago visiting my son, Jon, and participating in the NAPS annual meeting. About 200 or so scholars are in attendance.
The days are essentially presentations of papers by graduate students. Each day has 4 sessions for papers plus two plenary sessions. Each sessions has about 8 to 10 topics you can choose from, and within that topic there are 3 25 minute papers.
The first session I went to was titled “Other Latin Nicenes I.” The papers were “Phoebadius and the Beginnings of Latin Nicene Theology,” “The Christology of Gregory of Elvira,” and”The Eschatology of Hilaryof Poitier’s Tractatus super Psalmos: Eternal Life in the Body of Christ.”
The second session I went to was titled “Theodoret, Leontius, and Symeon” The papers were “Peace as A Criterionoif Successful Rulership in Theodoret’s Ecclesiastical History,” “Relationship or Person? Reassessing Leontius of Byzantium’s Notion of Hypostasis,” and “Symeon the New Theologian: Singing the Divine Reality.”
Following the afternoon sessions there was a plenary speaker addressing the evolution of preaching Constantine, particularly tracing the change from education to inspiration in homiletical style. It was fascinating and entirely relevant to our day. The task of catechesis remains. Of course, it has given way to the affections as the dominant motif, but many church fathers did not give up the teaching aspect of pastoral ministry.
Today is more of the same, except we have a full day. Yesterday was the beginning of the conference with things starting off at noon.
Part of my strategy is to attend those workshops which focus on church fathers of whom I know very little even if the other workshops have more interesting subjects but in which I have some background. I want to broaden my awareness of the period in church history and pick up reading resources so I can continue to learn after the conference. Of course, the bookstore in phenomenal. This is not your typical Christian bookstore. The titles alone are an education. Once again, I will not be picking up any books, but I am jotting down the titles of ones I may read through library loan, though most of these are not available even that way.
Inter Varsity Press is represented with all of their early church resources. A great offering by IVP and a surprise. The only way it could have been done was through special gifts. If I spent any money (and I am not!!!!) I would buy some of the IVP volumes.
Well, off to the conference. More to report later on.
Confront the dark parts of yourself. … Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. August Wilson
With most categories of books you are aiming to make as much money as possible, with poetry you are aiming to lose as little as possible. TS Eliot
“The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous.” Salvador Dali