Conference: Nurturing the Prophetic Imagination

Posted by on November 4, 2009 at 7:18 pm.


Nurturing the Prophetic Imagination

March 24-27, 2010

Point Loma Nazarene University

Co-sponsored by the PLNU Wesleyan Center, Center for Justice and Reconciliation, Writer’s Symposium by the Sea, Center for Pastoral Leadership, and Center for Women’s Studies.

Call For Papers (Deadline Nov. Dec 15)

Plenary speakers:

Bill McKibben: Christian environmental activist, scholar in residence at Middlebury College, and author of Deep Economy, The End of Nature, Hope: Human & Wild, and The Age of Missing Information

Kathleen Norris: Poet and essayist, and author of Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Cloister Walk, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith

Michael Eric Dyson: Professor Georgetown University, author of Can You Hear Me Now?, Come Hell or Highwater: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, Holler if You Hear Me

Emmanuel Katongole: Theologian and priest, associate professor of theology and world Christianity and co-director of the Center of Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School, and author of A Future for Africa, Beyond Universal Reason

Special Guests:

Guest Emcee: We are excited to have Dr. Ron Benefiel join us as our emcee!  Dr. Benefiel is the president for Nazarene Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO). Trained as a sociologist, he is also an ordained minister who has pastored churches in a variety of urban settings. He is author of A Theology of Place: Ministry in Transitional Communities (1996).

Special Event: Dr. William T. Cavanaugh is a professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). He is author of Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ (1998), Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire (2008), and The Myth of Religious Violence (2009). A special conference session will be dedicated to reviewing his most recent book. [Note: This is just a discussion of the book itself. As far as I know, I do not think Cavanaugh will be there. Cavanaugh will in fact be there. See Edie Chapman’s comment below. ]

Download the Conference Schedule (PDF)

When many Christians consider the prophetic imagination, they think of attempts to decipher how the world will end or religiously based movements for social and political change. The biblical understanding of prophecy, particularly as embodied in Jesus and such prophets as Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah, while including both a hope for the future and a critique of the present social and economic situation, also seeks to free believers in Christ to witness to the future of God creatively in the present. The prophetic imagination is, in the light of the gift of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ, a challenge for Christians to question the assumptions, beliefs, and practices that the church often takes for granted. It calls believers in Christ to reflect deeply on the ways that the church has accommodated itself to and allowed itself to be defined by the dominant culture and thereby has been a party to economic and social systems of sin, oppression, and injustice. The prophetic imagination provides a challenge to the church to renew its criticism of the dominant culture and envision a new and vibrant way of being in but not of the world.

This conference will explore various dimensions of the prophetic imagination, especially around the three key movements or stages of encounter with the prophetic imagination: 1) dissatisfaction with and critique of dominant culture; 2) taking responsibility for and learning to lament the extent to which we have been complicit with the sinful and destructive forces of the dominant culture; 3) creatively and hopefully envisaging new modes of being the church in the world and new ways of embodying God’s will for the world.

Call For Papers (Deadline Nov. Dec. 15th)

More info here.