2009 Barth Blog Conference: Introduction

Greetings, and welcome to the 3rd annual Karl Barth Blog Conference hosted here at DET. It is my distinct pleasure to invite all the denizens of the theo-blogosphere to once again come together and discuss Barth’s theological legacy and the fruit that it might bear for us today in our own spheres of theological work. Here is a brief history of the Barth Blog Conference, along with some useful tidbits of information about how the conference will be laid out.
  • The Barth Blog Conference has grown out of the idea I had one day to get a bunch of theo-bloggers together to discuss Barth’s Protestant Theology in the 19th Century. The fruit of that effort became the 2007 conference.
  • Following upon the success of that first endeavor - in terms of the fun that all the contributors had doing it – I began organizing the second conference in 2008. This time we took a well known secondary source (Jüngel’s God’s Being is in Becoming) on Barth as our way in. This time we introduced the “plenary” and “response” post organization, whereby one author posts a lengthier bit, followed by a shorter, pre-arranged response. This helps, I think, to stimulate conversation – and it seemed to work well last year. We continue in this mode again this year.
Emerging from the discussions surrounding last year’s conference was the theme of natural theology or, more specifically, the possibility of natural knowledge of God. Barth is rather well know for rejecting such a position, although he has not always persuaded others that he was right to do so. This year’s conference hopes to provide an opportunity to continue last year’s discussion on this topic while also focusing our attention on an important biblical text with which Barth grappled, namely, Romans 1. Here, then, is the topic of this year’s Barth Blog Conference:

Karl Barth, Romans 1, and the Possibility of Natural Knowledge of God

Upon this topic it is my privilege to present what I think is a strong line-up of plenary posters and respondents, and I hope that we will also have good contributions from the comments section as well. The broader goals of this sort of a blogging event fail if readers do not involve themselves in the discussion, so please do not hesitate to do so. All the conference’s authors look forward to your comments. One final request: if you are a theo-blogger, and you want to support what the Barth Blog Conference is about, don’t hesitate to throw up a link; and if you want to be involved next year, feel free to e-mail me (address in sidebar).

The conference will begin with our first plenary post and response tomorrow. Without further ado, here are this year’s authors:
Lynn Cohick is Associate Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College (IL). Her research focuses on Paul, the early Christian context of Hellenism and the Roman Empire, and women within the Jewish and Christian traditions.

David W. Congdon is a widely know theo-blogger and doctoral student of theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. For those of you who wonder, his blog production has tapered off recently in part because he is working on a book-length theological treatise on the doctrine of providence.

Kevin Davis holds an MTh from Aberdeen, for which he wrote a thesis under the supervision of Francesca Murphy on John Henry Newman's moral epistemology in the assent of faith.

Halden Doerge is a well-known theo-blogger, a member of the Church of the Servant King in Portland, Oregon, an editor for Wipf & Stock Publishers, and the book review editor of The Other Journal.

John Drury is a PhD candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary. His dissertation concerns the resurrection and Karl Barth’s trinitarian theology.

Nathan Hitchcock is a doctoral student in systematic theology at New College, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Eschatology aside, he writes regularly about religious masculinities and men's movements in America.

Jason T. Ingalls received his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2006 and begins a Th.M. at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto this Fall. For the last three years, Jason has ministered through InterVarsity to graduate students at Vanderbilt University, and he currently runs Practicing Peace Consulting.

W. Travis McMaken is the proprietor here at DET, and a doctoral student of theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Shannon Nicole Smythe is a PhD candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her dissertation explores the contours of Barth’s doctrine of justification, arrived at through his exegesis of Romans, in conversation with current scholarship on the apocalyptic theology of Paul.

Shane Wilkins is a Ph.D. student in the Philosophy Department at Fordham University in New York City.
(*Note: The picture above is, for those of you who may not have seen it at least 100 times, of Karl Barth and Emil Brunner. I thought it a fitting banner for this year's blog conference topic.)


Alex said…
Great timing for this topic as I'm about to start reading Barth's Romans commentary for the first time. I'll be keeping an eye out on these posts.
Bobby Grow said…
Look forward to it, bring it on!

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