ANZATS 2022

ANZATS 2022

Australia & New Zealand Association of Theological Schools Annual Conference, 2022

Future Theology

3-6 July 2022, Sydney, Australia

The future hastens towards us, not only with challenges, but also possibilities and ambiguities: Artificial Intelligence, biotechnology, transhumanism, virtual realities, social and ecological changes, and a throng of ‘posts’: post-pandemic, post-Christendom, post-democracy, post-Western, post-Whiteness, post-orthodoxy—even, some suggest, post-human.

Christian Scripture and tradition have long provided resources for an orientation toward the future (promise and fulfilment; messianic expectation; resurrection, return, redemption and the renewal of creation). As well as prompting theologies of the future, this orientation also poses the question: what might future theology actually say? What might future biblical scholarship discover, consider, and contribute? And similarly for future practical theology, future ethics, future contextual or constructive theology, future political theology, and even future historical research? What new methods might emerge? What exegetical and doctrinal questions might preoccupy us? What might future pedagogy and formation entail?

The aim of this conference theme is to provoke reflection on what future theology in its various disciplines might say and do, as well as what its future context might look like. While attempts to anticipate the future are inevitably speculative, the likely continuation of current trends and trajectories provides rich material for deliberation; indeed, thinking creatively about ‘future theology’ may even help generate and stimulate that future thinking itself.

A major emphasis for the conference is that theology—whatever its brave new world—might be not just a voice of caution, but a creative, constructive, and contributory voice, speaking hope-fully into public discourse, the academy, and its ecclesial domains.

Our keynote speakers for ANZATS 2022 are Willie James Jennings (Yale University; formerly of Duke and Fuller) and Victoria Lorrimar (Trinity College, Brisbane). It is anticipated that Professor Jennings will address questions of race, theology, contextuality, and pedagogy in future perspective, while Dr Lorrimar will draw on her research specialisms in biotechnological human enhancement, theological anthropology and eschatology to stimulate further conversation and imagination.

Papers will be encouraged particularly from emerging and junior scholars, and those able to offer imaginative and creative contributions. New streams are also likely to be offered to provide alternative spaces for papers in disciplines which find the theme more challenging to engage with.

We hope to be able to gather again, in-person, in beautiful Sydney, for the 2022 National Conference, subject to… the future.