Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy
July 14-17, 2015
Regent’s Park College, Oxford
John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress stands alongside the West’s great books. Baptists historically have cherished it: it is their singular contribution to the canon. More than that, its dramatic allegorization of Christian life embodies abiding Baptist convictions.
Bunyan’s trope of a pilgrim’s progress aptly expresses biblically-grounded Baptist insights and practices in such varied dimensions of Christian witness as doxology, ecclesiology, eschatology, ethics, evangelism, ministry, and political economy, among others. For when we, like Bunyan’s protagonist, Christian, live as “strangers and sojourners” (1 Pet 2:11), we dwell gratefully in the land as God’s people, use wisely the resources of the earthly city without seeking to dominate it, pass faithfully through temptations posed by the Slough of Despond and Vanity Fair, and progress in hope toward loving communion in God’s Celestial City.
YSBA invites paper proposals addressing these and related aspects of Baptist faith connected to “pilgrim’s progress.” Prospective participants need not directly engage Bunyan’s allegory, although they are indeed invited and encouraged to do so. Participants selected for the seminar will have opportunities to examine early editions of Pilgrim’s Progress, visit the Bedford jail where Bunyan’s faithful resistance landed him, and see firsthand other historically significant sites of Baptist significance.
Senior Scholar: Curtis Freeman, Duke Divinity School
Travel and Commentary Scholar: Paul Fiddes, Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Oxford and Principal Emeritus of Regent’s Park College
- Kimlyn Bender, George Truett Theological Seminary
“A Pilgrim People: An Eschatological Vision for Understanding the Communio Viatorum of the Risen and Ascended Christ“
- Jordan Fannin, Baylor University, Ph.D. Candidate
“The Promise and Temptation of Allegory: Reading the Possibility of Pilgrimage in (Baptist) Bunyan and (Catholic) O’Connor“
- Nick Mumejian, Hartford Seminary, Ph.D. Candidate
“Lesslie Newbigin on a Pilgrimage of Dialogue: Or A Pilgrim’s Progress Through Interfaith Dialogue“
- Scott Ryan, Baylor University, Ph.D. candidate (Baptist College and University Scholar)
“Journeying In Hope: Paul’s Letter To The Romans And John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress And The Holy War In Conversation“
- Matthew Smith, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor”
Pilgrims in the Labyrinth: Auto-Didactic Utopian Interiority in the Allegorical Works of John Bunyan and John Amos Comenius“
- D.H. Dilbeck, Oklahoma Baptist University
“The Christian Pilgrimage of a Liberal Arts Education: John Bunyan’s Lessons for Learning in Exile and Learning for Freedom“