Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy


Call for papers:  Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy 2014

Answering Dystopia: Christian Hope and the Promised End

July 15-19, 2014 Regent’s Park College Oxford

The intuition that the world has already or may soon go desperately awry seems to be a commonly accepted theme in both popular entertainment as well as natural and social sciences, humanities, and the arts. Dystopian films, games, novels, and music suffuse our culture without challenge from the academy. Although dystopias apparently arise in every culture and time, we live in an age of particularly pervasive anxiety about the present and future.

Dystopias raise questions about the desperation of our present circumstances and its causes and focus on averting the coming crisis or surviving it by adhering to stable values.  Dystopias do not often overtly frame the question “where is God in the midst of our suffering?” but as Christian scholars we bear such inquiry as our unique responsibility.

Knowing that “in the Lord our labor is not in vain” (1 Co 15:58), Baptists profess a personally and socially redemptive hope grounded in the love of God, the incarnation of Christ, and the abiding witness of the Spirit. Alongside faith and charity, the gift of Christian hope especially helps us avoid the errors of despair and presumption alike, enabling us to address the anxieties of our age in a spirit simultaneously given to humility and magnanimity.

The 2014 Summer Seminar of Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy, meeting in Regent’s Park College in Oxford University, will convene in order to explore the questions posed by dystopian visions, as well as to answer such questions in a theologically responsive fashion.

We invite 500-word paper proposals from Baptist scholars, whether in Baptist institutions or not, and from any academic discipline that (a) critically examine dystopian visions and (b) reflect upon biblical, ecclesiological, eschatological, ethical, philosophical, sociological, or other theological resources apt for answering the dystopian apprehensions of our age.


Paul Fiddes, Oxford University – Senior Scholar

John Schmalzbauer, Missouri State University – Consultant


Planning team –Beth Newman (Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond) Doug Henry, (Baylor University), Brad Creed (Samford University) Andy Chambers (Missouri Baptist University), Sheila Klopfer, (Georgetown College), Roger Ward (Georgetown College)




The seminar will be held in a partnership with Regent’s Park College in the University of Oxford, located in “the city of gleaming spires.” Prospective participants may apply by submitting a 500-word abstract and CV by March 1, 2014. Submissions are welcomed from any scholar identifying with the Baptist tradition, with preference given to junior level faculty at Baptist colleges and universities. Seminar participants will receive a $1000 stipend or qualified travel support, lodging, and meals. Further information is available by contacting:

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