The Canadian Evangelical Theological Association

I just returned from the 2014 annual meeting of the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association (CETA), which was part of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, held at Brock University, in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The Congress is an annual meeting of about 80 academic societies and it moves around to a different Canadian university each year.

The CETA meeting was held on May 25 and there were eight excellent papers on topics ranging from violence in the Bible, to the (im)mutability of God, using jazz as a metaphor to understand the church’s mission, and the application of trauma studies to the Hagar narrative in Genesis 16. The meeting was marked by a wonderful sense of collegiality between graduate students, new graduates, and senior scholars. For a schedule of papers and abstracts, click here.

A particular highlight of the CETA meeting was the presence of J. Gerald Janzen (professor emeritus in Old Testament at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, who was born in Saskatchewan). Janzen gave a brilliant paper on Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Not only did his gentle manner and stunning intertextual reading of the New Testament, the Old Testament, and evidence from Hellenistic literature convince those in attendance about the meaning of Paul’s “thorn,” but the paper had profound practical implications for living with under the sign of the cross.

I also gave my “exaugural” address as outgoing president of CETA (yes, that really is a word; the opposite of inaugural). I’ve had the privilege of being president of CETA for the past three years, and I took the opportunity to give a brief history of the organization (including the  rationale for its founding in 1990). I also highlighted some of CETA’s exciting recent initiatives (such as a peer-reviewed journal and an annual Fall conference that moves around to different theological schools). And I shared my vision for the future of CETA. The text of the presidential address is available here.

CETA’s journal, the Canadian Theological Review, is actively soliciting articles and book reviews, which may address any area of theology—including biblical studies, systematic theology, historical theology, practical/pastoral theology, and philosophical theology. Information for contributors can be found here.

CETA will be having its next Fall conference in Toronto, at Wycliffe College on October 18, 2014 and a call for papers will be going out soon.

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