The Jamaica theology conference that I’ve been helping to plan is coming up in just four weeks. It will be held on the campus of my alma mater, the Jamaica Theological Seminary (JTS).
Various details about the conference are now finalized. You can download a one-page conference flyer here.
The keynote speaker had already been announced. He is Dr. Steed Davidson, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible / Old Testament at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
THE ZENAS GERIG MEMORIAL LECTURE—FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
Dr. Davidson will give the sixth annual Zenas Gerig Memorial Lecture. This lecture will not be just for the conference; it will be a public lecture available to the entire community.
Dr. Zenas Gerig was the founder of JTS (in 1960), and its first Principal (he later became the first President). I got to know him when I attended JTS in the seventies; he taught the first formal Bible courses I took at JTS (on the Pentateuch and the Historical Books).
Dr. Gerig was an amazing man who had a significant impact on the church and on theological education both in Jamaica and in the rest of the Caribbean. Not only was he a prime mover behind the Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association, but he founded the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (CGST) in Kingston in 1986.
Dr. Gerig passed away September 14, 2011 and I had the privilege of delivering the first Zenas Gerig Memorial Lecture in September 2012 (my topic was Abraham’s test in Genesis 22, and that presentation has since become a central component in a new book I am working on).
Dr. Davidson’s lecture will be on Friday night, September 8. It is entitled “The Hazards and Opportunities of Sola Scriptura for Caribbean Biblical Interpretation.” Dr. Garnett Roper, current President of JTS, will present a formal response.
You can download information about the keynote lecture, including bios of Dr. Davidson and Dr. Roper, here.
PAPER PRESENTATIONS—SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
After the keynote lecture on Friday night, the conference proper starts on Saturday (September 9), with a variety of paper presentations on topics related to the conference theme, “Biblical Interpretation for Caribbean Renewal.”
We have papers lined up from various theological disciplines and perspectives. Some presenters are coming from the US and Canada, though most are currently living in Jamaica, including professors at Jamaica Theological Seminary and the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology. I will be giving a paper myself, as will Dr. Eric Flett, who was the Zenas Gerig Memorial Lecturer in 2015.
The following paper titles indicate the diversity of topics to be discussed:
- The Parable of the Good Samaritan: A Political Reading from a Caribbean Perspective
- The Anatomy of a Church Healing
- The Inclusive Vision of Isaiah 56 and Contested Ethical Practices in Scripture and the Church: Toward a Canonical Hermeneutic of Discernment
- Food for Thought: The Work of the Spirit and the Dynamics of Disgust in Acts 10
- Word, Sound, and Power: The Religious Imagination of Rastafari Hermeneutics
- Chiastic Contours, Caribbean Hermeneutic, and the Book of Acts
- The Biblical Interpretation of Demonic Possession and Voodoo-Like Possession as the Identity of Evil In Haiti
- Black Identity in Light of Slavery, God’s Sovereignty, and Scripture
- Pastoral Priorities for Biblical Interpretation in the Caribbean
- Contextual Interpretation and the Canonical Narrative: Toward a Holistic Understanding of the Bible
You can download a tentative conference schedule for Friday and Saturday, showing when the various papers will be presented.
And you can download a full list of presenters, paper titles, and abstracts of all the papers here.
Registration is very inexpensive and can be done online on the conference page at the Jamaica Theological Seminary website. Discounted registration is available up to August 15.
Questions about registration can be directed to Dr. Winston Thompson, Vice-president of JTS.
The theology conference is sponsored by the Jamaica Theological Seminary and will be held on their campus, at 14-16 West Ave., Kingston 8, Jamaica, W.I..
The conference is co-sponsored by the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology and the United Theological College of the West Indies.
This interdisciplinary theology conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Jamaica Association of Evangelicals and the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
Maybe I will see you in Jamaica!