Lipscomb University

Christian Scholars' Conference

Reconciliation

     Theme for 2019 CSC:

         Pursuing Wisdom:

Goodness, Truth, and Beauty

   June 5-7, 2019

The CSC distinguishes itself through its mission and by enacting the bold claims that we are:

  • Committed to meeting and exceeding national conference standards in each academic discipline,
  • interdisciplinary (science dialogues with the arts and social sciences interact with theology, for example) and,
  • people of faith. What we mean by “people of faith” is better described than pronounced. So, I include for your consideration (and use) the following prayer, by Professor Leslie Reed, from a recent conference:

A prayer by Leslie Reed

Merciful God, who is both Lord and loving parent, we bow before you today. We acknowledge your presence and your power.

You are the Faithful One. You are One Who Sees. You are One Who Acts.

From generation to generation you have raised up those whom you have called to action – women and men through whom your hand has moved, bringing about reformation, release, restoration, relief, reconciliation, renewal.

We bear witness to those who have gone before us. We honor them, and give thanks for the works you accomplished through them.

We are grateful today for the opportunity to be here, engaging with our brothers and sisters, seeking to enliven our minds and refresh our spirits in community with one another.

We thank you for this opportunity and for the gifts of the mind. But even as we rejoice in the community around us, we see beyond it. We see the brokenness, the poverty, the racial tension, the ideological conflicts round about us. We see wrath, powers, cruel hate. We see injustice. Give us your eyes that we may see indeed.

Convict our hearts and embolden our spirits that we might be agents of change. Let us not only see and know, but bring us to action. Show us how to use the gifts and privilege you have lent us to work your restoration in the world around us. Let us bring your renewal to our universities, our communities, and our churches.

We long to see your will done and your peace reign.  

We look to your hand and await you.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day. Preserve us with your mighty power that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity, but in all we do direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray,

Amen.

2019 Plenary Speakers

David Brooks

The CSC is thrilled to have David Brooks headline the 2019 CSC. Brooks is one of America's most prominent political commentators who writes a bi-weekly OpEd column for the New York Times and is a regular analyst on PBS NewsHour and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. David has a gift for bringing audiences face to face with the spirit of our times with humor, insight and quiet passion. David's most recent book, The Road to Character, explores the path to a deeper inner life and explains why selflessness leads to greater success. His previous books include The Social AnimalOn Paradise Drive, and Bobos in Paradise. He worked at The Wall Street Journal for nine years and has written for The New YorkerForbesThe Washington Post, and other periodicals.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye is an award-winning Palestinian-American poet, writer, and educator. Nye is Professor of Creative Writing - Poetry at Texas State University. Having written and/or edited over 30 volumes, poetry books, essays, short stories, and anthologies, her most recent book is Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners, and her upcoming book of poems is entitled The Tiny Journalist; the release of which is expected for April, 2019. Her children's novel The Turtle of Oman was chosen a Best Book of 2014, a Notable Children's Book in 2015, and was awarded the 2015 Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature. She has been featured on National Public Radio, The Writers Almanac, and two PBS poetry specials. Nye describes herself as a "wandering poet". Drawing on her Palestinian-American heritage, her travel experiences and the cultural diversity of her home, she uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity. 

2019 Lectures

Miroslav Volf

We are pleased to announce that Miroslav Volf will return to the CSC, this time in Lubbock and as the Landon Saunders Lecturer on the Human Being at the Nexus of World and Faith. Miroslav Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He has earned doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with highest honors) from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He has written or edited more than 20 books and over 100 scholarly articles. His most significant books include Exclusion and Embrace, and Allah: A Christian Response. His next book, For the Life of the World: Theology that Makes a Difference, co-authored with Matthew Croasmun, is scheduled for release in January, 2019. 

Katharine Dell

With our focus on Wisdom, Katharine Dell is the perfect scholar to present the fifth annual J.J.M. Roberts lecture in OT studies at the 2019 CSC in Lubbock, Texas. If you were to ask biblical scholars to list the five most significant biblical wisdom experts currently in the world, most lists would contain the name of Katharine Dell. Ever since her dissertation under John Barton at Oxford University on the book of Job, in which she challenges its categorization as wisdom literature, Professor Dell has been a creative and seminal force within the field. She has published extensively, but most notable are her The Book of Proverbs in Social and Theological Context and Interpreting Ecclesiastes: Readers Old and New. Dell has published both an introduction to the Wisdom Literature, Get Wisdom, Get Insight and of the Old Testament, Opening the Old Testament. She has also co-edited volumes on the intertextuality in Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. Recently she published a spirited response to the New Atheists, such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, Who Needs the Old Testament. She is co-editor of the forthcoming New Oxford Bible Commentary and co-authoring a forthcoming book on Ecclesiastes (International Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament). Professor Dell is currently Reader in Old Testament Literature and Theology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St. Catharine’s College. She is from a clergy family and a member of the Church of England, where she preaches occasionally.

2019 Special Events

Remnant Trust Exhibit

The 2019 CSC will feature a rare and remarkable exhibit from the Remnant Trust Exhibit. The Remnant Trust Exhibit makes available a world class collection of manuscripts, first and early edition works in original form. The Trust's vision is to provide opportunities for individuals to hold, examine, and discuss classic literary works that are usually unavailable.

To give you a sneak peek of what to look forward to at this exhibit, the following are just five of the dozens of documents that will be available during the CSC:

  • Abraham Lincoln (Emancipation Proclamation, 1st ed., 1862)
  • Aesop's Fables (1st ed., 1692)
  • Aquinas (Incunable, 1475, Summa Theologiae Pars Secunda)
  • Calvin (Institutes, 1st Octavo, 1578)
  • Frederick Douglas (Equality of All Men Before the Law, 1st ed., 1865)

About the Christian Scholars’ Conference

The mission of the Christian Scholars' Conference is to create and nurture an intellectual and Christian community that joins individuals and institutions to stimulate networks of scholarly dialogue and collaboration.

The conference was created in 1981 under the direction of Dr. Thomas H. Olbricht, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Pepperdine University, and has since been hosted by several universities associated with Churches of Christ. The conference calls together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in the liberal arts, sciences, business, law, education and medicine to develop their own academic research and to reflect on the integration of scholarship and faith. 

In service to its mission, the CSC has adopted a model wherein the conference is hosted at Lipscomb University and every fourth year rotates to  a supporting university. Our recent history and future plans:

Lipscomb University (2008-10)

Pepperdine University (2011)

Lipscomb University (2012-2014)

Abilene Christian University (2015)

Lipscomb University (2016; June 7-9, 2017; June 6-8, 2018)

Lubbock Christian University (June 5-7, 2019)

Lipscomb University (2020-2022)

The conference is funded by registration fees and the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars' Conference Endowment Fund.  If you would like to contribute to the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars' Conference Endowment Fund, please click here.*