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Full Schedule

Below are the full conference schedule and course descriptions. You will also find links to learn more about each of our speakers. 

Times listed are in Central Time; please adjust for your own time zone accordingly.


Meeting God in Scripture: Reading the Bible Honestly and Faithfully

Dr. Gary Selby
February 22, 2024
7:00 PM

This presentation recounts the journey that many take from seeing the Bible as the “owner’s manual,” through experiences of deconstruction, and into what philosopher Paul Ricoeur called the “second naiveté.” It explores hopeful possibilities for reading Scripture honestly—acknowledging the questions and mysteries we find in its pages—but also faithfully, as the “God-breathed” story of God’s self-revelation to the world.


The Fertility of a Text: Mining Biblical Texts for Their Rich, Multiple Levels of Meaning

Fr. Ron Rolheiser
February 23, 2024
9:00 AM

The danger in reading a biblical text is not that we might misunderstand it, but that we might miss most of its meaning and richness. There is a poverty in reading a text in a literal or fundamentalist way because invariably there is more meaning than is evident on the surface. This presentation will highlight the richness of biblical language and use a number of texts from the Gospels to highlight how biblical texts have various levels of meaning.


When Jesus Sees Women: Personal Connection in Christian Spirituality

Dr. Holly Carey
February 23, 2024
10:45 AM

The recent work I’ve been doing has focused on female discipleship in the gospels. I argue that women are often offered as exemplars of discipleship – by Jesus’s statements, in his teachings, and through his actions toward them. In these stories we see Jesus treating the women he encounters as whole persons, even as their culture did not. What does that mean for our understanding of Christian spirituality? How does the way we read these scriptures (which provide models for our own behavior) impact our own practices of faith as disciples of Jesus?


‘From Broken to Broken Open’: Exploring the Symbolism of the Shattering of the Alabaster Jar (Mark 14:3-9)

Dr. Anne O'Leary
February 23, 2024
2:00 PM

This class seeks examine the account of the unnamed woman who breaks (lit. ‘shatters’) “an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard” in order to anoint the head of Jesus while he is dining at the house of Simon, the leper, in Bethany (Mk 14:3-9). We will explore questions such as: What is the symbolism of the shattering of the alabaster jar of perfumed oil, given that the woman could have simply broken the seal? How does this act of shattering pre-figure the event of the cross? How can the fragments be gathered up, figuratively and theologically speaking, to create a new ‘mosaic’ paradoxically portraying the hoped-for salvation in Jesus Christ?

Further, Mark frames the account of anointing at Bethany with news of those who seek to put Jesus to death (Mk 14:1-2) and the story of Jesus’ friend, Judas, who chooses to betray Jesus so that this end (death) may be accomplished (Mk 14:17-21). How tragic when the agent of death comes from within the community of Jesus’ closest followers. In the light of this, the paper will also reflect on how evil can come to encircle goodness, how good people can sometimes come to be surrounded by those who seek to render them harm, and how death, by whatever cause, is not "the last word."

Commenting on the anointing story in Mark’s Gospel, Susan Miller notes that the woman exhibits "love towards Jesus in the midst of human opposition." As its ultimate end, this class seeks to point readers/hearers toward this goal also.


“I Will Write my Law in Your Heart”: Reading to Receive the Word of God in Our Hearts

Dr. Renata Furst
February 23, 2024
2:00 PM

Learning for inner transformation seems to be a hard lesson for the human heart. But Scripture itself gives us the hope that God will work in our hearts: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.” (Ez. 36:26) The human heart can experience both the message and the process of transformation. For centuries, the vehicle for this transformation to happen has been the practice of Lectio Divina, or Holy Reading. The step-by-step process of Lectio Divina slows us down and allows our hearts and minds the opportunity to absorb the sweetness of God’s word into our inner self.

This breakout explores the origins of the transformation of the human heart in Scripture (Ezekiel, Hebrew, and 2 Corinthians) and allows participants to experience the practice of Holy Reading.


You Do Not Need Anyone to Teach You - (1 Jn2:27b): Word and Spirit in the Johannine Tradition

Dr. Rodolfo Luna
February 23, 2024
2:00 PM

Taken out of context, this statement would preclude any sense of tradition among Johannine Christians. Within the immediate context of a community crisis, it is the author's response to warn his flock about those who would try to persuade them that they were unable to discern Godly things without higher teaching. 1 John can be viewed as a call to remain rooted in the community's experience of Word and Spirit. How do we listen to the Word of God? How do we discern if the Spirit of God is at work in what we understand?


“That the Eyes of the Heart Might be Enlightened”: Jesus and the Spirituality of Ephesians

Dr. Andy Boakye
February 23, 2024
3:30 PM

Ephesians attests to an enigma, a mystery hidden in ages past and unveiled to Paul’s apostolic circle – that by the same power with which God raised the Messiah from the dead, He is orchestrating the cosmic reunification of all things in Messiah. Yet precisely because the resurrection of Jesus violated all redemptive-historical protocols by happening in the present age, resurrection power is unleashed, commencing the great unification by firstly unifying Jew and gentile, then unifying the risen Christ and the believing assembly (symbolised in spousal union). Our session will explore God's desire for believers to grasp, experience and internalise the ramifications of the eschatological mystery. The emergent spirituality of Ephesians is an expression of how such inscrutable truths may be known and how they undergird and inform the identity of God's people, their unity in Messiah and their capacity to connect with and embody the heart, mind and vision of God.


Contemplating the Scriptures With Mary

Dr. Amy Peeler
February 24, 2024
9:00 AM

It is often tempting to rush through a reading of Scripture, particularly during hectic seasons, and no season places demands on our schedules like Christmas. The slow season of winter, conversely, offers a wonderful opportunity to slow down and re-read the passages that we might have run through several months before. I will invite participants to savor the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, known to us through Scripture not only for giving birth to Jesus, but also known for celebrating her pregnancy with him and then shaping his life and ministry. I will endeavor to share the blessing I’ve received by paying close attention to these accounts and invite participants to notice riches in the Bible as yet uncovered.


A Matter of Wonder: Practicing the Postures of Early Christian Readers

Dr. Jeff Childers
February 24, 2024
10:45 AM

Reading and understanding the Bible should be easy, right? Even the early Christians didn’t always think so (2 Peter 3:16). Early believers valued scripture highly and read it very closely. They used a variety of reading strategies, just like we do today. They had debates about what it was that scripture was telling them, just like we do today. To them, one of the most important factors in determining the quality of Bible interpretation was not about the text or particular methods for reading the text, but the readers themselves—what attitudes, character, dispositions and spiritual make for good readers? We will look in on several early Christian readers to learn more about how to find a healthy reading posture.

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