Trinity’s Presence at ETS

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Outside of the classroom and the library, many Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) students and professors are involved in theological scholarship and conversation through the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). ETS is a professional, academic society made up of Old and New Testament scholars, teachers, pastors, students, and others involved in evangelical scholarship with the goal of face-to-face interaction and written expression of theological thought and research, under the rubric of the inerrant Scriptures.

ETS held their 64th annual meeting from November 14–16 in Milwaukee, where around 33 students and professors from TEDS presented and discussed a wide variety of topics. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Caring for Creation.” Along with presenting on topics ranging from hermeneutics to christology, several professors also participated in panel discussions or served as moderators. TEDS Research Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer has been an ETS member since 2004, when he gave one of four plenary addresses to the annual meeting in San Antonio. Since 2004, Vanhoozer has presented papers on occasion and responded to panels that focused on two of his books: The Drama of Doctrine and, last year, Remythologizing Theology.

This year Vanhoozer gave a presentation on theological interpretation of Scripture for the group on biblical hermeneutics, another presentation on christology in the West for the new group on global theology, and also served as a respondent on a panel that examined Kevin Hector’s new book Theology Without Metaphysics.

“ETS is helpful on several levels . . . it’s a good opportunity to keep up with colleagues at other institutions and with former students, some of whom have gone on to do PhDs—and it’s a good way of keeping up with ongoing disciplinary conversations. I’ve been involved for several years with a group whose focus is theological method, an important topic for the future of evangelicalism,” Vanhoozer said.

For several former or current TEDS PhD students, the conference was an opportunity to present their paper for the first time. To name just a couple, TEDS MDiv graduate Tim Baylor, now a PhD candidate at the University of Aberdeen, took the opportunity to present his paper ”Faithful and Just to Forgive: John Owen and Karl Barth on the Confession and Forgiveness of Sin.” Current TEDS PhD candidate Jason Stanghelle presented ”Zion and Technology: Towards an Ethical Appropriation of Creation.”

“It’s [ETS] a good forum for PhD students to test their wings and present papers in a supportive yet constructively critical context . . . it’s a good forum in which to engage other evangelical theologians in dialogue about matters of concern to evangelical theology in general,” Vanhoozer said.

Aside from the national meeting, ETS also publishes a quarterly journal, the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS), an academic periodical featuring peer reviewed articles, as well as extended book reviews in the biblical and theological disciplines. ETS also holds national and regional meetings across the United States.

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