Conference

Events

Re-imagining the Intersection of Evolution and the Fall

Event date:
03-26-2015
Event End Date:
03-28-2015
Cut off date:
03-25-2015
Capacity:
Unlimited
Individual Price:
$125.00

Title Banner - Left Justified

Re-imagining the Intersection of Evolution and the Fall
March 26-28, 2015


This conference will constructively grapple with difficult questions at the intersection of Christian orthodoxy and evolutionary science.

If humanity emerged from non-human primates (as genetic, biological, and archaeological evidence seems to suggest) then what are the implications for Christian theology’s traditional account of origins, including both the origin of humanity and the origin of sin? 

The integrity of the church’s witness requires that we constructively address these difficult questions. We believe that cultivating an orthodox theological imagination can enable us to engage these tensions without simply giving up on confessional orthodoxy. This conference, and the interdisciplinary team behind it, sees the church’s ancient wisdom as a model and template for how to faithfully grapple with contemporary challenges. Theological tradition is a resource in the face of such challenges, not a millstone.

We also believe resources for constructive theological imagination are carried in the liturgical heritage of the church—in the worship practices and spiritual disciplines that enact the biblical story in ways that seep into our imagination, helping us see creative ways forward through this challenge.

Registration


Registration

Registration Type Sale Period* Rate
Early Bird Through February 6, 2015 $75.00
Advanced February 7 - March 25, 2015 $125.00
Onsite March 26 - 28, 2015 $175.00


*The sale period is active through 11:59 p.m. (CST) on the final date of each registration type. Early Bird Discount is applied at time of registration.

Registration includes admission to all plenary and concurrent paper sessions, the opening conference reception and lunches on Friday and Saturday. While lodging is not included in the cost of registration, discounted hotel rooms are available through our conference room blocks. See the Lodging tab on this website for more details.

Student Discount

Currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students are eligible for a $25.00 discount off the registration rate. Please enter promo code “student” during checkout to receive this discount.

Offline Registration

If you prefer to register offline, please contact Shay Craig at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 847-866-4547 to complete your registration.

Registration Questions

If you have any additional questions regarding registration, please contact Andy Saur at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Sponsors


Sponsors

This conference is sponsored by The Colossian Forum with support from the BioLogos Foundation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and The Stead Center for Ethics and Values. We express our gratitude to these institutions for their investment in this important conversation.

 

Colossian Forum         BioLogos2x
         
Logo-for-Web       Stead Logo RGB

Speaker Bios

 
Speakers

bill-cavanaugh

   

William Cavanaugh

William Cavanaugh is Senior Research Professor and Director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University. His degrees are from Notre Dame, Cambridge, and Duke. He has published numerous articles and five books, most recently The Myth of Religious Violence (Oxford, 2009) and Migrations of the Holy (Eerdmans, 2011). His books have been published in French, Spanish, Polish, and Norwegian.

       

 

deanedrummond 2

   


Celia Deane-Drummond

Celia Deane-Drummond is currently a Professor in Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Her unique appointment is concurrent between the Department of Theology in the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Science. Her research interests are in the engagement of theology and natural science, including specifically ecology and evolution. Her research has consistently sought to explore theological and ethical aspects of that relationship.

Her most recent books include Future Perfect, edited with Peter Scott (Continuum, 2006; 2nd edition 2010), Ecotheology (DLT/Novalis/St Mary’s Press, 2008), Christ and Evolution (Fortress/SCM Press, 2009), Creaturely Theology, edited with David Clough (SCM Press, 2009) Religion and Ecology in the Public Sphere, edited with Heinrich Bedford-Strohm (Continuum, 2011), Animals as Religious Subjects, edited with Rebecca Artinian Kaiser and David Clough (T & T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2013), The Wisdom of the Liminal: Human Nature, Evolution and Other Animals (Eerdmans, 2014).

       
Darell Falk    

Darrel Falk

Darrel Falk is a professor of biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA since 1988 and is former president of The BioLogos Foundation from 2009-2012. He earned a doctorate in genetics from the University of Alberta and did postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia and the University of California, Irvine before beginning his career on faculty at Syracuse University. He has given numerous talks about the relationship between science and faith, and is the author of Coming to Peace with Science.

       

 

j green bio copy

   


Joel Green

Joel Green has been associate dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies since 2008 and professor of New Testament interpretation at Fuller Seminary since 2007; prior to that, he served for ten years at Asbury Theological Seminary as professor of New Testament Interpretation, as dean of the School of Theology, and as provost. Green has 12 years of pastoral ministry, and is currently Teaching Pastor at La Cañada United Methodist Church. He has more than 25 years of seminary teaching experience in multiple countries. He is editor of the Journal of Theological Interpretation, and serves on the editorial boards of the journals Bulletin for Biblical Research and Theology and Science and Science & Christian Belief as well as such book series as the Two Horizons New Testament Commentary, Studies in Theological Interpretation, and Kingswood Books. Green has been elected to membership in both the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS) and the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR).

       

peter-harrison

   

Peter Harrison

Peter Harrison was educated at the University of Queensland and Yale University. In 2011 he returned to Queensland from the University of Oxford where for a number of years he was the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion. At Oxford he was a member of the Faculties of Theology and History, a Fellow of Harris Manchester College, and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre where he continues to hold a Senior Research Fellowship. He has published extensively in the area of cultural and intellectual history with a focus on the philosophical, scientific and religious thought of the early modern period. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford, Yale, and Princeton, is a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2011 he delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh.

       



j richard.middleton

   


J. Richard Middleton

J. Richard Middleton is Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis at Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, NY. He serves as adjunct professor of Old Testament at the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (Kingston, Jamaica) and is president of the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association. He holds a B.Th. from Jamaica Theological Seminary, an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Guelph (Canada), and a Ph.D. in Theology from the Free University in Amsterdam. He been a campus minister at four universities in Canada and the U.S. and taught Old Testament at Colgate Rochester Divinity School and Roberts Wesleyan College before beginning at Northeastern Seminary in 2011.

A native of Jamaica, Richard moved to Canada, where he coauthored (with Brian Walsh) The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian World View (IVP, 1984) and Truth is Stranger Than It Used to Be: Biblical Faith in a Postmodern Age (IVP, 1995). His most recent book is The Liberating Image: The Imago Dei in Genesis 1 (Brazos, 2005). A new book entitled A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology, is forthcoming (Baker Academic), along with a co-edited volume of essays on Caribbean theology (Pickwick). He is presently working on a commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel (Abingdon). His books have been published in Korean, French, Indonesian, Spanish, and Portuguese.

       
 Untitled1    

Aaron Riches

Aaron Riches received his PhD in Systematic Theology at University of Nottingham. He has also studied English Literature from York University and Philosophical Theology from University of Virginia. Along with preparing the publication of his first book, Aaron has recently published a number of articles in leading international journals such as Modern Theology, The International Journal of Systematic Theology and Nova et Vetera: The English Edition of the International Theological Journal. He is currently a Collaborator Professor at the International Academy of Philosophy in Granada.

       


JKASmith150X150-150x150
   


James K.A. Smith

James K.A. Smith is a Senior Fellow of The Colossian Forum and Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he also teaches in the department of congregational & ministry studies and is a research fellow of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He previously taught at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Villanova University in Philadelphia. James has also been a visiting professor at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Regent College in Vancouver, and Trinity College at the University of Toronto. His numerous publications include Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?; Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation; Letters to a Young Calvinist and Thinking in Tongues: Pentecostal Contributions to Christian Philosophy. With Amos Yong he recently co-edited Science and the Spirit: Pentecostal Engagements with the Sciences.

       
 Brent Waters H    

Brent Waters

Brent Waters is Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Professor of Christian Social Ethics and Director of the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Illinois. Brent received his Doctor of Philosophy at University of Oxford and both his Doctor of Ministry and Master of Divinity at the School of Theology at Claremont. Some of Brent’s most recent publications include This Mortal Flesh: Incarnation and Bioethics; The Family in Christian Social and Political Thought; and From Human to Posthuman: Christian Theology and Technology in a PostmodernWorld.

       


Norman-Wirzba



   


Norman Wirzba

Norman Wirzba pursues research and teaching interests at the intersections of theology, philosophy, ecology, and agrarian and environmental studies. He earned both his Ph.D. and M.A. in Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, and his B.A. in History at University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Dr. Wirzba has published The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age; Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight and Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating. His most recent book is Making Peace with the Land (co-authored with Fred Bahnson). He also has edited The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land and The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry. Professor Wirzba serves as general editor for the book series Culture of the Land: A Series in the New Agrarianism, published by the University Press of Kentucky.

Plenary Abstracts


Plenary Abstracts

William Cavanaugh (Professor of Catholic Studies, DePaul University)
Political Science and the Fall: Original Sin and the State of Nature

It is not only natural science but political science that makes the Fall seem improbable. One of the central problems of medieval political theory was to explain how humans were to live together in a post-lapsarian world. Figures such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke begin with a state of nature instead of the Fall, laying the groundwork for a political system divorced from theology, where the marginalization of the church from politics accompanies the marginalization of theology from science.

Celia Deane-Drummond (Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame)
In Adam All Die? Questions at the Boundary of Niche Construction, Community Evolution and Original Sin.

It is impossible to make a literal Eden, with its portrait of a perfected and immortal humanity, cohere with modern evolutionary accounts of the earliest human origins. Niche construction theory, among other contemporary developments, suggests that Eden might instead be viewed as representative of a pre-lapsarian, collective flourishing life with God, and the Fall as a significant break in the dynamic interrelationship between the divine and human.

Darrel Falk (Professor of Biology, Point Loma Nazarene University)
Human Origins: A Summary of the Scientific Backdrop for Theological Discussion

Recent genetic and paleoanthropological analysis suggests that communities of modern humans arose in Africa about 200,000 years ago. A few thousand founding individuals migrated across the Sinai Peninsula and into the rest of the world beginning about 60,000 years ago. This evidence of communal pre-human ancestry raises important questions about (though it does not preclude) a traditional Christian understanding of monogenism and of a historic couple, Adam and Eve.

Joel Green (Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary)
“Adam, What Have You Done?” New Testament Voices on the Origins of Sin

In the period of second temple Judaism, Adam’s sin marked the downfall of all who would come after him. How this is so is not easily summarized with reference to the later, Christian notion of “original sin,” however, since Jewish theologians were careful to write of human choices and actions, volition and responsibility. A survey of New Testament era literature fails to reveal an event we might term “the fall,” though we do find related emphases on sin’s universality and practical inevitability.

Peter Harrison (Professor of History of Science, The University of Queensland, Australia)
Is Science-Religion Conflict Always a Bad thing? Some Augustinian Reflections

Conflict between science and religion is almost always perceived negatively. It is possible, however, that “good” conflict might result from a so-called “weak” eirenic position, which holds that concord between science and religion is very much a matter of historical contingency. In the case of evolutionary theory, this stance prompts us to look closely at the details of various scientific claims without undue pressure to adapt Christian thinking to all aspects of a general theory.

J. Richard Middleton (Professor of Old Testament, Northeastern Seminary)
Reading Genesis 3 Attentive to Human Evolution: Beyond Concordism and Non-Overlapping Magisteria

A re-reading of the narrative of Genesis 3 with awareness of hominin/human evolution might open up new avenues of doctrinal interpretation. A thick description of the text’s theological motifs, from the divergent accounts of human creation in Genesis 1 and 2 through to the effects and spread of sin, prevents our being immediately overwhelmed by the claims of contemporary science.

Aaron Riches (Professor of Theology/Ethics, International Academy of Philosophy, Granada)
From Ad Nihilum to Ex Nihilo: Evolution and the Christian Revolution

This Christological recapitulation examines three traditional doctrines: (1) the “special creation” of the human being, according to which “every spiritual soul is created immediately by God – it is not ‘produced’ by the parents;” (2) the “personal” reality of Adam and Eve, who are the universal “first parents” of all human beings; and (3) the sense of the Fall as an “event” of history, “a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.”

James K.A. Smith (Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College)
What Stands on the Fall? A Philosophical Exploration

Does absorbing an evolutionary account of human origins necessarily preclude the continued affirmation of a “historical” Fall? This thought-project in philosophical theology lays out issues that are at stake in the historic doctrine of original sin and the received notion of an historical Fall, and explores the nature of “history” in any notion of a “historic” Fall.

Brent Waters (Professor of Bioethics/Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary)
Being All We Should Have Been and More: The Fall and the Quest for Perfection

However one interprets the story of the Fall, the basic storyline is that the human condition is not as it should be and is in need of correction. One contemporary attempt to overcome the limitations endemic to the human condition holds to the belief that reason, science, and technology can be used to redirect evolution in order to create the posthuman. Posthumanism, however, substitutes nature for creation, technology for salvation, and immortality for eschatological hope, leaving one with a narrative devoid of grace and forgiveness.

Norman Wirzba (Professor of Theology/Ecology, Duke Divinity School)
From Nature to Creation: A Theological Approach to the World

A Christological narration of creation represents a profound challenge to contemporary accounts of nature as realm of unremitting struggle and competition. Theoria physice, as described by Maximus the Confessor, gives rise to a striking vision of the world as the material expression of God’s love, presupposing an ethos and an askesis in which human passions are purified so that each creature can be met and seen to be the unique gift that it is.

Schedule

 

Re-Imagining SCHEDULE

Download Schedule

Lodging


Hotel Information

We have arranged a special discounted hotel room rate for conference guests at the two hotels nearest to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Hotel information and room rates are included below. You must provide the reservation code (whether placing your reservation online or over the telephone) in order to receive the discounted rate. Please note that these discounted rates are available for a limited time as specified below. Further, we have reserved a limited number of rooms at each hotel, so book early in order to guarantee your space.

Hilton Garden Inn – Chicago North Shore/Evanston
1818 Maple Ave., Evanston, IL 60201
Phone (Local): 847-475-6400
Phone (Toll-Free): 877-782-9444
Website: www.hgievanston.com

Discounted Room Rate (King or Two Double Beds): $159.99/night + taxes/fees*
Rate includes full breakfast for one person (additional guest = $10.00)
Overnight parking = $13.00/day

Group Booking Code: ECF (online) or ECF Conference (phone)

Reservation Cut Off Date: February 25, 2015

*Illinois hotel room tax rate = 13.5%

The Homestead Hotel
1625 Hinman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201
Phone (Local): 847-475-3300
Website: www.thehomestead.net

Discounted Room Rate (Queen or Two Twin Beds): $99.00/night + taxes/fees*
Rate includes continental breakfast and free overnight parking (one block from hotel)

Group Booking Code: ecf15

Reservation Cut Off Date: February 26, 2015

*Illinois hotel room tax rate = 13.5%

Food


Food

Conference registration includes catered buffet lunches on Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th. Lunches will include beverages and vegetarian options. We will make every attempt to accommodate other dietary restrictions. Please note such restrictions on the appropriate line during the registration process or email Andy Saur at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additionally, Evanston offers a variety of fine and casual dining options for breakfast and dinner. For a list of restaurants in the downtown Evanston area click here.

Maps


Directions and Maps

The links below will help you make your way to Garrett-Evangelical, and help you find your way around once you arrive.

Directions:


Maps:

Parking


Parking

Northwestern University Visitor's pass: $8.00/day. This is a yellow hangtag which you can usually (assuming we have a supply on hand) get from our front desk, or from the Northwestern parking office. It is good for one day only and you must have the date scratched off or they will ticket your car. This pass is not good for the big lot next to our campus; if you purchase one of these you must park in any of the NU visitor lots, the nearest of which is across Sheridan Rd. Other lots are further away - about a 10 minute walk back to Garrett-Evangelical.  See the Northwestern University parking maps here for more information.

Garrett Visitor's Lot on Garrett Place: $8.00/day. You may pay cash or check at the desk. Credit cards are not accepted. You will get a magnetic card to use to get into the lot and also to get out of it. You may come and go as many times as you want that day, but the card must be returned at the end of the day as you leave the lot the last time (slide the card into the return box on your way out) . Cards will be locked out overnight and will not be good the next day.

 

UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.