Pietism Conference: A Call for Papers

Bethel University is hosting a conference on Pietism with the title, “The Pietist Impulse in Christianity.” The conference will be held on March 19-21, 2009. While Pietism has had a huge influence on Western religion and culture, it is also greatly misunderstood. According to the conference website, “The goal of this conference is to provide scholars from all traditions an opportunity to explore the many dimensions of the pietist heritage, with a view to understanding the ongoing relevance of the ‘pietist impulse’ for contemporary problems and questions across disciplines.” The current list of speakers includes Donald Dayton, Emilie Griffin, Shirley Mullen, Roger Olson, and Jonathan Strom. (Dayton alone is worth the trip to St. Paul!)

There is also a call for papers from scholars and practitioners that will explore the pietist heritage in greater detail. The deadline for submissions is November 1. The conference organizers have suggested the following areas to explore in these papers:
Pietism and the Life of the Mind
Pietism and intellectual history (e.g., the Enlightenment, historicism, anti-intellectualism); Pietist influences on higher education, educational theory, and Christian scholarship; Pietism's contribution to biblical studies and Christian theology (including eschatology and pneumatology)

Historical and Contemporary Traditions of Pietism
Histories of classical and radical forms of European Pietism; critical studies of significant Pietists (e.g., Spener, Zinzendorf, Petersen, Wesley); the institutional and denominational heritage of Pietism in America (e.g., Swedish and German Baptists, Lutherans, Wesleyans, Moravians, Anabaptists, Evangelical Covenant); Pietism and American Evangelicalism

Pietism as Transformational Christianity
Themes in Pietist spirituality and experiential Christianity (e.g., conversion, sanctification, vocation); the relationship between the individual and the community in Pietism; Pietism and religious psychology; Pietism and the "religious other" (e.g., Pietism and Judaism)

Pietism, Missions, and Social Reform
The missionary impulse in Pietism; Pietism and movements for social and economic justice (e.g., the Social Gospel, charitable enterprises, civil rights, urban ministries); Pietism and conservative and radical politics; Pietism and ecumenical cooperation; Pietism and gender equality

Pietism, Arts, and Literature
Pietist expressions in poetry and literature, music and hymnody, theater and film, and the visual arts
Submissions should include abstracts of 500-700 words. More information about what to include and where to send submissions can be found on the website.

Finally, if you have any questions about the conference, you may e-mail Chris Gehrz or Christian Collins Winn for more information.


Anonymous said…

Thanks for posting this CFP! Readers of your blog may or may not know that Pietism studies are exploding on both sides of the Atlantic and our understanding of Pietism is being revolutionized such that conceptions of Pietism in which "the soul and it's God" are seen as central are finally being deconstructed and shown to be telling only half the story. Much of the literature on Spener and others is revealing that contemporary perspectives on Pietism are shaped more by our own polemical concerns and contexts, rather than what the actual texts themeselves were saying. What I am particularly hoping is that theologians will begin to explore the constructive potential of Pietist theology for our contemporary context in light of the new conceptions of what Pietism is/was.
Anonymous said…
Does this mean you're coming to St. Paul? If so, we better get together for a beer.