Newsletter Autumn 2023
Greetings from IBTS
As we begin a new academic year, it is with the conviction that doing theology well is not only about the conclusions we arrive at but— perhaps more importantly — is about the manner in which we reach those conclusions. In other words, it is about the way in which we practise out theology.
I am inspired by the baptist approach where the practice of theology entails exercising respect and open-hearted listening to people of all cultures and life situations. It is a natural tendency to practise theology in a limited way by allowing only those who are like us into the room, where our perspectives, whatever labels are applied such as ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’, ‘western’ or ‘eastern’, generation x or y, are likely to coincide or reinforce each other.
In practising theology at IBTS, the space we seek to hold is one that is radically hospitable and respectful of others, a place where many voices are heard, and the emerging theology is as much about the experience of encountering Christ in the very process of doing of theology.
What results from this approach in terms of the books written and statements made should and do hold a very different tone – the theology ‘feels’ different, broadening our horizons and offering hopeful voices in a struggling world. And it is with this vision in mind that we invite you to travel with us through this academic year.
We are looking forward to our next Colloquium running from 22 - 27 January 2024. There will also be a special 75 year anniversary celebration as part of our programme on Thursday 25th. Please save these dates in your diary to allow sufficient time to make the appropriate travel and work arrangements. We will be sending out more information in due course.
VU New Interim Rector
The Executive Board of VU Amsterdam (VU) recently announced that prof dr Frank van der Duijn Schouten has been appointed interim dean of the Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT) at VU Amsterdam from 1 September 2023, for an initial term of one year, with the possibility of extension. Frank van der Duijn Schouten explains: "Since theology – as an academic discipline – has always been close to my heart, I look forward to further strengthening the positioning of theology and religious studies together with the colleagues in the faculty. A beautiful and important task, which I am happy to underpin."
Eco-Crisis and the Gospel
There is still time to join our course of Eco-Crisis and the Gospel. This course will explore how Christians can respond to the current multiple ecological crises, no matter who and where they are. The course material opens on September 20th 2023 (today!). The course costs 150 EUR and is fully online. There is still time to join us!
Peace Conference in Hamburg
The Christian Peace Witness Conference will be held from 3-5 November 2023 at the University of Hamburg. At this joint symposium, the biblical foundations and spiritual sources for the Christian peace witness will be examined. You can find all the information including registration here.