Newsletter January 2024
Greetings from IBTS
IBTS celebrates 75 years!
In 2024 we are celebrating 75 years of IBTS! As some of you will know, I like to think in terms of ‘space’ and in this sense we might celebrate the way that IBTS has forged a space in Baptist theological education and research. Doreen Massey, a significant thinker in the theory of place, presented the idea that ‘space is the convergence of stories so far’. I find it inspiring to imagine IBTS in these terms. Not simply as an organisation, but as a convergence of stories from diverse situations and cultures that have somehow merged to define a theological space, a Baptist witness in the wider world.
The thing about these stories is that they are deeply rooted in daily experience, often in experiences of pain and struggle. The convergence of these lived experiences can often be far from comfortable and is the kind of coming together that many actively avoid. Convergence of stories involves a deep commitment to stay in the place together, to talk and to struggle together and to find a place of respect and understanding. It is in these experiences of struggle - the convergence of diverse stories - that Christ may be found. And this is what excites me about being a part of the ‘IBTS space’ – the possibility that in the shared space, around the shared table, we might find Christ in each other and might together know him more deeply.
In our anniversary year we will continue the practice of forging this relational-theological space by coming together on a number of occasions – both in-person and online. This includes the launching of IBTS FRIENDS, an intentional active network that can catalyse and support the mission of IBTS in the coming years. You can find details of all of our celebration activities on the website.
We look forward to seeing many of you in person in the coming weeks.
Mike Pears (Director IBTS)
News from the IBTS Office
The big news from the IBTS office is that Marianne van Zwieten has taken a new position as Graduate School Officer at the VU Faculty of Religion and Theology starting on 1 February. Congratulations to Marianne – After 10 years of dedicated service at IBTS we will be saying ‘thank you’ to Marianne on Friday 26 January and if you would like to convey greetings and thanks or to share a memory, you can do so by sending an email to Anna (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We will also be saying goodbye and thank you to Conny van Kooy who for many years has served as the bookkeeper at IBTS and is now taking retirement.
We are pleased to say that David McMillan will be returning to IBTS to work with us through a time of transition. Many of you will know David from his extensive involvement in IBTS, including helping the move from Prague to Amsterdam. We are very grateful for his support!
IBTS Reading Group: Faith Seeking Conviviality (5 sessions from February to May 2024)
Jonathan Wilson will convene five sessions where we will reflect together on the text by Samuel E. Ewell III, Faith Seeking Conviviality: Reflections on Ivan Illich, Christian Mission, and the Promise of Life Together (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2020).
Who is the group for? Everyone is warmly welcome! The sessions will be especially interesting for those who are struggling with questions about mission in the 21st century – whether those are questions about the practice of mission, the theology, or both.
This group is ideal for students and those studying theology, ministers and those involved in mission and church planting. It will also be stimulating for those involved in a wide range of professions who are asking what mission looks like in their work and neighbourhood.
We welcome participants from anywhere in the world. However, the reading and discussion will be in English.
Follow this link to register.
Doing theology in times of conflict: IBTS 75 years, 1949–2024
Join us in Amsterdam to celebrate 75 years of IBTS.
9.30-16.30 on Thursday 25 January 2024
Follow the link for registration and details
Registration is open for Celebrating IBTS 75 Years: Why Theology?
We are excited to celebrate the 75th anniversary of IBTS by hosting an event to explore the theme ‘Why Theology?’. 15-17 May 2024.
We are seeking contributions from practitioners and academics. Follow the link for details.
Visit the Library
The John Smyth Library remains open for visitors in 2024. Whether you come for a casual visit, or plan a more extended research-stay, we are happy to welcome you in our library space. Browse amongst our collection and discover the new acquisitions, with a special focus on areas of Baptist identity and history, Practical theology, or Contextual missiology.
Opportunities for presenting academic papers: CEEAMS and BSIR
"See, I am making all things new": Towards a missiology of hope is the theme for the upcoming hybrid Annual Conference of The Central and Eastern European Association for Mission Studies for theologians, missiologists, reflective practitioners and other professionals, to be held 16-19 February 2024 in Osijek, Croatia.
For details about the 2024 conference, follow the link.
In case you have questions do contact the CEEAMS Conference Organizing Team at email@example.com.
Baptist Scholars International Roundtable (BSIR)
You are invited to the 2024 BSIR meeting, held at Christ Church, University of Oxford, August 4-7.
The BSIR is pleased to share the exciting news that Dr. David Goatley, President at Fuller Seminary, and Dr. Anthony Reddie, Professor of Black Theology at the University of Oxford, have joined BSIR as 2024 Fellows. We are thrilled to have them join our esteemed group of Fellows, adding their expertise and passion to our meetings.Dr. Loida Martell will be BSIR’s 2024 Distinguished Fellow
If you have questions, please contact BSIR’s graduate assistant, David Chrisna, at David_Chrisna1@baylor.edu.