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2017 Evangelical Society Annual Meeting


CBE’s participation in the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island was a wonderful time of scholarship, fellowship, and continuing work to increase the number of women and people of color who are represented in ETS.

In the Other Voices in Interpretation study group, Drs. Aída and Bill Spencer led a session which brought together a group of scholars who interpret theology through some of the most creative perspectives imaginable, including the arts, street ministries, robotics, and more.

In the Evangelicals and Gender study group, leading biblical scholars and Bible translators responded to Dr. Aloo Mojola’s lecture on Bible translation from CBE’s 2017 summer conference. Dr. Cynthia Westfall began the presentation with a summary that further highlighted Dr. Mojola’s concerns that biased translations deepen the suffering of girls and women caught in cultures with little support. Each responder began their lecture by commenting on the breadth and depth of Dr. Mojola’s knowledge, and how thankful they were for his perspective.

In another session of the study group, Dr. Timothy Foster presented his paper, “Smell the Sulphur: 1 Timothy 2:13-15 as Analogy,” which pieces together the otherwise confusing mystery of Paul’s words to Timothy, concerning women’s salvation through childbirth. His well-received paper was followed by Dr. Mimi Haddad’s paper on the story of women in Bible translation and Katharine Bushnell’s work challenging translations that misrepresent women as sexually or morally inferior ontologically. Dr. Haddad comments that, “In all my years presenting at ETS, rarely have I learned more than when preparing for this paper. It seems there remains much work to be done in improving translations, and this has been a struggle since the early centuries, given the depth of misunderstanding concerning gender.”

Many of the ETS session recordings are available for purchase. Dr. Haddad recommends Dr. Gwenfair Walters Adams’ plenary session, “Shock and Awe: The Reformers and the Stunning Joy of Romans 1-8,” which she says brought her to tears through the beautiful vision of the renewing presence of Christ in history.

The CBE community gathered the first night of ETS for fellowship over a meal. The community meal drew friends from many major academic institutions, including SAIACS in Bangalore, India, where CBE held an international conference in 2007. It was wonderful to catch up with so many friends and hear updates on their lives and projects. CBE is so grateful for the work and vision of all our supporters who joined us!

CBE was honored to be asked by ETS to host the Women’s Coffee Reception. Scholars from throughout the US, Canada, India, and Australia met together for more than two hours. Dr Haddad says, “We giggled, shared difficult stories, and prayed for a better day for women in the evangelical academy. Most of all, we were there supporting each other, and despite our differences, we stand as sisters in Christ, ready to be sisters above all else.”

CBE staff greeted visitors to CBE’s booth throughout the conference. They distributed resources, sold books, and shared CBE’s mission with attendees. CBE’s booth has always been a safe haven for women scholars—regardless of their theological position—to speak confidentially about their experiences and challenges in the evangelical academy. Staff were especially excited to meet several young women doing scholarly work in areas that relate to CBE’s mission. You can read CBE supporter Haley Gabrielle’s account of her experiences here.

Finally, CBE is excited to announce that CBE board of reference member and long-time friend and supporter, Dr. Craig Keener, was elected president-elect of ETS and will become president of ETS at the next annual meeting. Dr. Keener will be the first egalitarian president at ETS in two decades.