Biblical Interpretation and Early Transatlantic Evangelicalism

September 21-22, 2018


The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) and the Jonathan Edwards Center Germany at Heidelberg University will co-host a conference on Biblical Interpretation and Early Transatlantic Evangelicalism.

The objective of the conference aims to bring the historiography of early transatlantic evangelicalism together with the history of biblical interpretation. The goal is to understand the exegesis of various eighteenth-century exegetes in their intellectual, cultural, and religious contexts. 

Two recent academic developments have largely inspired the vision for this conference. The first is the recent interest devoted to Jonathan Edwards as an exegete. Scholars like Douglas Sweeney, Robert Brown, and Stephen Stein have shed important light on Edwards’ theology, ministry, and context by engaging his exegesis. The second is the publication of Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana by a team of scholars under the editorial leadership of Reiner Smolinski and Jan Stievermann. These volumes (so far Vol. 1, 3, 4, 5, and 9 have been published) have yielded tremendous insight into early American literature, intellectual history, and religious expression.

However, more work is needed to understand the role of biblical interpretation in the early evangelical movement from a transatlantic perspective, as well as the important (but largely neglected) role of evangelicals in the broader history of biblical interpretation.

Student scholarships will be available at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester.


Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin

“Baptist Readings of the Song of Songs: John Gill, Anne Dutton, and Andrew Fuller”

Michael A. G. Haykin, FRHistS, is chair and professor of Church History at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His research interests are focused on early Christianity and English Dissent.

Prof. Jan Stievermann

“Interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures in Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana (1693-1728)”

Jan Stievermann is Professor of the History of Christianity in the U.S. at Heidelberg University, and director of the Jonathan Edwards Center Germany. He has published on broad range of topics in the fields of American religious and cultural history and is part of the team editing Cotton Mather’s ”Biblia Americana.”

Dr. Bruce Hindmarsh

“At Any Price Give Me the Book of God!” Devotional Intent and Bible Reading for the Early Evangelicals"

Bruce Hindmarsh is the James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology and Professor of the History of Christianity at Regent College in Vancouver.  His most recent book is The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism: True Religion in the Modern World (Oxford University Press).

Dr. Douglas A. Sweeney

"Recovering the Lost World of Edwards' Exegesis"

Douglas A. Sweeney is Distinguished Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought, Chair of the Department, and Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has written widely on the history of Christianity, early modern Protestant thought, and global evangelical movements.

Dr. Adriaan C. Neele

"Sources of Biblical Exegesis in Early Transatlantic Evangelicalism"

Adriaan C. Neele (PhD, University of Utrecht) serves since 2016 as Director of the Doctoral Program, and Professor of Historical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and since 2007 as Consulting Editor and Digital Editor at the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University. In addition, he is co-editor of the Jonathan Edwards Online journal, co-editor of the Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia, and co-editor of the global Edwards sermon edition project. His research interest concerns seventeenth-century Europe as well as early American (eighteenth-century New England) theology and philosophy, including a forth coming book Before Jonathan Edwards: Sources of New England Theology (OUP).

Dr. Kenneth P. Minkema

"Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards on the Historical Books"

Dr. Kenneth P. Minkema is the Executive Editor of The Works of Jonathan Edwards and of the Jonathan Edwards Center & Online Archive at Yale University, with an appointment as Research Faculty at Yale Divinity School. In addition to publishing numerous articles on Jonathan Edwards and topics in early American religious history in professional journals including The Journal of American History, The William and Mary Quarterly, The New England Quarterly, Church History and The Massachusetts Historical Review, he has edited volume 14 in the Edwards WorksSermons and Discourses: 1723-1729, and co-edited several collections on Edwards.

Dr. Robert Brown

“Bible Politics after the Restoration: Scriptural Submission and Resistance in Non-Conformist Commentary.”

Robert Brown is Professor of Religion at James Madison University, where he teaches courses on American religious history.  He is the author of Jonathan Edwards and the Bible(2002).  His edited volume of Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana (Vol. 9: the Pauline Epistles) appeared earlier this year.

Dr. Isabel Rivers

"Commentaries, annotated Bibles, and other biblical aids in eighteenth-century England"

Isabel Rivers is Professor of Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture at Queen Mary University of London. Her books include Vanity Fair and the Celestial City: Dissenting, Methodist, and Evangelical Literary Culture in England 1720-1800 (Oxford University Press, 2018) and Reason, Grace, and Sentiment: The Language of Religion and Ethics in England, 1660-1780, 2 vols. (Cambridge University Press, 1991, 2000). She is Director of the Dissenting Academies Project.

Dr. Crawford Gribben

"John Owen's Bible"

Crawford Gribben is professor of early modern British History at Queen’s University Belfast. He is the author of a number of books on puritanism and evangelicalism, including John Owen and English Puritanism: Experiences of defeat (2016). He is currently completing a book on John Owen’s spiritual liveswhile working on a study of J.N. Darby and the origins of dispensationalism.



Friday | September 21, 2018

 7:30 a.m.  Check In
 8:30 a.m.  Session 1
 10:00 a.m.  Session 2
 11:30 a.m.  Lunch
 1:15 p.m.  Session 3
 3:30 p.m.  Session 4
 5:30 p.m.  Dinner
 8:00 p.m.  Session 5
 9:30 p.m.  LifeWay Reception

Saturday | September 22, 2018

 9:00 a.m.  Session 6
 10:30 a.m.  Session 7
 12:00 p.m.  Lunch
 2:00 p.m.  Session 8
 3:30 p.m.  Session 9


Regular Rate | $125

Register Now

All Credit Cards Accepted.

Student scholarships will be available at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester.

Registration Terms and Conditions

Refunds for cancellations will be available for credit card transactions only. Refunds must be requested before August 21, 2018. A $25.00 processing fee per registrant will be charged. Refunds cannot be granted for any reason after August 21, 2018.

Cancellations may be sent to:

All guests on the campus of Southern Seminary agree to abide by the Code of Conduct.

Conference Course Credit

Would you like to attend the conference and earn credit towards your degree? Join Dr. Shawn Wright in 25120: Church History 2.

Students will attend all of the conferences. Each student is responsible for their own travel and lodging.


The Legacy Hotel

Comfortable, convenient lodging for the Andrew Fuller Conference.

Located on the historic campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., The Legacy Hotel offers modern amenities, friendly service, high-tech capabilities, a convenient location, plus something no other conference center can provide: Southern Seminary.

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Live Stream

Audio of the general sessions and audio of the breakout sessions will be available following the conference on our Resources page.

More Resources

Click “Southern Equip” or “Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies” for resources:

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