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.