At the end of November I attended my first ever conference for the Evangelical Theological Society and then also for the Society of Biblical Literature. At ETS I presented a paper called “The Man-woman Shaped Hole in the Heart of Creation.”
The ETS and AAR/SBL conferences are held every year in November. This year, about 800 evangelical theologians from all over the world attended the ETS conference from Tuesday to Thursday and about 10,000 (yeah, ten THOUSAND) attended the SBL conference from Friday to Wednesday.
So you can see these are big events in the world of the theologian. Along with hundreds of sessions where budding or veteran theologians have the opportunity to prevent their latest work and get feedback, there are also job interviews taking place and meetings between publishers and prospective authors. In a nutshell–lots of networking.
I’m not a great networker, in fact, it goes against my grain. So going in to this conference I was not overly optimistic about what I would get out of it.
Presenting my First Paper
On the second day of the conference I gave my first paper at ETS on my interpretation of Gen 2. There were about twenty people there and it was exceptionally well received. Quite a few came up afterwards and asked for a copy of the paper and the two theologians leading the session (Michael Grisanti and Jens Kofoed) even asked for a copy of my dissertation. Wow!
During the conference I was able to make quite a few other connections and build relationships with people working in areas of interest to me and overall I came away with a sense that we’re all working together to build God’s kingdom by doing our part in our different areas of studying Scripture.
If you’re interested, you can take a look at the paper I presented. It’s not too long and pretty understandable, I think.