I included a bit about this in Friday’s Week in Review, but I wanted to give the topic its own post. Last week, I attended the 2010 Stone-Campbell Conference, an annual academic conference for colleges affiliated with the Stone-Campbell/Restoration Movement – Churches of Christ, Christian Churches, Disciples of Christ. It’s organized by William Baker at Cincinnati Christian University, and several people had recommended that I make a connection with the event. I’m glad I did.
I was struck by a few things:
- There was some very good content being presented.
- There were lots of Christian scholars, at every career stage: tenured faculty, tenure-track, adjunct, graduate student, even a sizable contingent of undergraduates.
- Out of a few hundred attendees, I met only one person from a secular university.
Part of it, I’m sure, was the marketing and the subject matter. Most of the papers presented dealt with some aspect of theology, Biblical studies, church history, etc., and many of them were quite specific to the Stone-Campbell Movement. Still, there were enough interdisciplinary or generalist papers that I think most academics would have been able to find something of interest – if, that is, you weren’t interested enough in building relationships with Christian academics committed to their faith and scholarship. I’m not sure that I would recommend traveling across the country to attend if it didn’t fit your subject matter, but for someone local, it would be well worth the price (I think I only paid $30 to register). I’d be willing to bet that there are lots of denominational conferences like this around the country.
So, my questions:
- Have you attended a Christian academic conference like this one?
- Did you find it to be a worthwhile experience, assuming that you weren’t attending for professional reasons?
- Would you recommend it to other “secular” scholars?