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Auckland STAANZ Conference: Eschatology and Pneumatology UPDATED

November 18th, 2009 by Madeleine

The Systematic Theology Association in Aotearoa New Zealand (STAANZ ) are this week holding a conference in Auckland focusing on eschatology and pneumatology.

What: STAANZ Conference on Eschatology and Pneumatology
When: Thursday 19 November – Friday 20 November 9:00am-5:30 pm
Where: Ponsonby Baptist Church, 43 Jervois Rd, Auckland
Cost: $15

Pre-conference prayer will be held at 8:00am at All Saints in Ponsonby, 284 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland.
Dinner at a local restaurant will be organised for the Thursday night.

Speakers are as follows: [UPDATED]

Thursday
“Holy Spirit in the theology of Walter Kasper” – Hugh Bowron
“Backgrounding Walter Kasper’s Early Thought”- John Dunn
“Wandering between two worlds: 19th Century Reflections on Hope and Hell” – Carolyn Kelly
“Conscious Awareness of the Spirit in Symeon the New Theologian” – Jim McInnes
“Searching for Embers” – Susan Adams & John Salmon

Friday
“Abortion, Harm and Eschatology” – Matthew Flannagan
“Infant Salvation: Is God’s Mercy Enough?” – Myk Habets
“Participatory Glory : The Eschatological Direction of Karl Barth’s Theology of the Cross”— Rosalene Bradbury
“The Spirit and Longing” – Judith Brown
“Filioque, Personhood and Ecclesiology” – Scott Kirkland

The abstract for Matt’s topic “Abortion, Harm and Eschatology” is as follows:

In No Harm No Foul: Abortion and the Implications of Fetal Innocence Kenneth Einar Himma offers what I shall call ‘the eschatological argument for abortion rights.’ Himma argues that because a fetus lacks the mental capacity to be culpable for any sin, a plausible Christian eschatology entails that a person who kills a fetus does not actually harm the fetus. Instead feticide benefits the fetus by sending the person killed straight to the afterlife, thus avoiding the possibility of any risk of future sin and consequent damnation. Given abortion does not harm the fetus, and as one should only legally proscribe harmful actions, it follows that abortion should be considered a woman’s right. In this paper I will criticise the eschatological argument for abortion, arguing it has absurd implications that entail infanticide and killing the disabled. Further, that even if one grants the eschatological assumptions implicit in Himma’s critique, abortion does, in fact, harm the fetus.

Whilst Matt’s paper will find its way onto this blog, it is always nicer to hear it delivered in person so if you are free Friday morning he will be delivering it from 9:00-10:00 am.

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10 responses so far ↓

  • Oh my goodness, that argument of Himma’s is ridiculous! Either that, or he endorses infanticide as well. Not to mention that if you deprive a person of their life, you prevent them from gaining merits in order to gain a higher place in Heaven.

    I came across alot of these spiritual idiots a number of years ago when I used argue abortion, but didn’t realise there were Christian idiots as well. I just thought only pagans argued that way.

  • Grrrr, up there and taking part in things like this is where I need to be!

  • What’s interesting is that when he was answering the challenge about the deaths of young children and the unborn in the Bible (when women were killed in the conquest), WIlliam Lane Craig used Himma’s line of reasoning – saying that it wasn’t as horrible as the skeptic made it sound, because these being were not culpable of sin and therefore went to heaven!

  • You in Dunedin Glenn?
    .-= My last blog-post ..A Blog Near You =-.

  • […] of course tomorrow Matt will give his paper “Abortion, Harm and Eschatology” to the STAANZ conference. On Sunday I am not only attending Filia Day’s wedding but I am doing the makeup for her 4 […]

  • Yep Max, we’re in Dunedin.

  • Glenn

    when he was answering the challenge about the deaths of young children and the unborn in the Bible (when women were killed in the conquest), WIlliam Lane Craig used Himma’s line of reasoning – saying that it wasn’t as horrible as the skeptic made it sound, because these being were not culpable of sin and therefore went to heaven!

    I was thinking about this a couple of days ago. I think the critique I offer against Himma would not apply to the special case Craig cites. More interestingly however I am not sure Craig’s argument is necessary, this is because I have come across some arguments lately which contend that the references to killing every one in the conquest narrative are actually hyperbole. Wolterstorff gave a paper on this at Notre Dame recently citing internal evidence within the text for this conclusion. Funnily enough around the same time I have come across some of the writings of Kitchen, Hess and Younger who note amongst other things that the use of such language is a common hyperbole in Assyrian, Hittite and Egyptian annals of war this is something I have been reflecting on a bit lately and may blog on at some time in the future when I have studied it in a bit more depth.

    Btw next years STAANZ conference is in Dunedin so you and Max can both attend.

  • Yes, I concur about the practice of exaggerating. It’s a bit like saying “wipe them off the face of the planet,” when that clearly isn’t going to happen.

  • I should have added this….

    This is an interesting one for the question of inerrancy, strictly defined. I’m in the process of writing a blog about the role of inerrancy in historical Christian thought, and the case of exaggerating Old Testament accounts is one that Luther brings up. He frankly admits that the accounts are not strictly correct, but are being overstated for effect, just as other historic accounts from that period were.

  • […] This series was developed from the paper I gave to the Auckland STAANZ Conference: Eschatology and Pneumatology. […]