Presented by Morling College and hosted by our very own Edwina Murphy (lecturer in Church History) and David Starling (head of Bible and Theology), is The Gender Conversation. This is a one-day symposium, on Monday 7 September, with an impressive line-up of conversationalists.
Conversations about gender, both inside and outside the church, can frequently devolve into rancorous debates in which predictable arguments are traded back and forth, or fade awkwardly away into the tense silences of mutual misunderstanding. But the importance of the issue calls for a better conversation than either of those alternatives.
The Gender Conversation has been thoughtfully organised by Edwina Murphy and David Starling, and brings together a rich mix of contributors to discuss issues of gender, theology and Christian living, from a variety of perspectives. We are aiming for genuine and stimulating conversation that deepens mutual understanding and respect, highlights common ground, clarifies points of difference, and unites us in a quest to learn from the Scriptures and live in the light of the gospel.
Contributors include: Patricia Weerakoon, Christian sexologist; John Dickson, author, historian and public advocate for the Christian faith; Michael Bird, lecturer in Theology, Ridley College; Michael Jensen, author and Anglican minister; and Marg Mowczko, vice-president, Christians for Biblical Equality; plus more than a dozen others from within and beyond the Morling faculty.
There are diverse and varied sessions—conversations, if you will—to choose from. The first session, from 11am, is a welcome and introduction. For the second session, from 1:30pm, there are three conversations to choose from:
Gender, Scripture & Creation
A conversation about the doctrine of creation and its implications for our understanding of gender roles in life and ministry. A particular focus will be on the Genesis 1–3 narratives of creation and fall, and the issues that arise in interpreting and applying them today.
Gender, Scripture & Family
A conversation about the way in which our created maleness and femaleness ought to be expressed in the gendered roles of men and women (married and single) within the family. Passages in particular focus will be Matthew 19 and the household codes of the New Testament epistles.
Gender, Scripture & Church
A conversation about the way in which gender difference impacts on how men and women work together in serving God within the church. The issues covered will include the major interpretive questions raised by the relevant texts in Galatians, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy.
For the third session, from 4pm, there are four conversations to choose from:
Gender, Culture & Context
A conversation about the implications of the contemporary cultural context for how we read and apply Scripture in matters relating to gender. Consideration will be given to some of the particular issues that arise out of reading Scripture within, for example, an Asian context or a post- Christendom, Australian context.
Gender, History & Hermeneutics
A conversation which explores how historical tradition and situation affect the way we read and apply Scripture in matters relating to gender, both in defining women’s roles and in appropriating biblical imagery.
Gender, Power & Politics
A conversation about how our shared gospel convictions shape our contribution to public discussions on the ethics and politics of gender, plus some of the ways in which different understandings of gender might necessitate differing emphases in our public theology and social ethics.
Gender, Biology & Identity
A conversation about the way in which our created maleness and femaleness relate to cultural practices and understandings of gender, and the sense of genderidentity that individual men and women experience.
For the evening plenary session:
Gender, Mission & the Reign of God
A conversation relating the discussion of gender to the wider question of the redemptive purposes of God for his creation and the way in which that has been fulfilled in Jesus.
The Evening Plenary Session will be followed by a Q&A Panel Discussion with Edwina Murphy, Karina Kreminski and David Starling.
On Monday 7 September come to Morling College (120 Herring Road, Macquarie Park NSW), for The Gender Conversation. There is limited parking available on campus and Macquarie University Train Station is only a 400-metre walk away. Register now for the Early-Bird Rate at www.morlingcollege.com.