Hodges Dome Cross
January 13, 3 p.m. – January 15, 12 p.m.
Hodges Chapel
General admission: $40; Banquet Only: $15
Contact: Josh Reeves
Email: jareeves@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-2940

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The Samford University Department of Biblical and Religious Studies along with the Samford University Department of Christian Ministry and Beeson Divinity School will partner with the Henry Center's Creation Project to host this conference on theological anthropology.

Throughout the biblical witness, humanity is consistently depicted as occupying a unique location within the rest of creation. Humanity was created “a little lower than the angels,” as the Psalmist puts it, yet “crowned with glory and honor.” In Genesis humanity alone is said to be “very good,” made in the image and likeness of God, and given dominion over the rest of creation. These depictions ground the Christian understanding of humanity’s place in the cosmos. What the Bible takes for granted is a point of debate in modern, scientific thought and a focal point in the science-theology discussions. Differences between humanity and other animals has been replaced with an emphasis on similarities.

This conference aims to promote interdisciplinary conversation on theological anthropology in the twenty-first century. Scripture portrays humans as both lowly in stature—composed from dust—while also unique in creation in bearing the likeness and image of God. Christians throughout history have tended to emphasize what distinguishes humans from the rest of creation, reflecting our role as stewards of creation. The sciences, by contrast, tend to emphasize the strong similarities that humans have with the rest of nature. Can these differing ways of understanding human nature be reconciled? How might science help better articulate and place constraints on the way Christians talk of human uniqueness?


Angela Carpenter–Assistant Professor of Religion, Hope College

Marc Cortez-Professor of Theology, Wheaton College

Loren Haarsma–Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Calvin University

Ken Keathley–Senior Professor of Theology and Jesse Hendley Chair of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Amy Peeler-Associate Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College

Jeffrey Schloss–T.B. Walker Chair & Distinguished Professor of Biology, Westmont College

Joshua Swamidass–Associate Professor of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine, Washington University

Phil Woodward–Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Valparaiso University, and Research Fellow, Henry Center for Theological Understanding

Tickets are now on sale. General admission tickets are $40 and banquet only tickets are $15. Samford students can attend at the discounted price of $25.  Register here.


Thursday , January 13

4:30 p.m.: Registration Opens

5:45 p.m.: Welcome Banquet (Regions Room)

5:45 p.m.: Welcome and Introductions—Dr Michael Hardin, Provost Samford University

6:15 p.m.: Plenary Session #1—Marc Cortez: Uniquely Unique?: Human Distinctiveness and the Image of God; Respondent: Doug Sweeney, Dean Beeson Divinity School

7:30 p.m.: Break

8:00 p.m.: Plenary Session #2—Joshua Swamidass: The Multivalent “Human” in the Room; Respondent: Drew Hataway, Samford Biology Department

9:15 p.m.: End

Friday, January 14

8:00 a.m.: Registration Opens

9 :00 a.m.: Plenary Session #3—Amy Peeler: Born of a Virgin: The Virginal Conception and Human Uniqueness; Respondent: Roy Ciampa, Chair Samford Biblical and Religious Studies. (Regions Room)

10:15 a.m.: Morning Break

10:45 a.m.: Plenary Session #4—Loren Haarsma: Evolved for Loving Relationships; Respondent: Paul Wiget, Samford Chemistry Department. (Regions Room)

12:00 p.m.: Boxed Lunch

1:15 p.m.: Plenary Session #5—Phil Woodward: Custodians of Value: A Theory of Human Personhood; Respondent: Taylor Cyr, Samford Philosophy Department (Regions Room)

2:30 p.m.: Afternoon Break

5:30 p.m.: Dinner Buffet (Beeson Commons)

6:00 p.m.: Plenary Session #6—Jeffrey Schloss: Major Evolutionary Transitions, Human Exceptionalism, and the Telos of Love; Respondent: Jon Bryan (Beeson's Hodges Chapel)

7:15 p.m.: Break

7:45 p.m.: Plenary Session #7—Angela Carpenter: Walking by Faith: Trust as Distinctively Human in Evolution and Theology; Respondent: PiotrMałysz, Associate Professor of Divinity Beeson Divinity School (Beeson's Hodges Chapel)

9:00 p.m.: End

Saturday , January 15

9:00 a.m.: Plenary Session #8—Ken Keathley: Antipodes and the Scandal of Particularity; Respondent: Galen Jones, Samford Christian Ministry Department (Beeson's Hodges Chapel)

10:15 a.m.: Break

10:45 a.m.: Closing Discussion (Beeson's Hodges Chapel)