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McAfee School of Theology to Hold Landmark Conference on the Johannine Epistles

September 15, 2010

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

Event Contact:
Diane Frazier
(888) 471-9922 or (678) 547-6470

ATLANTA – Mercer’s James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology will host a landmark conference on the Johannine Epistles, Nov. 17-19, on the University’s Atlanta campus.

The symposium is part of the 2010 Peter Rhea and Ellen Jones Lectures in New Testament, an endowed lectureship in New Testament studies. Dr. R. Alan Culpepper, dean of McAfee and a leading Johannine scholar, said it promises to be a groundbreaking event.

“I don’t know when there has been another major conference on the Johannine Epistles,” Dr. Culpepper said. “This conference will be a milestone, a gathering of the discussion to this point and a framing of some of the still-debated issues.”

With lecturers assembling from around the United States, the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Radboud University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands, and Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, Dr. Culpepper said the participating scholars will represent diverse theological points of view, cutting across conservative, mainstream, Quaker, Roman Catholic, and other perspectives.

“Participants will be able to meet and talk to leading scholars from around the world,” he said.
Dr. Culpepper, who teaches a New Testament class at McAfee, said he particularly hopes the symposium will inspire his students. “It gives them, and other attendees, an opportunity to witness cutting-edge scholarship live, to see how these scholars relate to one another and how they debate these issues in public,” he said. “I hope they will be motivated to become scholars themselves one day.”

D. Moody Smith, a 2010 Jones Lecturer and professor emeritus at Duke Divinity School, will give two presentations, “Who is Jesus? Jesus is God,” and “Who is Jesus? Jesus was man.”

The Thursday morning session will be devoted to assessing the contribution of Raymond E. Brown, who was a major and much-beloved New Testament scholar who died in 2000. Brown proposed very influential views on the history of the Johannine community and the relationship between the Gospel and the Epistles.

Other speakers presenting major papers include Judith M. Lieu, faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge; Jan G. van der Watt, Radboud University of Nijmegen; Urban C. von Wahlde, Department of Theology, Loyola University Chicago; Paul N. Anderson, professor of Biblical and Quaker studies, George Fox University, Newberg, Ore.; Gary M. Burge, professor of New Testament, Wheaton College and Graduate School, Wheaton, Ill.; Dr. Culpepper; Peter Rhea Jones, professor of New Testament and preaching, McAfee; Craig R. Koester, professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.; Andreas KStenberger, director of Ph.D. studies and professor of New Testament, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Wake Forest, N.C.; William R. G. Loader, professor emeritus, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia; Gail R. O’Day, dean of Wake Forest Divinity School, Winston-Salem, N.C.; and David Rensberger, adjunct professor, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta.

Registration is $150 and available online at For more information, contact Diane Frazier at (888) 471-9922 or (678) 547-6470, or by e-mail at

About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology
The McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta on Mercer’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers programs leading to the degrees Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, an M.Div.-Master of Science in Counseling and an M.Div.-Master of Arts in Church Music through the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies, a collaborative program between the School of Theology and the Townsend School of Music in Macon. For more information, visit

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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