The fine folks who convene the “Ecclesia and Ethics” Online conference have posted a provisional program for the conference (May 18 & 25). I am part of the “25th” crew and the day starts with Dennis Hollinger (“Creation: The Starting Point of an Ecclesial Ethics”), followed by me (Paul and discipleship), then Stanley Hauerwas (“Habit Matters”), a “parallel session,” Michael Barber (“The Beatitudes, the Church as the ‘Whole Christ’ and Ethics in the Gospel of Matthew”), and the day ends with two more parallel sessions.
Now, since I am involved in the event, I am a bit biased, but I really think this conference is a fantastic idea – both in its theme of ecclesia and ethics, and also its wallet-friendly and access-friendly nature. This is definitely the way of the future for conferences. SBL will still draw thousands of scholars from around the world, and there is something to be said about sharing a meal and meeting face-to-face. But I think the success of this online conference will pave the way for more “global” discussions and a wider range of participants, not held back by funding and lack of vacation days.