The Society for Pentecostal Studies invites you to participate in its 47th Annual Meeting, March 8-10 2018. The program will feature plenary sessions exploring different aspects of the conference theme, parallel sessions that relate to the SPS Interest Groups, and much more.
Call for Papers (opens April 1, 2017)
Proposals are due by June 30th
SPS Conference Theme 2018:
"Good News of the Kingdom and the Poor in the Land"
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Luke 4.18)
The 2018 SPS conference theme considers the relationship of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians to the issue of poverty in the light of the good news of the Kingdom of God. The theme of the conference combines the witness of the church in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God with attention to those who are regarded as disadvantaged, especially socially and economically. In other words, it invites explorations of how Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity has understood the in-breaking kingdom of God to alleviate, address and transform personal, cultural, systemic and social dimensions of poverty. The SPS guest plenary presenters are invited to consider the notion of poverty as addressed by the church in different parts of the world. Parallel papers are invited to explore the nature of the gospel as it is communicated in contemporary Christianity and how it is enacted in social ministry among the poor. The following questions suggest possible avenues of enquiry.
In what ways do Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians draw on their heritage of working with the poor in their mission and ministry today? Indeed, how do these traditions engage with those who are regarded as “the poor”? Who are “the poor” today and how are they identified? Are there specific social markers and how might these be addressed in terms of the kingdom of God? To what extent does prosperity teaching influence the ability of Christians to understand and address the poor? In what ways do Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians advocate for the poor, if at all? To what extent does segregation of rich and poor still exist in Pentecostal and Charismatic expressions of Christianity as overall social mobility increases? How does the just reign of God as mediated via the church today influence social norms and values in society so that the poor might be “saved” from their poverty? And if the in-breaking reign of God is specifically about the work of the Holy Spirit, how does pneumatology influence our social ministry among the poor and our advocacy for them in society? How does the gospel of the Kingdom of God address these and other kinds of poverty? What concrete forms of action may our traditions enact in order to address poverty today?
These and other questions may be explored in terms of different themes and disciplines, for example: a theology of the poor in Scripture, Pentecostal readings of “poverty” texts in Scripture, the attention to the poor in the history and traditions of Pentecostalism, sociological explanations of the relationship between poverty and culture, and constructive theological accounts that address the various dimensions of poverty today.
For expectations regarding presentations, including format, please see the SPS Presentation Instructions (PDF)
and also the SPS Paper Format Example (MS Word)
The meeting will begin with a combined plenary session and worship service on Thursday evening at 7:00 and end with a banquet on Saturday night.
Along with plenary, Symposia, and Interest Group sessions, the conference includes a Thursday evening reception, working-lunch meetings, a Society business meeting, a women’s breakfast, a students’ breakfast, and a banquet. During the conference, attendees will have many opportunities to socialize, become acquainted with other SPS participants, and share their scholarly interests and current work. Attendees will also enjoy discounted prices on a variety of books and other products exhibited by vendors and ministries.
Attendees are encouraged to join the Society for Pentecostal Studies before or during the meeting, but membership is not necessary to register for the meeting. Presenters for SPS sessions (other than specially invited guests), however, are required to be members of SPS.
Society Officers and Meeting Personnel