The Society for Pentecostal Studies invites you to participate in its 48th Annual Meeting, February 28-March 2, 2019. 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.
The 2019 SPS Conference Program will go live on November 1, 2018. Hotel accommodations can be accessed using the links and information provided in the program.
Anyone interested in sponsoring an event, exhibiting or advertising at the meeting may use this link to see the options available and make their reservation.
SPS Conference Theme 2019:
Reception History: Receiving Scripture in the Pentecostal and Charismatic Traditions
SPS Program: Mittelstadt 2019
The recent evolution and success of reception history fits well with the current allure of postmodernity and rise of interdisciplinarity. If proponents of historical criticism strive to recreate the world behind a text and literary critics seek to encounter the Bible as story, reception historians take another step forward – or backward. Whereas the historical critic employs a formulaic “two-step” hermeneutic from “what the text meant” to “what it means,” reception historians chose a slow, scenic, and meandering path to rediscover “what the text has meant.” Reception historians return to stories of the Scriptures read, interpreted, viewed, and performed through the centuries. In a move postmodernists should celebrate, these scholars give voice to the “other” and the many. Reception histories offer a museum-like tour of the reading of Scriptures between original authors and current readers. In this conference we invite scholars to contribute further – even rescue – current readers prone to believe they should view this intervening period as an obstacle to avoid.
Though some might seek to reduce reception history to an adventure primarily for biblical scholars, the method demands interdisciplinary analysis. Hans-Georg Gadamer introduces the term Wirkungsgeschichte (literally, “history-effected consciousness”); H. R. Jauss and W. Iser describe a chain of readings on the same material as Rezeptionsgeschichte (literally, “reception history”); New Testament scholar Ulrich Luz explores the “history of influences,” specifically the “history, reception, and actualizing of text in media other than a commentary; e.g. in sermons, canonical law, hymnody, art and in the actions of sufferings of the church”; and Anthony C. Thistleton cleverly likens the discipline to the Bible’s Nachleben, literally, its “afterlife” or post-history.
As Pentecostals & Charismatics cast their theological and praxeological vision into the twenty-first century, we must take more than an occasional glance in our rearview mirror. Though we represent a comparatively young movement in the drama of Christian history, some would opine that only Catholics produced more Christian literature in the twentieth century than print-happy Pentecostals. One cannot overstate the opportunities to explore our history of exegesis on roads previously travelled. Pentecostals & Charismatics march forward not in a vacuum, but as communities made up of theologians and practitioners, both formal and informal, amateur and professional, past and present. Reception historians, akin to hunters and gathers, provide us (and others) the opportunity simply to hear what the Bible has been saying.
In this conference, we take a U-turn and revisit the Scriptures interpreted and experienced by both the giants of our Pentecostal/Charismatic story and less-celebrated, often forgotten interpreters. Join us as we read and receive afresh the biblical story shaped and performed by our Pentecostal foremothers and forefathers. We will retell our story – not only in the manner of church historians – but built upon our collective reading, application, and performance of the biblical text across the Pentecostal stage. Join us not simply to reproduce the Bible’s post-history among Pentecostals, but offer critical analysis of our received readings. We will celebrate the rich contributions of Pentecostals, take an honest look at our “warts,” share them with one another, and build a better future. Together our examination of interpreters both new and old, will help locate our role in the grand symphony of interpretations, a never-ending succession of Pentecostal performances on the biblical story.
For instructions regarding presentations, including formating, 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