Theologians delighted to gather

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The smiles say it all: leading theologians gather at the University of Notre Dame for the launch of Theological Anthropology at the Beginning of the Third Millennium. Photo: Adam Wesselinoff
The smiles say it all: leading theologians gather at the University of Notre Dame for the launch of Theological Anthropology at the Beginning of the Third Millennium. Photo: Adam Wesselinoff

After two years of border closures and lockdowns, Australia’s theologians were overjoyed to gather for the fourth instalment of the Theology at the Beginning of the Third Millennium conference series at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney.

The Pneumatology at the Beginning of the Third Millennium conference saw the crème de la crème of the theological community present papers on the theology of the Holy Spirit on 22-23 July.

Keynote papers were delivered by Peter McGregor, Matthew Levering, Fr Joseph Hamilton and Archbishop Julian Porteous of Hobart. Tracey Rowland, Matthew Tan, Adam Cooper, Nigel Zimmerman and other established academics also made contributions, alongside early-career academics and postgraduate students.

The conference was the fourth instalment of the series, following conferences on Mariology (2016), Ecclesiology (2018) and Theological Anthropology (2020).

“After a number of years marked by virtual gatherings, it was a joy to be together in the flesh,” said conference organiser Kevin Wagner.

“If delight in shared ideas about God is possible in an age such as ours then the work of its editors and contributors will be noble indeed.”

“The experience reinforced the importance of being together, and proved true the concerns of many regarding the fact that screens make deep communication more challenging. It was truly a blessing.”

Participants flew in from Hobart, Perth and around the nation to participate and enjoyed dinner, prayer and fellowship.

Theological Anthropology at the Beginning of the Third Millennium, the third publication from the conference series, was launched prior to the conference’s commencement on the evening of 21 July by esteemed patristics scholar Adam Cooper from Catholic Theological College, Melbourne.

The National Head of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Renee Kohler-Ryan, wrote an introduction to the book, and warmly welcomed attendees to the university.

“If delight in shared ideas about God is possible in an age such as ours – so fractured that it is often even difficult to find out what it is that we so adamantly disagree about – then the work of its editors and contributors will be noble indeed,” Professor Kohler-Ryan wrote in her introduction.