Call for Papers: Inspiration and Institution in Christian History

Ecclesiastical History Society Winter Meeting, Carr’s Lane Chapel, Birmingham, 18 January 2020

Deadline: 31 October 2019

The Winter Meeting continues with the 58th Summer Conference theme of Inspiration and Institution. As ever, the intention is to attract a broad spectrum of papers from across the history of Christianity.

Since the apostolic age, the history of Christianity and Christian churches has seen a constant dialectic between inspiration and institution: how the ungoverned spontaneity of Spirit-led religion negotiates its way through laws, structures and communities. If institutional frameworks are absent or insufficient, new, creative and dynamic expressions of Christianity can disappear or collapse into disorder almost as quickly as they have flared up. If those frameworks are excessively rigid or punitive, they can often quench the spirit of any new movements. Without dynamic movements of this kind, even well-functioning church institutions struggle to avoid sclerosis. And once institutionalised, inspirational movements can change their nature remarkably quickly, whether by calcifying or by settling down from sectarian unruliness into denominational respectability.

The deadline for proposals of 20-minute papers on the theme is 31 October 2019. For full details, see https://ecclesiasticalhistorysociety.com/winter-meeting-2/