Marquette Scripture Project

Call for Papers: Coming to Our Senses? Theological Interpretation Today and the Four-Fold Senses

Coming to Our Senses?

Theological Interpretation Today and the Four-Fold Senses

Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Saturday, March 28, 2015


 The Marquette Scripture Project Conference (MSPC) at Marquette University invites papers from graduate students addressing theological interpretation and the four-fold senses (literal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical). With the advent of modern interpretive methods, the four-fold senses (aside from the literal) have been largely dismissed as no longer valid means for understanding Scripture. However, scholars like Henri de Lubac have attempted to revive interest in the hermeneutics that dominated much of church history. Is there a role for the four-fold senses in ecclesial or academic discourse today? The conference is intended to spur reflection on the historical use of the four-fold senses and the benefits or problems with applying them to theological interpretation today. We are pleased to have Dr. Mickey L. Mattox, Professor of Historical Theology at Marquette University as our keynote speaker.

Students in the fields of biblical studies, systematic theology, historical theology, as well as practical and ethical theologies are encouraged to submit proposals. However, students in other fields such as philosophy, literature, or religious studies who have engaged in relevant research are also welcome to send abstracts for consideration. Papers may discuss any number of the senses (e.g. only one or all of them). The conference organizers are especially interested in questions such as: What is the “literal” sense? Should the allegorical or other senses be revived or rehabilitated? How have Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christians responded to or engaged the four-fold senses since the 15th century? How have more recent scholars (such as de Lubac) contributed to this project? What is the relationship between pre-modern, modern, and postmodern/postcritical hermeneutics? What is the relationship between the four-fold sense and canon? How does a Jewish understanding of the four-fold senses (peshaṭ, remez, derash, and sod) contribute to the conversation? How can contemporary methodologies inform or shape how we think about any of the four-fold senses?

Please send a 350-500 word abstract by January 23, 2015 to Your e-mail should include a cover letter with your name, school affiliation, and degree program. Your abstract should not include any identifying information. Notification of acceptance will be announced by January 31, 2015. Final papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length (or no more than 2500 words). Papers will be presented on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


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This entry was posted on January 13, 2015 by in Events.
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