New Frontiers in Theology:
The Most Important Schools and Innovations for the Future of Theology
When the crisis hit theology in the 1960s, a group of avant garde theologians—including a young radical named John B. Cobb, Jr.—launched a series of books with the title “New Frontiers in Theology.” The bold suggestions offered by this leading group influenced a generation of theologians. If they were working today, what schools and innovations would they highlight?
The crisis in theology has, if anything, deepened since then. It’s time to assemble a group of equally prominent and courageous thinkers to respond afresh to contemporary challenges. We therefore call the best and most innovative—those on the cutting edge, from all religions and from none—to join us in Claremont to address the same question: Where are the most significant frontiers in theology today?
The goal of the speakers will be nothing less than to identify the future(s) of theology. Perhaps some schools and approaches need to die; indeed, the conference will include a wake in their honor. But the emphasis of the keynotes and panel discussions will lie less on death and more on new life. What will be the most important new chapters in theology? Where does the resurrection of theology lie? Will it be comparative theology, poststructuralism, naturalism, praxis, ecology, liberation, ecofeminism, hybridity . . . or others? What roles might process-relational thought play in these proposals?
Professors and students from the most promising theological schools, as well as key leaders in religious praxis and social changes, will be representing their communities at this major event. In addition to transformative dialogues, the meetings will launch a series of books on New Frontiers―a new forum for presenting, debating, and synthesizing the major theological options for the next generation. To paraphrase McLaren: A new world requires new theologies. We have a new world.