2023 Stavanger, Norway

Our commission met three times during the Annual Gathering in Stavanger, Norway, July 2-5, 2023.

On Monday, 3 July, from 2:00-3:15 pm, our speaker was Roald Zeiffert. Roald works at the Norwegian School of Leadership and Theology in Oslo and is about to finish his PhD in Sociology of Religion. He also works with youth and children’s leadership development in the European Baptist Federation. He spoke on the subject “Why Do Young Baptists in Norway Avoid Right-Winged Politics?” View his slides here.

On Monday, 3 July, from 3:45-4:30 pm Henrik Holmgaard spoke to the commission via Zoom. Henrik is the Director for ‘Studiecenter for Menighedsbaseret Teologi’ (SCMT), a Danish theological and ecumenical study center. SCMT is dedicated to providing theological learning and formation for Danish theological students preparing for ministry. Henrik is also a PhD researcher affiliated with the International Baptist Theological Study Centre (IBTS) and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. His research focuses on examining the life stories of converts to shed light on the ecclesial identity of Danish free churches. He spoke on “Danish Free Church Journeys: Fighting for Freedom of Faith in Christendom to Navigating Individual Faith Exploration in a Secular Age.” A copy of his paper will be posted here soon.

From 4:30-5 pm the commission held a business session.
During this session we discussed the 500th anniversary of the Anabaptist movement,
the commission website, and a proposed biographical history of past BWA leaders

On Wednesday, 5 July, from 3:45-5:00 pm, our commission held a joint session with the Commission on Baptist Doctrine and Christian Unity, which is led by Dr. Beth Newman. During this session, Dr. Fredrik Wenell spoke and Dr. William Cavanaugh responded. Dr. Wenell holds a PhD from Uppsala University and is senior lecturer in Systematic Theology at ALT School of Theology. He has recently published a study on Swedish confessional schools in Ecclesial Practices – Swedish Confessional Schools as a Case Study of How New Practices Relate to Theological Issues. He is also co-editor of Between the State and the Eucharist: Free Church Theology in Conversation with William T. Cavanaugh. He presented on “Scattered Conversion: Baptist Identity in a Christian Welfare State.”

Dr. William Cavanaugh is a professor of Catholic studies and director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University. He holds a master’s degree from Cambridge University and a PhD from Duke University. He has authored six books and edited three more; his books and articles have been published in ten languages. He responded to Fredrik’s paper via Zoom. Read his paper here.

Commission members enjoyed our time together, whether joining the group in person or via Zoom. We look forward to meeting next year in Lagos, Nigeria.