CGAR Conference 2023

God Beyond Theology

About this event

The Conference will be held on 28–29 September 2023. Conference will be online and on-demand from 28 – 29 September 2023.

The Sydney College of Divinity invites scholars, doctoral candidates, and others working in the theological and wider academic community to propose a paper related to Gospels and Acts research for the 2023 Centre for Gospels & Acts Research Conference by 30 July, 2023. Acceptance of papers will be communicated as they are received. Presentations will be 20 minutes, with an additional 5–10 minutes for questions. The conference will cater for both face-to- face AND online attendance and presentation. Pre-recording of papers will also be possible to allow for asynchronous presentation. One advantage that immediately presents itself is that those who may have been precluded from attending, due to the barriers of distance, may now participate in the proceedings in one form or another.

How can Gospels and Acts Research get beyond simply further propagating or parodying the various ideological positions that so deeply divide our contemporary world? Do these stories centring upon Jesus of Nazareth speak to this world about God? Do they speak with God? Do they speak for God?

How do contemporary readers hear these ancient texts anew? Do these texts from the past bring any message for the present that might shape the future?

If so, how can it be told afresh, and how can it be heard? Can Jesus of Nazareth find a voice and gain a hearing once again through these stories about him?


Dr Greg Forbes

Human Narrative towards the Divine What do the Gospel narratives give us? Historical details, moral lessons, or something else? Greg Forbes will explore constructing a bridge from narrative of theology. Narratival Theology Identified: A Hermeneutical Grid Narratival Theology Applied: Women in Luke-Acts Beyon Greg Forbes is senior lecturer in New Testament, Greek, and Hermeneutics at Melbourne School of Theology. His research interests include Synoptic Gospels (particularly Luke-Acts), 1 Peter, and Greek language as it relates to exegesis. Ide Greg has published work on women in Luke-Acts and has contributed the 1 Peter volume to the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series.

Dr Denise Powell

Divine Narrative as Transformative It is self-evident that stories can impact people in ways that propositional statements cannot. If we believe our Gospels are carefully crafted narratives, it will be helpful to understand how stories affect their hearers and challenge assumptions about God. Denise Powell believes we need to go beyond what stories ‘mean’ and begin to explore what stories ‘do’. Her presentations will explore the question: How do the Gospels provoke transformation in their audiences? Denise Powell facilitates several of the New Testament, Hermeneutics and Greek units for Australian College of Ministries. She has previously taught at Malyon Theological College and Trinity College Queensland. Denise is interested in narrative criticism and recently published Who Are the Righteous? The Narrative Function of the Dikaioi in the Gospel of Luke.

Call for Papers

Papers addressing any aspect of Gospels and Acts research, but particularly those addressing aspects of the conference theme are now called for. Presentations will be organized into appropriate streams to facilitate good conversation amongst like-minded researchers.

Proposals should be submitted with an abstract of 250 –300 words, clearly articulating the argument and its contribution to research, to:
Prof. Peter Bolt – Director of the Centre for Gospels & Acts Research as soon as possible, certainly by 30 July, 2023, through the following link here:

Further enquiries should be directed to Prof. Peter Bolt: [email protected]


Register early and get a discount on your full conference registration fee!!

  • Full conference registration (face to face) – $300
  • Full conference registration (online) – $250
  • Early bird full conference registration (face to face) – $275
  • Early bird full conference registration (online) $225
  • Student full conference registration (face to face) – $250
  • Student full conference registration (online) $200
  • Early bird student full conference registration (face to face) – $225
  • Early bird student full conference registration (online) $175
  • One day registration (face to face) – $150
  • One day registration (online) – $125
  • Student one day registration (face to face) – $125
  • Student one day registration (online) – $100

Face to face conference fees include morning tea and lunch, tickets to the Friday night Conference Dinner can be purchased for $60.

All prices are in Australian dollars and include GST. The early bird offer ends on 31st May 2023.

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