Jesus: Beginning, Middle, and End of Time? Eschatology in Gospels and Acts Research
2021 Centre for Gospels and Acts Research Biennial Conference

Keynote Speaker/s

Associate Professor Michele Connolly
Lecturer in Biblical Studies
Catholic Institute of Sydney, Australia

Professor Craig A. Evans
John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins
Houston Theological Seminary, USA

Dr Debra Snoddy
Lecturer in Biblical Studies
Catholic Institute of Sydney, Australia

Conference Theme

In 2020, reeling from the global pandemic, it was as if the world was forced to come to a stand-still. The emergent rhetoric spoke of ‘the old normal’ as we looked ahead to ‘the new normal’ — whatever that may be. Human beings live within time. When a large enough crisis occurs the world changes — within time and over time and for time to come. The known past, moves through an uncertain present, on into an unknown future.

As part of this world’s past, Jesus of Nazareth announced ‘the times are fulfilled, the Kingdom of God has drawn near’. The world had come to a crisis point by which it would change forever. According to the message of the earliest Jesus’ movement, it had entered ‘the last days’. Eschatological time.

The Gospel and Acts report on those times, for the sake of all times. And for we who live in these times. The 21st century world presents opportunities and challenges that requires the message about Jesus Christ to be continually re-presented with clarity and concern. Such clarification and concern requires serious and careful research into the foundation documents of the Christian movement.

Call for Papers

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

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 by 1 June, 2021. Acceptance of papers will be communicated by 30 June, 2021.

Presentations will be 20 minutes, with an additional 5–10 minutes for questions.

Save the Date

You are invited to save the date for the biennial CGAR conference. The Centre for Gospels and Acts Research (CGAR) promotes research into the four Gospels and, due to the connections with Luke, the Book of Acts.  It seeks to foster better understanding of these foundational documents of historical Christianity,  and encourages research from a variety of methodological perspectives, including historical, archaeological, theological, exegetical, literary, sociological, feminist, and text-critical approaches. A key part of the Centre’s work is its conference held biannually and the publication of its journal, JGAR, the Journal of Gospels and Act Research, by SCD Press.


Plenary Sessions
There will be four keynote addresses related to the conference theme.

Michele Connolly (BA DipEd BTh [Hons] MA PhD)
“Evening, midnight, cockcrow, morning” (Mark 13:35): Mark’s eschatological timeframe for telling the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Craig A. Evans (BA MA MDiv PhD DHabil)
Kingdoms in Conflict: The Jesus Movement and the Roman Empire (2 addresses)

Debra Snoddy (BATh [Hons] MFSS MTh STL PhD STD)
Realising the Now and the Not Yet of the Realised Eschatology in the Gospel of John: John’s Focus and Purpose and Why it Still Matters to All Christians.


Registration costs will be announced in 2021.

Guidelines for Paper Proposals

  1. The title of the proposed presentation, with an abstract of 250 –300 words, should be sent to the Director of the Centre for Gospels and Acts Research, Assoc. Prof Peter Bolt ([email protected]), by 1 June, 2021. Submissions should be accompanied by contact details: name, institutional affiliation, postal address, phone number and email address.
  2. The title of the paper and its abstract must articulate clearly the line of argument that the paper will take, indicating its contribution to research in the chosen area.
  3. Proposals should indicate that the paper will be available for pre-recording (if necessary) at least two to three weeks prior to the conference dates.

Given the uncertainty surrounding how long the extraordinary circumstances of the present global pandemic may prevail, the conference will cater for face-to-face (if possible) AND online attendance, with a mixture of pre-recorded and real-time sessions.

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