Knowing Self & God:
Fresh Approaches to Christian Identity & Spirituality


FRIDAY 17 MAY, 2019



Identity and Spirituality are intricately connected. Spirituality, for John Macquarrie, signifies “becoming a person in the fullest sense.” In his Institutes, John Calvin argued that the knowledge of self and God are mutually intertwined. This conference seeks new ways to relate identity and spirituality based on the great wealth of material that the Christian tradition has to offer. How does knowing God and being known by him inform our daily life? How does a fuller knowledge of God and self sustain us in times of increasing relativism and pluralism?

This conference intends to speak into our increasingly postmodern and secular Australian society that has left a spiritual vacuum, desperately needing to be filled with esoteric eclecticism or the fatal “pursuit of wants“, where we buy “one product after another in a never-ending chain of purchase” (David Wells).

Drawing on the wide range of theological material in the Christian Protestant tradition, our speakers will offer fresh approaches of spiritual practice that equip us in our exploration of self and God by directing our attention to the one who came that we “may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10).


Keynote Speakers:

Rev. Dr. Brian S. Rosner
Principal – Ridley College

Known by God: Biblical Reflections on Personal Identity





Rev. Dr. Andrew Sloane
Senior Lecturer in Old Testament and Christian Thought,
Director of Postgraduate Studies – Morling College

The dissolving self? Dementia and Identity in Philosophical Theology




Breakout Session speakers: Dr Rhys Bezzant (Ridley), Dr Andreas Loewe (Dean, Melbourne Cathedral), Delle Matthews (MST), Dr Thomas Kimber (MST), Dr Christopher Green (MST/Eastern College Australia), Dr Steve Bradbury (Eastern College Australia), Dr David Ng (MST), Dr Robyn Horner (ACU), Dr Matt Jacoby (MST), Dr Lidia Lae (University of Melbourne), Dr Michael Bräutigam (MST), Dr Michael O’Neil (VOSE).



9:00 – 9:30 Registration
9:30 – 9:45 Welcome & Introduction

Sessions 1

Spirituality: Key Theologians Education & Spiritual Formation Theological Perspectives
9:45 – 10:30 Rhys Bezzant
(Ridley College)
The Spiritual Vision of Jonathan Edwards 
Delle Matthews
(Melbourne School of Theology)
To What Extent Does Theological College Contribute to a Deepened Sense of Spirituality?
Michael O’Neil
The Role of Baptism in Christian Identity Formation
10:30 – 11:15 John Andersen
From Sinner to Saint: Identity Transformation in Paul’s Theology
Steve Bradbury
(Eastern College Australia)
Where Spirituality & Justice Meet: Spiritual Formation & Integral Mission 
Christopher Green
(Melbourne School of Theology / Eastern College Australia)
‘Underweighting’ Divine Revelation: The Couch Potato in Constructive Theology and the Christian Life
11:15 – 11:45 Morning Tea
Main Session 1


11:45 – 1:00

Brian Rosner
(Ridley College)                                                                                                                
Known by God: Biblical Reflections of Personal Identity
1:00 – 1:45 Lunch

Sessions 2

Spirituality Global & Ecumenical Perspectives Psychology & Philosophy
1:45 – 2.30 Thomas Kimber
(Melbourne School of Theology)
Relationality and Spirituality
David Ng
(Melbourne School of Theology)
Christian Identity in Global Theological Perspective
Lidia Lae
(University of Melbourne)
‘Who am I? Insights from Psychology and Theology’
2.30 – 3.15 Andreas Loewe
(Dean, Melbourne Cathedral)
The Spirituality of Johann Sebastian Bach
Robyn Horner
(Australian Catholic University)
Ecumenical Perspectives on Christian Identity
Matt Jacoby
(Melbourne School of Theology)
Identity and Responsibility
3.15 – 3.30 Afternoon Tea
Main Session 2


3.45 – 4.45

Andrew Sloane
(Morling College)                                                                                                            
The dissolving self? Dementia and Identity in Philosophical Theology