February 16-18, 2017

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.


Brad Artson

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, PhD holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean’s Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. He is also Vice President of American Jewish University, and teaches courses in Ancient & Medieval Jewish Philosophy, Modern & Contemporary Jewish Theology, as well as Homiletics. His scholarly fields are Jewish philosophy and theology, particularly a process approach integrating contemporary scientific insights from cosmology, quantum physics, evolutionary theory and neuroscience to a dynamic view of God, Torah, Mitzvot and ethics.


Karen Baker-Fletcher

Karen Baker-Fletcher, PhD is Professor of Systematic Theology at Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology. Her research interests include concepts of God, divine love, process theism, ecology, relational theologies, women and theology, contemporary and historical African American religious thought, 19th century holiness women, and global theologies. She is listed as one of 15 top religious leaders on ecological issues by Grist magazine and is the author of Dancing with God: A Womanist Perspective on the Trinity.

Whitney Bauman

Whitney Bauman, PhD is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Florida International University. His teaching and research interests fall within the broad field of “Religion and Science” with a special focus on “Religion and Ecology/Nature.” The driving question of his interests is: How do religious beliefs, insights, doctrines, and practices shape the material-physical worlds around us? He is the author of Theology, Creation and Environmental Ethics and Religion and Ecology: Developing a Planetary Ethic.

Heidi A. Campbell

Heidi A. Campbell, PhD teaches at Texas A&M University where she is Associate Professor of Communication. Her scholarship focuses on the interplay of religion and digital media. Dr. Campbell is an international authority on digital religion and has published over 70 articles and books, which include When Religion Meets New Media (2010) and Exploring Religious Community Online (2005) as well as the edited books Digital Judaism: Jewish Negotiations with Digital Media and Culture (2015) and Digital Religion: Understanding Religious Practice in New Media Worlds (2013).

Ignacio Castuera

Ignacio Castuera, Rel.D currently works on the Latin America project at the Center for Process Studies in Claremont, California. Dr. Castuera spent his career as a pastor, serving churches in Hawaii and Los Angeles. He has worked at the Counseling Center at UCLA, has served as the Directer of All Nations Foundation, and was pastor during the AIDS pandemic at Hollywood UMC where he helped the church become the 50th Reconciling Congregation. Dr. Castuera has personal ties to the Liberation Theology movement, having met many of the movement’s leaders in Chile in the early 1970s.

Philip Clayton

Philip Clayton, PhD is currently Ingraham Professor of Theology at Claremont School of Theology. His major books include, Mind and Emergence; Adventures in the Spirit; and The Problem of God in Modern Thought. His specializations are in philosophical theology, the interface between science and religion, and the history of modern metaphysics. Clayton won the Templeton Prize for Outstanding Books in Science and Religion and the first annual Templeton Grant for Research and Writing on the Constructive Interaction of the Sciences and Religion.

John B. Cobb, Jr.

John B. Cobb, Jr., PhD is often regarded as the preeminent scholar in the field of process philosophy and process theology.  During his academic career Cobb has held many positions including Ingraham Professor of Theology at the Claremont School of Theology, Avery Professor at the Claremont Graduate School, Fullbright Professor at the University of Mainz, and Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Chicago Divinity Schools. Cobb is the author of more than forty books and in 2014 was elected to the prestigious Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Monica A. Coleman

Monica A. Coleman, PhD is Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions and Co-Director of the Center for Process Studies at the Claremont School of Theology. A scholar and activist, Monica A. Coleman is committed to connecting faith and social justice. Coleman’s writings focus on the role of faith in addressing critical social issues and include Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression and The Dinah Project: A Handbook for Congregational Response to Sexual Violence. She is also an ordained elder in the Michigan Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Clayton Crockett

Clayton Crockett, PhD is Professor and Director of the Religious Studies program at the University of Central Arkansas. His academic interests include continental philosophy of religion and postmodern theology; Gilles Deluze; psychoanalytic theory; religion and politics. He is the author or editor of a number of books, book chapters, and articles, including Radical Political Theology (2011) and Deleuze Beyond Badiou (2013).

Gary Dorrien

Gary Dorrien, PhD is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University. His 17 books include Kantian Reason and Hegelian Spirit, which won the Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Award in 2013, and The New Abolition: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel, which won the Grawemeyer Award in 2017.  A frequent lecturer at universities, conferences, civic groups, and religious communities, Prof. Dorrien is a recent past president of the American Theological Society and has a long record of involvement in social justice organizations.

Roland Faber

Roland Faber, PhD is the Kilsby Family/John B. Cobb, Jr. Professor of Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology and the Executive Director of the Whitehead Research Project. His fields of research and publication include Whitehead’s philosophy, Process Philosophy and Process Theology; (De)Constructive Theology; Poststructuralism (Gilles Deleuze); Transreligious Discourse and interreligious applications; Comparative Philosophy and Mysticism; and Theopoetics. His most recent publication is Living Traditions and Universal Conviviality: Prospects and Challenges for Peace in Multireligious Communities.

Jeremy Fackenthal

Jeremy Fackenthal, PhD is adjunct professor of humanities at Vincennes University and for the past year and a half worked on the Reimagining Theological Education project.  He researches and writes in the areas of process thought, critical theory and the Frankfurt School, postmodern philosophy, and radical theology.  He co-edited Theopoetic Folds (2012) and is currently beginning a documentary film on the relevance of Walter Benjamin for the 21st century.

Tripp Fuller

Tripp Fuller is the Director of Theology and Humanities at Hatchery LA. Fuller is the founder of Homebrewed Christianity, a popular progressive theology podcast and website that garners over 50,000 listens per month. He is currently finishing a dissertation in Philosophy, Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University, and he is working on the first book for a ten volume series with Fortress Press, Homebrewed Christianity Guide to Jesus: Liar Lunatic, Lord or Just Freaking Awesome.

Mark Heim

Mark Heim, PhD is the Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology at the Andover Newton Theological School. Dr. Heim is deeply involved in issues of religious pluralism, Christian ecumenism and the relation of theology and science. He has taught, studied and lectured in India, Israel, China, Europe, Malaysia, Thailand and the Fiji Islands. An ordained American Baptist minister and former pastor of a New Hampshire church, Heim has served as chair of the American Baptist Churches Committee on Christian Unity and represents his denomination on the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council and World Council of Churches.

Paul Knitter

Paul F. Knitter, PhD is the Paul Tillich Professor Emeritus of Theology, World Religions and Culture at Union Theological Seminary.  Dr. Knitter is a leading theologian of religious pluralism and serves on the Board of the International, Interreligious Peace Council, formed after the 1993 World Parliament of Religions to promote interreligious peace-making projects. Most of Dr. Knitter’s research and publications have dealt with religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue and include such titles as No Other Name? And Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian: A Personal Journey of Passing Over and Passing Back.

Jeffery D. Long

Jeffery D. Long, PhD is Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabeth College. Dr. Long’s research interests include Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Indian Philosophy. He is the author of three books and a wide array of articles on Hinduism, Indian philosophy, and religious pluralism, and a Consulting Editor for Sutra Journal.

Hamid Mavani

Hamid Mavani, PhD is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School / Claremont School of Theology, in California. His primary fields of interest include Islamic legal theory, women and Shi‘i law, Islamic theology and political thought, Islam and secularity, intra-Muslim discourse, and environmental ethics. He is the author of a book published by Routledge in June 2013 titled, Religious Authority and Political Thought in Twelver Shi‘ism: From Ali to Post-Khomeini and is co-author with Dr. Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi on a work in progress on Islamic legal theory, to be published by IIIT.

Jay McDaniel

Jay McDaniel, PhD is Professor of Religion at Hendrix College. Trained in the philosophy of religion and theology, his specialty is Process or Whiteheadian thought. Some of his teaching and research interests include constructive religious thought, contemporary Christian theology, contemporary Buddhist thought, and religion and ecology. He is the editor of jesusjazzbuddhism.org and the author of books and articles on the topics of process thought and religion and the environment.

Robert Mesle

Robert Mesle, PhD is emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. Dr. Mesle is well-known for his introduction to Process Theology, Process Theology: A Basic Introduction. In addition to his own publications in process studies, Dr. Mesle sits on the boards of the American Journal of Theology and Philosophy and Process Studies as well as the International Process Network and the Center for Process Studies’s China Project.

Anselm Min

Anselm Min, PhD is Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. His research interests include a reconstruction of theology that is faithful to the best of the Christian tradition, based on the best insights from other religions and secular thought and relevant to the globalizing world and its needs for liberation, ecology, respect for religious and cultural differences, and resistance to cultural nihilism. His teaching areas include theology of globalization, liberation theology, religious pluralism, comparative theology, contemporary systematic theology, and postmodern philosophy and theology. One of his current projects is Human Destiny and Human Solidarity: Christian Theology in the Age of Globalization.

Timothy Murphy

Timothy Murphy, PhD is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics at Claremont School of Theology. He is a minister-scholar-activist currently and has served as the Executive Director of Progressive Christians Uniting, a social justice and faith nonprofit that seeks to strengthen the progressive Christian network through raising awareness on injustices in our society, promoting social activism, and nurturing faith-rooted solidarity organizing. His courses focus on the topics of immigration, religion, poverty, and inequality.

Thomas Jay Oord

Thomas Jay Oord, PhD teaches theology and philosophy at Northwest Nazarene University. Oord is a theologian, philosopher, and scholar of multi-disciplinary studies. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books. A gifted speaker, Oord is known for his contributions to research on love, open and relational theology, science and religion,  and theologies exploring the implications of freedom and relationships for transformation. His recent publication is The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of Providence.

Kwok Pui Lan

Kwok Pui Lan, PhD is the William F. Cole Professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality at the Episcopal Divinity School. Dr. Kwok is an internationally known scholar and was the President of the American Academy of Religion in 2011. A cofounder of the network Pacific, Asian, North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry, Dr. Kwok has held leadership roles in the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. She is the author or editor of twenty books in English and Chinese.

Joerg Rieger

Joerg Rieger, PhD is the Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair of Wesleyan Studies and Distinguished Professor of Theology at the Vanderbilt Divinity School. His work addresses the relation of theology and public life, reflecting on the misuse of power in religion, politics, and economics. His main interest is in developments and movements that bring about change and in the positive contributions of religion and theology. Dr. Rieger is the author and editor of more than 20 books and over 125 academic articles. Dr. Rieger has lectured throughout the United States as well as internationally and is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.

Zachary Simpson

Zachary Simpson, PhD is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Dr. Simpson specializes in how science, philosophy, and religion intersect. His publications include Life as Art: Aesthetics and the Creation of Self from Nietzsche to Foucault as well as articles on philosophy and theology. He has also edited and co-edited a number of works, which include Adventures in the Spirit: New Essays in Philosophical Theology, by Philip Clayton and Evolution, Games and God: The Principle of Cooperation.

John J. Thatamanil

John J. Thatamanil, PhD is Associate Professor of Theology and World Religions at Union Theological Seminary. He specializes in comparative theology, a subject he explored in his first book, The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament (2006). His forthcoming book is The Promise of Religious Diversity: Constructive Theology after Religion. Dr. Thatamanil has been published in The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. He has also served as the president of the North American Paul Tillich Society.

Wesley J. Wildman

Wesley J. Wildman, PhD is Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics at Boston University School of Theology. Dr. Wildman’s research and teaching interests are in philosophical theology, philosophy of religion, philosophical ethics, and comparative theology. He also works in religion and science. His publications pursue a multidisciplinary, comparative approach to important topics within religious and theological studies, and he has lectured on these themes in many parts of the world. Dr. Wildman is the Founding Director of LiberalEvangelical.org and the Co-Founder of the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion.

Amos Yong

Amos Yong, PhD is the Director of the Center for Missiological Research and Professor of Theology and Mission School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. Yong’s scholarship has been foundational in Pentecostal theology, interacting with both traditional theological traditions and contemporary contextual theologies—dealing with such themes as the theologies of Christian-Buddhist dialogue, of disability, of hospitality, and of the mission of God. He has authored 175 articles and authored or edited over 30 volumes. Among the most recent are The Future of Evangelical Theology: Soundings from the Asian American Diaspora.


Tentative Schedule:

Thursday, February 16:

6:00pm-7:30pm – Opening Plenary

  • John B. Cobb, Jr. Center for Process Studies

7:30pm-9:00pm – Reception

All Sessions Held in Butler 201 (here)

Friday, February 17

8:30am-8:45am –Registration

8:45am-9:00am – Conference Vision and Goal

  • Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology

9:00am-10:30am – Panel Discussion: Public Theologies

  • Brad Artson, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (online)
  • Jeremy Fackenthal, Convergence
  • Hamid Mavani, Bayan Claremont
  • Joerg Rieger, Vanderbilt University

10:30am-10:45am – Break

10:45am-12:15pm – Panel Discussion: A Rich Past for a Positive Future

  • John B. Cobb, Jr., Center for Process Studies
  • Gary Dorrien, Columbia University
  • Paul Knitter, Union Theological Seminary (online)
  • Kwok Pui Lan, Episcopal Divinity School

12:15pm-1:45pm – Lunch Break

1:45pm-3:15pm – Panel Discussion: Transreligious Theologies

  • Roland Faber, Claremont School of Theology
  • S. Mark Heim, Andover Newton
  • Jeffery Long, Elizabethtown College
  • Wesley Wildman, Boston University
  • John Thatamanil, Union Theological Seminary

3:15pm-3:30pm – Break

3:30pm-5:00pm – Panel Discussion: Materialists/Naturalists Theologies

  • Clayton Crockett, University of Central Arkansas (online)
  • C. Robert Mesle, Graceland University
  • Zach Simpson, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (online)

5:00pm-5:15pm – Break

5:15pm-6:15pm – Evening Plenary

  • Kwok Pui Lan, Episcopal Divinity School

All Sessions Held in Butler 201 (here)

Saturday, February 18

8:30am-8:45am –Registration

8:45am-9:00am – Day 1 Recap and Day 2 Plan

  • Wm. Andrew Schwartz, Center for Process Studies

9:00am-10:30 –Panel Discussion: Theology and the Planet

  • Opening Remarks by Catherine Keller, Drew University
  • Whitney Bauman, Florida International University (online)
  • Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology
  • Jay McDaniel, Hendrix College

10:30am-10:45am – Break

10:45am-12:15 –Panel Discussion: Spirit Centered Theologies

  • Karen Baker-Fletcher, Southern Methodist University (online)
  • Anselm Min, Claremont Graduate University
  • Amos Yong, Fuller Theological Seminary

12:15pm-1:45pm – Lunch Break

1:45pm-3:15pm – Panel Discussion: Intersectional/Liberative Theologies

  • Monica A. Coleman, Claremont School of Theology
  • Ignacio Castuera, Center for Process Studies
  • Timothy Murphy, Claremont School of Theology

3:15pm-3:30pm – Break

3:30pm-5:00pm – Panel Discussion: Theological Methods for a Digital Age

  • Thomas Jay Oord, Northwest Nazarene University
  • Tripp Fuller, Hatchery LA
  • Heidi Campbell, Texas A&M University (online)

5:00pm-5:15pm – Break

5:15pm-6:15pm – Evening Plenary:

  • Amos Yong, Fuller Theological Seminary

6:15pm-7:00pm – Closing Remarks & Future Plans

  • Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology

7:30pm – No-Host Community Conversations (Claremont Craft Ales)


Travel Info

Located 30 miles east of Los Angeles, Claremont is known for its many educational institutions, its tree-lined streets, and its historic buildings

Closest Airports

Ontario (ONT): Super Shuttle transport is available to and from airport (here).
9.5 miles (15 minutes)

Los Angeles (LAX): Super Shuttle transport is available to and from airport (here).
50 miles (1-3 hours depending on traffic)

Fly Away Bus available between LAX and Union Station

There is a Metrolink station in Claremont, which travels to Union Station.
Metrolink Schedule. Note: the last train leaves Union Station at 9:30 pm so people arriving after 8:00 pm probably will not make the last train to Claremont. The combined cost is under $20.00 (FlyAway $8.00, METROLINK varies according to age. Seniors pay only $4.50)

Nearby attractions

  • Historical Route 66
  • Mt. Baldy hiking and recreation area; Mt. Baldy Village
  • Santa Ana Botanical Gardens
  • Claremont Village
  • Pasadena: Huntington Library, Norton Simon Museum
  • Cucamonga-Guasti-Ontario wineries
  • Claremont Hills Wilderness Park
  • Ontario Mills outlet mall


Local Housing Possibilities:


Knights Inn Claremont
721 S Indian Hill Blvd
Claremont, CA 91711

Motel 6 Claremont
840 S. Indian Hill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-4831

Claremont Lodge
736 S Indian Hill Blvd
Claremont, CA 91711

Embassy Suites Ontario-Airport
3663 East Guasti Road
Ontario, CA 91761

Ontario Quality Inn
514 N Vineyard Ave
Ontario, CA 91764

Super 8, Upland/Ontario
1282 W. 7th St.
Upland, CA 91786