Protestant Wisdom, Economic Freedom, and Modern Injustice


MAY 28-31

Lake Lanier, SC

Join us at our Davenant House study center in the beautiful mountains of western SC right after Memorial Day for three days of rich conversation, fellowship, friendship, and learning. Our plenary speaker will be Brian Dijkema, Program Director of Work and Economics at Cardus.

Conference proceedings will run from 9:00 AM Wed 5/29 till 12:00 PM Fri 5/31, but you can arrive Tuesday evening for a pre-conference cookout and fellowship!

Building Bonds of Fellowship

Our annual Convivium Irenicum gathering serves as a microcosm of the Davenant Institute’s mission, and, for many of our attendees, as the capstone to each academic year. For three days we do much more than present and listen to papers—we eat together, drink together, worship together, discuss abstruse philosophical questions, hard pastoral challenges, and our favorite new movies together as we walk through the woods or recline on the porch. We bring together not merely scholars and grad students, but pastors and other church leaders, and even businessmen and public servants. Together, we explore what it means to retrieve the wisdom of our Protestant and catholic past for the sake of our church and nation today.

This year’s Convivium (in both its East and West iterations) will focus on the theme of justice. Justice is at the center of the biblical vision of human flourishing and obedience to God, yet today many confessional Protestants are leery of the term, seeing it as a Trojan horse under which liberal social and ethical agendas will be smuggled into the church, and individual freedoms relinquished to an all-powerful central state. But this is shortsighted. The Protestant tradition has a great deal to say about the nature of justice that is intensely relevant for today’s challenges, offering a vision of human dominion in community which defies the shibboleths of both Left and Right.

Our Speaker

Our speaker this year will be Brian Dijkema, Program Director of Work and Economics at the leading Canadian Christian thinktank, Cardus, and Senior Editor of Comment magazine. Prior to joining Cardus, Brian worked for almost a decade in labour relations in Canada after completing his master’s degree with Cardus Senior Fellow, Jonathan Chaplin. He has also done work on international human rights, with a focus on labour, economic, and social rights in Latin America and China. As a graduate of Redeemer University College, an avid disciple of the Reformed theological tradition, and a paragon of principled irenicism, he is the perfect guide to lead us in a discussion of these challenging but crucial questions.

As always, we eagerly invite paper presentations from attendees on topics that are exegetical, historical, and/or normative, developing a biblical account of economic justice and freedom, considering earlier teaching within the Christian ethical tradition on these themes, and interacting closely with modern social and economic challenges in order to present faithful solutions for our own time. Click here for a full Call for Papers.

Register Now

Please note that in order to maintain the convivial atmosphere of the event, attendance at the National Convivium will be limited to 45. We encourage you to register as soon as possible using the form below to ensure your place. If you intend to submit a paper proposal, please go ahead and register to reserve a spot; if your proposal is not accepted and you choose not to attend, we will refund your registration (otherwise, refunds are only available if we can find someone to take your spot). Note that a limited number of bursaries are available to assist students in financial need, waiving the registration fee and where necessary helping with travel expenses. If you are applying for a bursary, please indicate that in the form below and we will contact you if further documentation is needed.

If you are able, please consider making an additional donation to the bursary fund. We keep prices for this conference far lower than most equivalent events, and your generosity enables us to provide free attendance and airfares to those otherwise unable to attend.