Fuller Faculty Member to Lead Academic Conference in Israel


Fuller Theological Seminary announces an academic conference to be held in Israel this summer under the leadership of Christopher B. Hays, the D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Fuller. The July 9–11 conference, “Deathless Hopes: Reinventions of Afterlife and Eschatological Beliefs,” was envisioned and planned by Dr. Hays and three of his fellow recipients of the 2013 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise.

Says Hays, “This conference brings together some bright younger scholars and major senior figures to talk about a question that has been central in the human experience over the millennia: The afterlife. Because the participants are drawn from a wide array of fields and periods, we expect a lot of creative ferment and a broad perspective.”

The “Deathless Hopes” symposium will draw scholars from Germany, Israel, the UK, and the US together to discuss how ancient Israelites and others in the Near East understood what happened to humans after death. Working with biblical and apocryphal texts, and insights from disciplines like systematic theology and evolutionary biology, the conference aims to shed light on ancient beliefs both in their contexts and as they are pertinent today.

Hosted by Oranim Academic College of Education in Tivon, Israel, the conference is funded by a Lautenschlaeger Symposium Grant. The Lautenschlaeger award is given for excellence in doctoral or initial postdoctoral work, and was granted to Dr. Hays in 2013 for his published dissertation Death in the Iron Age and in First Isaiah. This summer’s symposium is the result of a proposal submitted by Professor Hays, Dr. Yael Avrahami (Oranim Academic College of Education, Dr. Andreas Losch (University of Bern), and Dr. Alexander Maßmann (Heidelberg University).

For more information and to register for the conference, contact Dr. Hays at

(626) 584-5200
(800) 235-2222
135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182