Information about the activities of the working group on 'Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic'
Perspectives old, new, and apocalyptic on Paul, and the shape of dogmatic theology.
Douglas Harink, The King’s University College, Edmonton
Once again this year we will begin our activities during the AAR/SBL with a workshop session on Friday afternoon. In a change to the previously advertised programme, Doug Harink will be presenting a working paper exploring the implications of recent Pauline scholarship for dogmatics. The paper will be followed by a time of open conversation concerning the questions and issues prompted by the paper. You are all most welcome to attend. Here is an abstract of the paper:
- Within Protestant theology the interpretation of Paul, and more specifically of the Letter to the Romans, has had a determinative influence on the shape of dogmatic and systematic theology. The contours of the theology of the “Lutheran” interpretation of Paul have provided the basic outline for presentations of Christian doctrine from Melanchthon, Calvin, and Lutheran and Calvinist scholasticism, up to the present day. In this paper I ask what the “New Perspective on Paul” has to contribute to the form and content of dogmatic/systematic theology, suggesting that it at least should cause us to place some themes at the heart of dogmatic theology that have previously been left on the fringe or outside of systems of doctrine. I conclude with an argument that an “apocalyptic” reading of Paul, and specifically Romans, has the capacity to take up, redefine, and discipline the contributions of both the “Lutheran” and “New Perspective” interpretations, while at the same time conceiving the shape of dogmatic theology differently. I am in conversation with the works of Stephen Westerholm, J. D. G. Dunn, J. Louis Martyn, Douglas Campbell, and Karl Barth.
Upcoming Sessions at the AAR/SBL 2013: Book Panel on ‘Outlaw Justice: The Messianic Politcs of Paul’
Once again this year we are glad to host a panel session to engage with the author of a recent book which touches on themes close to the heart of the work of our group. We are very grateful to Ted Jennings (Chicago Theological Seminary) who will join us to discuss his most recent book, Outlaw Justice: The Messianic Politics of Paul (Standford University Press, 2013). We hope to see you there!
Kaitlyn Dugan (Curator, Center for Barth Studies, Princeton Theological Seminary)
Beverly Gaventa, (Distinguished Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Baylor University)
Arne Rasmusson (Professor of Systematic Theology, Gothenburg University, Sweden)
Gordon Zerbe (Professor of New Testament, Canadian Mennonite University)
Theodore Jennings (Professor of Biblical and Constructive Theology, Chicago Theological Seminary)
Joshua B. Davis, (Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology The General Theological Seminary, NYC)
We are pleased to announce that at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (Baltimore, MD, November 23-26, 2013) alongside our additional meetings we will host a Wildcard Session as part of the regularly scheduled conference.
- Dr Philip Ziegler (University of Aberdeen), Presiding
- Dr. Joseph Mangina (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto): If It’s a Symbol, To Hell With It: Apocalyptic and Transubstantiation
- Dr. Susan Eastman (Duke University Divinity School): One Church Holy and Apocalyptic?
Does appeal to apocalyptic trump ‘apostolic’ as a descriptor of the church? This paper explores the points of tension and of contact between descriptions of the church as apostolic and as apocalyptic. Insofar as ‘apostolic’ signals an overriding concern to protect the church’s identity through an institutionally protective and unbroken stream of tradition and leadership, apocalyptic descriptors of the church represent a profound interruption and disruption of such self-description. Insofar, however, as the meaning of ‘apostolic’ is drawn from the force of the Greek — ‘sent out’ — the church as apocalyptic must indeed be apostolic. In this sense, the word ‘apostolic’ conveys the church’s union with Christ in Christ’s redemptive incursion into human history existence without remainder and without exception.
- Dr. Chris Huebner (Canadian Mennonite University): The Apocalyptic Body of Christ? Reflections on Yoder and Apocalyptic Theology
- Mr. Ry O. Siggelkow (PhD Candidate, Princeton Theological Seminary): The Transgression of the Integrity of the Church
For those of you who were unable to squeeze into the room last November in Chicago to take in our panel discussion of Prof. James Cone’s most recent book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Orbis Press) — as well as for those who were — I’m glad to announce that all the panelists’ remarks together with Prof. Cone’s response have just been published as a ‘Book Forum’ in the July 2013 issue of Theology Today.
It’s a spirited and enlightening exchange that well repays reading!
II/ Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic—Session II (Sunday evening– details TBA)
J. Louis Martyn has argued that we must recognize the importance of the “third actor” (besides God and humans) in the Christian redemptive and moral drama, namely, Satan, and/or the powers of Sin and Death, and/or the “principalities and powers.” While Martyn has recently refocused this issue for Pauline theology, it is also increasingly important in other strains of modern and contemporary theological reflection. These papers will variously explore the significance of the “third agent” in contemporary theology and examine the contribution of that theme to Christian theology in an apocalyptic mode.
Papers offered by:
- Trevor Eppehimer (Hood Theological Seminary): ‘Domestic Insurgency or Foreign Invasion? John Milbank and J. Louis Martyn on Redemption and the “Third Actor”’
- Myles Werntz (Baylor University): ‘The Ubiquity of Christ and the Sites of Redemption:William Stringfellow and the Resistance to Death’
- Matt Croasmun (Yale University): ‘An Emergent Account of Sin in Romans 5-8 as the “Third Actor”: Emergence Theory as a Source for Contemporary Christian Theology’
- Scott Prather (University of Aberdeen): ‘Apocalyptic and Providential Power(s)’
Chair: Jodi Belcher (Duke Divinity School)
I/ Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic—Session I (6:30-9:00 in Conference Room 4C at the Hilton Chicago Hotel)
Session M17-403 in the AAR Programme Book
With an eye to the themes of our working group, our three panelists will engage with James Cone’s most recent work, The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Orbis Press, 2011), reflecting particularly upon the theological and ethical questions it provokes. Prof. Cone will be present to reply. The good folks at Orbis Press are kindly sponsoring this session.
- Nate Kerr (Trevecca University)
- Christopher Morse (Union Theological Seminary)
- J. Kameron Carter (Duke University)
- James Cone (Union Theological Seminary)
Chair: Nancy Duff (Princeton Theological Seminary)