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.