Theology and Apocalyptic Sessions at the 2015 AAR/SBL

The ‘Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic’ group is pleased to announce a programme of two sessions to take place as ‘additional meetings’ once again this year during the annual meeting of the AAR/SBLin Atlanta.

I/ Saturday, November 21st, 6:30 – 8:30 (Lenox Room at the Hyatt Regency )s200_samuel.adams

A Book Discussion Panel on Samuel V. Adams, The Reality of God and Historical Method: Apocalyptic Theology in Conversation with N.T. Wright (forthcoming 2015, Inter-Varsity Press).

  • Grant Macaskill (University of Aberdeen)
  • Chris Tilling (St Mellitus College, London)
  • Joshua B. Davis (Birmingham, AL)
  • Samuel V. Adams (Kilns College), responding
  • Justin Klassen (Bellarmine University), presiding

II / Sunday, November 22nd, 6:30 – 8:30 (Room 213 at the Hilton Downtown)

The Place of Divine Judgement in an Apocalyptic Theology: A Panel SessionNiklaus 1846 divine judgement

  • Ry Siggelkow (Princeton Theological Seminary),  ‘The Harrowing of Hell: Ernst Käsemann’s Theology of Divine Judgement’
  • Christopher C. Brittain (University of Aberdeen), ‘Disaster and Apocalyptic Theology–On Divine Judgement and Meaning’
  • Evan F. Kuehn (University of Chicago, Divinity School), ‘The Judgement of God in Christ: A Proposal for an Apocalyptic Account of God-forsakenness’
  • Scott Prather (Jackson Free Press), ‘Apocalypse and Apathy’
  • Christopher Holmes (Otago University), presiding

Updates on the programme will be posted here in due course. Details of these sessions will also appear eventually in the AAR programme book in the ‘additional meetings’ section.


J Louis Martyn (1925-2015)

J Louis Martyn_1980s photo bw

Beverly Gaventa (Baylor) has penned a memorial tribute to Lou Martyn which can be read on the SBL webpage here.

There is also a notice from the President of Union Theological Seminary, Serene Jones, which you’ll find here.

Fleming Rutledge has also written this memorial reflection here.

Joel Marcus (Duke) offers his own personal reflections on Martyn’s life and work here on Mark Goodacre’s NT blog.


(photo credit: Fleming Rutledge)

Call for Papers — ‘The Place of Divine Judgement in an Apocalyptic Theology’, AAR / SBL November 2015

divine judgement

     Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic

      AAR 2015 (Atlanta, November 21st – 24th)

      ‘The Place of Divine Judgement in an Apocalyptic Theology’

      A Call for Papers



 Continuing our explorations in theology and apocalyptic, we invite proposals for short papers (20-25 minutes in length) investigating the place, shape, task and substance of an account of divine judgment in an apocalyptic Christian theology.  Does an apocalyptic orientation in Christian life and thought demand any particular approach to the matter of divine judgment? How might an apocalyptic theology hear and be shaped by the cardinal biblical texts that bespeak the last judgment?  What role should divine judgment play in an apocalyptic soteriology? What transformations would be required to republish traditional dogmatic accounts of divine judgment in an contemporary ‘apocalyptic key’? Are there particular resources in the theological tradition which ought to inform and guide contemporary reflection on this theme?

Proposals should be no more than 300 words in length, and must be accompanied by a brief single-page CV.

Proposals should be sent to Philip Ziegler:

All proposals must be received by April 30th, 2015

Special SBL Session: Paul and the Apocalyptic Imagination (S21 – 201)

Here’s an invitation to folks who are interested to attend this special session on the Friday afternoon just before the start of the SBL/AAR meeting dedicated to exploring ‘Paul and the Apocalyptic Imagination’.  The event has been organised by New Testament scholars Paul Maston, Ben Blackwell and John Goodrich.  It promises to be a very rich afternoon.  Full details follow:

st.-paul-with-swordFriday, November 21, 2014
12:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Room: 300 A (Level 3 (Aqua)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)
Across various branches of biblical and theological study, there is a renewed interest in ‘apocalyptic’. This development is seen particularly in the study of Paul’s theology, where it is now widely agreed that Paul promotes an ‘apocalyptic theology’. However, there is little agreement on what this means. Scholars from different perspectives have, as a result, continued to talk past each other. This special session provides an opportunity for leading Pauline scholars from different perspectives to engage in discussion about the meaning of Paul as an apocalyptic thinker. Indeed, one of the strengths and aims of this event is that different and opposing views are set next to each other. The session will hopefully bring greater clarity to the ‘apocalyptic’ reading of Paul by providing much needed definition to central terms and interpretive approaches and by highlighting both their strengths and weaknesses.

Session 1
Jason Maston, Highland Theological College, Presiding

Jason Maston, Highland Theological College, Welcome (5 min)
M. C. de Boer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – VU University Amsterdam
Apocalyptic as Eschatological Activity (25 min)
N.T. Wright, University of St. Andrews
Apocalyptic as Sudden Fulfilment of Divine Promise (25 min)
Loren Stuckenbruck, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Apocalypticism in Second Temple Judaism (25 min)
Philip Ziegler, University of Aberdeen
Apocalypticism in Modern Theology (25 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Break (15 min)
Session 2
Ben Blackwell, Houston Baptist University, Presiding
Michael Gorman, Saint Mary’s Seminary and University
The Apocalyptic New Covenant and the Shape of Life in the Spirit (25 min)
Edith Humphrey, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Apocalypse as Theoria in Paul: A New Perspective on Apocalyptic as Mother of Theology (25 min)
Douglas Campbell, Duke University
Paul’s Apocalyptic Epistemology (25 min)
Beverly Gaventa, Baylor University
Romans 9–11: An Apocalyptic Reading (25 min)
John Barclay, University of Durham
Apocalyptic Investments: First Corinthians 7 and Pauline Ethics (25 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Word of Thanks, Book Promotion, and Adjournment: John Goodrich, Moody Bible Institute

Theology and Apocalyptic at the 2014 AAR: Session Two

Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic

AAR 2014 (San Diego, November 22nd – 25th)

A Book Panel to Discuss 

Stanislas Breton’s, A Radical Philosophy of Saint Paul (Stanford University Press, 2011)

Sunday, November 24th, 6:30-8:00


Gaslamp Room 3 at the Omni Hotel

Our panellists will explore Breton’s suggestive book. We hope you will be able to join in this conversation.


  •   Travis Kroeker, McMaster University 
  •   Alexandra Brown, Washington and Lee University
  •   Justin Klassen, Bellarmine University

  Presiding: Doug Harink, The King’s University College

Theology and Apocalyptic at the 2014 AAR: Session One

joachim of fiore

Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic

AAR 2014 (San Diego, November 22nd – 25th)

 Is “Apocalyptic Dogmatics” Possible?

Saturday, November 23rd, 6:30-9:00


Gaslamp Room 2 at the Omni Hotel

Does an apocalyptic orientation in Christian life and thought subvert the very idea of dogmatic theology? If so, why and how? Or, might an apocalyptic orientation open up the possibility of doing dogmatic theology differently? If so, what impact would such orientation to apocalyptic have upon the shape, content, style and performance of dogmatics. Are there unexplored avenues and untapped resources that might contribute to such a project? Are there historical or current exemplars that might usefully guide it?

Our panellists and respondent will variously explore such questions to open up the conversation.

  • Derek Taylor (Duke University Divinity School): Theology as if Christ Speaks: Bonhoeffer’s Response to the Deafening Power of Dogmatics
  • Matt Burdette (University of Aberdeen): History is Altogether Unnecessary: Apocalyptic Theology and Robert Jenson’s Account of Divine Transcendence
  • Daniel Rhodes (Loyola University Chicago): Beyond Contemplation: The Possibility of Apocalyptic Political Orthodoxy
  • Christopher Holmes (University of Otago): Some First Principles of an Apocalyptic Dogmatics

Presiding: Philip G. Ziegler (University of Abderdeen)

Upcoming Sessions at the AAR/SBL: Friday Afternoon Workshop

Perspectives old, new, and apocalyptic on Paul, and the shape of dogmatic theology.

Douglas Harink, The King’s University College, Edmonton

M22-208Harink headshot
Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic
Friday – 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
Convention Center: CC 311

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.