Philonica et Neotestamentica

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Monthly Archives: April 2008

Reading Philo for understanding Paul

A recent study dealing with the soteriology of Paul, argues its way by help of Philo:

Frick, Peter,
‘The Means and Mode of Salvation: A Hermeneutical Proposal for Clarifying Pauline Soteriology,’
Horizons in Biblical Theology, Volume 29, Number 2, 2007 , pp. 203-222.
Abstract:“The objective of this study is to answer the question “What is the cause of salvation?” according to Paul. The argument is that just as Philo understood cause in an Aristotelian sense of the multiplicity of causes (formal, material, efficient and final) as constituting one overarching cause—what is here called the “means” of salvation—so, too, Paul implicitly assumes that the one cause or “means” of salvation consists in various causes. A second step shows how the “means” of salvation corresponds to faith as the “mode” of salvation. In nuce, the “means” of salvation is the initiative of God and the “mode” of salvation is the human response to that divine initiative.”

Theatricality in Philo’s Embassy to Gaius

There is a new study dealing with the works of Philo in the most recent issue of Journal for the Study of Judaism:

Muehlberger, Ellen,
The Representation of Theatricality in Philo’s Embassy to Gaius
Journal for the Study of Judaism, Volume 39, Number 1, 2008 , pp. 46-67.

The study is presented thus: “In this paper I argue that Philo’s Embassy to Gaius makes use of the literary paradigm of theatricality, a strategy of representation marked by the portrayal of multiple and competing discourses amongst those in unequal relations of power, as well as an emphasis on the arts of acting and discernment. The Embassy marks an appearance of the theatrical paradigm which is earlier than its use by Tacitus, whose portrayal of Nero in the Annals Shadi Bartsch has seen as the harbinger of this theme in Roman historiography.”

Christianity

Lund University, Sweeden, is now launching the popular course “Christianity” as a worldwide internet course.

The course “Christianity” (TEO D01, 30 ECTS credits) explores the origins and varieties of Christianity throughout the world today. It traces Christianity’s development from a local group of Jesus followers to a worldwide movement of faith communities, the formation of Christian doctrines and identities and the emergence and reception of the Bible as Christian Scriptures.

The course is offered entirely through internet communication technology, providing maximal accessibility and independence of location so that whoever wishes can enroll from anywhere on the globe.
The Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (CTR) at Lund University is committed to the highest standards of academic excellence; its faculty is completely independent of confessional or religious affiliations. Whoever is looking for an approach to the subject that is non-confessional yet sympathetic, that combines a Religious Studies perspective with a familiarity with faith contexts, may find this to be an interesting course.
The website of the course is: http://www.teol.lu.se/teod01/.

School of Mission & Theology accredited as ..

The School of Mission & Theology is now to be accredited as “vitenskapelig Høgskole”, that is, it is accredited as being on university level, with university rights within its fields of studies. The accredition process is to be finalized by the government, but that is rather formalistic procedure as the investigating NOKUT has approved of such an accredtition.

History and Theology of Mission in the New Testament

Professors Jey J. Kanagaraj (Hindustan Bible Institute & College, India), Stelian Tofana (Faculty of Orthodox Theology at Babes-Bolyai University, Romania) and Jostein Ådna (School of Mission and Theology, Norway) coordinate the seminar “History and Theology of Mission in the New Testament: Global Challenges and Opportunities” in Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS). The seminar started its work during the 62nd General Meeting of SNTS in Sibiu, Romania, in 2007 and plans to continue for the next four annual General Meetings, i.e. Lund, Sweden, in 2008; Vienna, Austria, in 2009; Berlin, Germany, in 2010; and Annandale-on-Hudson, USA, in 2011.

The rationale of the seminar is to contribute to the ongoing scholarly discussion and exchange on the issue of mission – both historically, exegetically and hermeneutically. The seminar coordinators have the ambition that new insights regarding the early history of mission (New Testament and Early Patristics) and the interpretation of pertinent New Testament texts will be gained. Current global challenges and opportunities in the contemporary world add immensely to the agenda of the seminar. The seminar will hopefully also be an arena for participants helping each other to understand the centrality of God’s mission and the way in which theologians, New Testament scholars in particular, may be involved in mission in the pluralistic and cross-cultural set up of today’s world.