‘Like Newborn Infants’…

IMG_1445I just received an offprint of my most recent article, this time on 1 Peter. It is published in a volume published in memory of a Norwegian New Testament scholar, Hans Kvalbein:

The Church and Its Mission in the New Testament and Early Christianity. Essays in Memory of Hans Kvalbein, edited by David E. Aune and Reidar Hvalvik. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. Siebeck.2018.

My own contribution is : “‘Like Newborn Infants..’ The Readers of 1 Peter as Newly Converted Christians?” (pp 227-242):

In a study published in 2005 on acculturation and assimilation in 1 Peter, I argued, in opposition to the views on acculturation of both John H. Elliott and David Balch,that the burning issue in 1 Peter was not how to cope with current Greco-Roman society (social acculturation and assimilation issues), but that “the Christians of 1 Peter are first generation Christians, that is, they are still in a process of being socialized into the Christian worldview.” I also argued that they were perceived of as in a kind of liminal situation as newly converted Christians, and that their attitudes to Greco-Roman institutions were a secondary aspect of the author’s strategy in this letter, and thus more a consequence of the intended primary acculturation into the Christian faith and ways of living than as a program of acculturation or assimilation to Greco-Roman society.
An important premise in this view is the issue of whether or not the readers can really be understood as relatively new as Christians. In the present study, I would like to elaborate on this question, trying to substantiate my view that they were considered fairly recently converted Christians. I might admit that there is no single statement in the letter providing a clear-cut answer, but, as I argue, the cumulative effect of some passages supports the conclusion that the addressees were considered first generation Christians, probably as having been Christians for just a few years.

Two new Phd Research Fellowships,Norway

Phd Research Fellowships, Theology of Mission and Religious Studies

The MHS School of Mission and Theology (Stavanger, Norway) will start up a four years research project on how migrants establish and create meanings in their encounters with Norwegian society (in particular Norwegian Christian traditions and the Norwegian welfare system). Linked to this project, two PhD Research Fellowship positions are now open: one in Theology of Mission and one in Religious Studies, both starting up August 1, 2015.

The MHS invites applications to two PhD Research Fellowship positions, one in Theology of Mission and one in Religious Studies. Both positions are linked to a research project directed by Professor Tomas Sundnes Drønen and Associate Professor Kari Storstein Haug: Cracks and in-betweens: Investigating religious and cultural gaps between the secular and the sacred.

For further info, see here.

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, History of Christianity in China

The MHS School of Mission and Theology (Stavanger, Norway) will August 1, 2015, start up a research project on the Chinese—Norwegian encounter that took place in connection with the activity of The Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS) in the province of Hunan, China, in the period from 1902 to 1951. Linked to this project, a research position is now open: either 1 PhD Research Fellowship or 1 Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in History of Christianity, starting up August 1, 2015.

The MHS invites applications to a position—either a PhD Research Scholarship or a Postdoctoral Research Scholarship—in History of Christianity. The position is linked to the research project Communication, Conflict and Cooperation: Chinese-Norwegian Encounters in Hunan, 1900-1950, directed by PhD Kristin Fjelde Tjelle and Professor Odd Magne Bakke.

For further info, se here.

Interpreting Proverbs

One of my colleagues at The School of Mission and Theology, Assoc.prof. dr. Kari Storstein Haug, is having her dissertation published this year. Haug is a scholar traversing several scholarly fields, and is now a professor in missiology. Her dissertation, however, is on

Interpreting Proverbs 11:18-31, Psalm 73, and Ecclesiastes 9:1-12 in Light of, and as a Response to, Thai Buddhist Interpretations.A Contribution to Christian-Buddhist Dialogue (Studies in Systematic Theology 10; Brill, Leiden, 2012).

The book discusses how three Old Testament wisdom texts can be interpreted in light of, and as a response to Thai Buddhist interpretations. Its central aim is to explore a new method in Buddhist-Christian dialogue that has three steps. First, Buddhists are asked to reflect on biblical texts, second, the texts are analyzed by placing Christian and Buddhist perspectives side by side, and finally points of convergence and difference are established in order to provide a platform for further dialogue. A List of Contents can be seen here.

Studies on ‘Mission in the New Testament’

 New Testament scholarship and missiology have for some time been understood as two different fields of studies. Few scholars are prominent in both fields. Evidence of the wide separation between the two fields includes aspects as different chairs in distinct departments; different journals for the specialities, and the lack of awareness of the scholarship in the biblical discipline by missiologists and vice versa.

On the other hand, now-a-days some are also calling for for a closer co-operation between these two fields of studies and in recent years we have seen a promising revival of New Testament studies dealing with issues of mission in the New Testament.  Below here are listed some studies on ‘Mission in the New Testament’ that I have found available on line.

History and Theology of Mission in the New Testament
Directed by Professor Jostein Ådna (E-mail: jostein.aadna@mhs.no)

Professors Jey J. Kanagaraj (Bethel Bible Institute, 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). So far the seminar has convened during the 62nd, 63rd and 64th General Meetings of SNTS in Sibiu, Romania, 2007, in Lund, Sweden, 2008, and in Vienna, Austria, in 2009. It will continue its work during the next two annual General Meetings, i.e. in Berlin, Germany, 2010, and Annandale-on-Hudson, USA, 2011.

The link above will lead you to the pages were the papers delivered at the seminars so far are available.

In addition, here are three studies by Andreas Köstenberger;

  • “The Challenge of a Systematized Biblical Theology: Missiological Insights from the Gospel of John,” Missiology 23 (1995): 445–64. Get the Article.
  • “The Place of Mission in New Testament Theology: An Attempt to Determine the Significance of Mission Within the Scope of the New Testament’s Message as a Whole,” Missiology 27 (1999): 347–62. Get the Article.
  • “John’s Trinitarian Mission Theology.” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 9/4 (Winter 2005): 14-33. Get the Article.