Thursday 15 October 2009

N.T. Wright on Paul and the Faithfulness of God

I’ve just seen news from the Center of Theological Inquiry that Tom Wright is working on volume 4 of his ‘Christian Origins and the Question of God’ series.

The following summary (found here in the members’ profiles) whets the appetite:

Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Volume IV of Christian Origins and the Question of God) combines history and theology (exegesis being a branch of both), using the worldview-analysis outlined earlier. I shall examine (i) Paul’s characteristic praxis, stories and symbols, and his answers to the key worldview questions; (ii) his theology in terms of the revision, by means of Christ and the Spirit, of the central Jewish topics of monotheism, election and eschatology. At each point we see Paul in implicit dialogue and/or confrontation both with other Jewish readings of scripture and with hellenistic and Roman ideologies. His central aim was to found and maintain united and holy Christ-communities as a sign of new humanity to the wider world.

Theologically, this demonstrates a deep inner coherence throughout Paul’s theology, reconciling otherwise puzzling topics (e.g. the classic stand-off between ‘justification’ and ‘being in Christ’), and reframing ‘ethics’ and ‘ecclesiology’ in a more central and positive role than usual. Historically, I shall reconstruct Paul’s worldview and mindset in terms of a complex but coherent relationship (part derivation, part confrontation, part creative engagement) with the multiple worlds of C1 Judaism, Hellenism and Roman imperialism.’

No comments: