For those who will be in Boston on Friday, Nov. 17th, for the first day of the SBL conference, please consider attending the IBR Pauline Theology Research Group, organized by Nijay Gupta and me (John Goodrich). This is the group’s second year in existence, and we have another great session planned. Please see the details below. Hope to see you there!

11/17/2017
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Room: Arlington (Third Level) – Boston Marriott Copley Place (MCP)

Theme: Research Group – Pauline Theology
Often scholars examine Paul’s theology in terms of his “soteriology,” that is, the themes and constructs that comprise and influence his theology of salvation. This session takes interest in better understanding Paul’s soteriology with focused attention on Paul’s “sin” language (especially hamartia and its cognates, but also key synonyms). Sometimes Paul appears to present sin and disobedience as self-conscious transgression; at other times it is personified and treated as an enslaving power. Is there a model or perspective that can account for these? And what does this tell us about the Christological, Theological, and Pneumatological “remedies” to the problem of sin as Paul conceives of them? For further information, contact Nijay Gupta (ngupta@georgefox.edu) or John Goodrich (john.goodrich@moody.edu). See also https://www.ibr-bbr.org/ (Click on Research Groups).

John Goodrich, Moody Bible Institute, Presiding
Nijay K. Gupta, Presiding
John Goodrich, Moody Bible Institute, Introduction (5 min)
Martinus de Boer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Panelist (25 min)
Andrew Das, Elmhurst College, Panelist (25 min)
Break (5 min)
Nijay K. Gupta, Introduction (5 min)
Bruce Longenecker, Baylor University, Panelist (25 min)
Panel Discussion
Discussion (20 min)
Open Discussion
Discussion (10 min)

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This Thursday night, Oct. 12, at 7pm, in Belin Chapel, Houston Baptist University will be hosting our 2017 A.O. Collins lecture by Dr. Dale Allison, from Princeton Seminary. The title of the lecture is, “The Bible in an Age of Screens.” Details may be found here: https://www.hbu.edu/school-of-christian-thought/events-in-the-college/a-o-collins-lectures/ The lecture will be followed by a brief Q&A and refreshments.

The lecture is free and open to the public, so please do come join us if you are in town!

I recently posted the call for papers for the NABPR national meeting, so I thought I would note that my esteemed colleague Tim Brookins is organizing the Southwest regional NABPR meeting that meets in conjunction with the Southwest Regional Conference on Religious Studies (SWCRS)–March 9-10, 2018.

This year the NABPR Southwest conference will be focusing on “Christianity and Culture”. Papers will address the relationship between Christianity and culture at a philosophical level (the nature of cultural “translation,” the implications of the “embeddedness” of Christianity within culture, etc.) and/or a practical level (examining particular interactions between Christians and the surrounding culture in different places and at different times across Christian history).

Put it on your calendar. I know it will be a good event!

P.S. As a reminder, SWCRS proposals are due October 15.

Many thanks to Logos are in order, as the October “free book of the month” is Joseph Fitzmyer’s Romans volume in the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary series. And, as if that were not generous enough, Logos has also made available for cheap Francis Andersen’s Habakkuk volume ($1.99) as well as J. Louis Martyn’s Galatians volume ($2.99), both from the same series. Just scroll down the give-away page to see those two additional offers.

Call for Papers
National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion
Annual Meeting
Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs, NC
May 21 – 23, 2018

The National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion (NABPR) invites paper proposals in any area pertaining to scholarship in Religion.  In an effort to develop innovative conversations among scholars, papers which create integration between traditional disciplines or broaden the margins of disciplinary conversations are encouraged.   Although many NABPR members work primarily in the traditional disciplines of Biblical Studies, Church History, Theology, etc., proposals are encouraged from any field, including Ministry Studies.

Paper or panel proposals on any aspect of pedagogy related to the teaching of Religion are encouraged.

Proposals must be received by January 15, 2018.  Send a 300-word abstract to:

Doug Weaver
Department of Religion
Baylor University
One Bear Place # 97284
Waco, TX 76798-7284
Doug_Weaver@baylor.edu

  • Papers will be scheduled into a 30 minute time period, including discussion.
  • Proposals will be accepted or denied by March 1, 2018.
  • Graduate Students are encouraged to submit proposals.
  • The price of registration for Graduate Students is waived for the Annual Meeting.

Membership Requirement

Authors of accepted proposals must be members of NABPR in good standing by May 1. Authors must pay dues for the current year and be registered for the Annual meeting. Accepted Papers which have not met these criteria will be removed from the program. Inquires about dues and membership status should be directed to Joyce Swoveland: joyce_swoveland@baylor.edu

If you are able to be in Dallas, TX next March, you should consider attending the annual SWCRS meeting. It meets on March 11-12 near DFW airport. SWCRS consists of several professional societies, including SBL and AAR. It is a good size meeting, but not overwhelming. If you have never attended a professional meeting, this would be a good one to start with.

You can find information about the call for papers at the SWCRS page. I (Jason) chair the New Testament section for SBL, and I’m always looking for good papers. I’m happy to consider papers from faculty and PhD candidates. If you have never presented, this is a good place to do it.

In a previous post I (Jason) noted what I think is the most important claim made by Campbell in his book Framing Paul: An Epistolary Biography. It is the role he assigns to Ephesians/Laodiceans as the summary of Paul’s theology. In this post I want to raise a potential methodological problem with Campbell’s project.

As the subtitle indicates this book uses exclusively Paul’s epistles to establish Paul’s biography. Campbell is following John Knox when he identifies Paul’s letters as “primary” evidence. This primacy is set over against the book of Acts, which is treated as “secondary” evidence.

I want to note two problems with this approach. First, while I appreciate the need to ensure that one understands what each letter itself is saying about Paul’s travels, it strikes me as problematic to exclude evidence when one is trying to reconstruct a person’s life from 2000 years ago. My impression is that this is not the way historians typically operate. Historians draw on all the available material to construct an account of what happened. When we have so little material to work with, it seems mistaken to disregard from the outset a potential source.

Second, and more problematic to me, is Campbell’s willingness to use other sources besides Paul’s letters to collaborate or explain potential historical connections, which Campbell does at key points in his account, while maintaining a complete disregard for Acts. It is unclear to me why he is willing to use this material but not Acts. Campbell’s argument is not exclusively using Paul’s letters for the reconstruction. For example, the Thessalonian correspondences do not clearly identify when they were written or why. Yet, Campbell confidently claims that they were written against the backdrop of the Gaian crisis in 40-42 CE. This may be the case, but the only way Campbell can make this claim is to draw on non-Pauline material to establish a potential historical referent. The Thessalonian correspondences do not explicitly identify this issue. But here is precisely the problem: as soon as one allows any source beyond the letters into play, one must be willing to allow all the evidence into play–including Acts.

Campbell indicates at several points that a follow up study of Acts is in the works (or at least a study of Paul that incorporates Acts). I wonder when Acts is evaluated will the evidence of Acts at points be allowed to modify the reconstruction Campbell offers in Framing Paul? Or, will the conclusions drawn here be given priority and allowed to overrun Luke’s account? Is the framing presented in this volume actually as tentative as Campbell indicates at times? Or, is the frame now a fixed structure and any material that does not build on this pattern going to be rejected outright? Is Framing Paul the blue prints that are still subject to adjustment, even moving a whole wall if necessary, or is it a steel structure and Acts can only add some decorative features?