Here are the two abstracts I sent off this morning. If it’s your first submission it says that you need to send off the paper in advance. But when you go to actually submit the abstracts, it says that you only have to submit the paper if requested by the chair. I have both papers already 95% complete, so I guess I’m good either way. I will say having the papers written did help me craft my abstract more precisely.
Pauline Epistles: The Motif of Glory (Doxa) in Romans
While glory is often discussed in relation to the Corinthian letters, the motif in Romans is also significant for Paul’s argument, with 22 occurrences of doxa and its cognates. Through social scientific analysis commentators have rightly highlighted the sociological aspects of doxa as a primary term in Paul’s honour discourse. However, Paul also applies doxa language ontologically with relation to the nature of God, the effects of the fall, and the eschatological salvation of believers. Regarding this ontological use, Paul directly intertwines glory with immortality/incorruption language, such that the experience of divine life is the primary referent of doxa language (e.g.. 1.23; 8.21; 9.22-23). Thus, when Paul describes all people as having lost the glory of God, he is primarily referring to their experience of mortality due to sin. For Paul the solution to this problem is justification, which leads to a restoration of life. Accordingly, the glory connection further clarifies our understanding of righteousness as new creation in addition to forensic pronouncement, which provides evidence that Paul does not separate participation and forensic categories. Finally, this human experience of the divine opens doors for discussions about theosis or deification in Paul.
[This horse should be about dead, but I figured I’d beat it a few more times. I hear the odds of getting accepted are about 1/4 in this group so pray for me!]
History of Interpretation: Irenaeus, Psalm 82, and Paul
That the psalmist’s pronouncement “I said you are gods and sons of the Most High” (Psalm 82.6) plays a central role in Greek Patristic views of deification goes without dispute. Irenaeus was not the first theologian to interpret Psalm 82 as describing Christian deification, but the grid he uses to explain the Psalm served as the basis of several later writers. Interestingly, Irenaeus does not refer to Jesus’ use of this passage (John 10:34), but rather he focuses exclusively on texts from Paul’s letters—Gal 4.4-7, Rom 8.15, and 1 Cor 15.53-54. Examining Irenaeus’ four discussions of this Psalm in his Against Heresies, I explore how these Pauline texts fit within his presentation of deification. From his use of Paul we understand that Irenaeus primarily presents deification as a relationship through the metaphor of adoption. Through this deifying adoption, believers are able to partake of the inheritance promised in the scriptures, namely a restored creation and incorruption of the body. This provides further evidence for the growing consensus that Irenaeus’ use of Paul is by choice rather than by obligation to save him from the heretics. Irenaeus’ vision of deification in Paul invites further investigation to Paul’s letters in light of this, particularly for those of us in the western tradition.
[This is a chunk out of my Irenaeus chapter that I have reworked.]