254 Articles
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CHRIST’S “SYMPHONIC” OBEDIENCE: EXPLORING HANS URS VON BALTHASAR’S ARCHETYPAL EXPERIENCE THROUGH HAN CONFUCIANISM

Pro Ecclesia Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

CHRIST’S “SYMPHONIC” OBEDIENCE: EXPLORING HANS URS VON BALTHASAR’S ARCHETYPAL EXPERIENCE THROUGH HAN CONFUCIANISM

Joshua R. Brown

INTRODUCTION

This essay explores how Hans Urs von Balthasar’s conception of Christ’s archetypal experience involves the exemplarity of his filial obedience.1 I argue Balthasar develops an implicit taxonomy of obedience with Christ as the apical “symphonic” obedience in contrast to creaturely and covenantal forms of obedience. By “symphonic,” I mean the attunement of all the parts within a whole—within Jesus, his obedience, his love of God, and existence are all perfectly attuned to one another. Thus, Jesus’s life shows us a “symphonic” obedience wherein all the parts are distinct, yet “sound together” in seamless harmony. Moreover, I mean to show how Balthasar’s attention to this aspect of Jesus is particularly steeped in the filial nature of the Incarnation, and hence his filial obedience is the uniquely symphonic form.

Joshua R. Brown, Loyola University Maryland, Dept. of Theology, 4501 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21210. E-mail: jrbrown@loyola.edu.

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ORIGEN AND THE COUNCIL OF YHWH: A CASE STUDY IN THEOLOGICAL–CRITICAL INTERPRETATION

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ORIGEN AND THE COUNCIL OF YHWH: A CASE STUDY IN THEOLOGICAL–CRITICAL INTERPRETATION

James W. Haring

AN UNLIKELY PARTNERSHIP

Modernity typically casts critical biblical scholarship and “pre-critical” biblical exegesis as antagonists. These stock characters have begun to disintegrate, and here I offer an example that rescripts them as unwitting partners. Both, in fact, have a substantial commonality: they confront modern readers with something foreign. If early Christian biblical interpretation is foreign to modern sensibilities in its use of allegory and its detection of spiritual meanings, modern biblical scholarship often brings into relief just how foreign the Scriptures are when understood on their own terms and in their own context. Thus, it is ironic, but perhaps unsurprising, to find that when biblical scholars uncover the strangeness of the (often implicit) worldview of the authors of the Hebrew Bible, it sometimes cancels out the strangeness of early biblical interpreters. What emerges is that the strangeness of these early interpretations was sometimes linked not to a failure to read the biblical texts perceptively, but to the cultural and intellectual proximity of early interpreters to the very strangeness of the biblical texts themselves.

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AQUINAS AND SUPERSESSIONISM ONE MORE TIME: A RESPONSE TO MATTHEW A. TAPIE’S AQUINAS ON ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH

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AQUINAS AND SUPERSESSIONISM ONE MORE TIME: A RESPONSE TO MATTHEW A. TAPIE’S AQUINAS ON ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH

Matthew Levering

In his Aquinas on Israel and the Church: The Question of Supersessionism in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas, Matthew Tapie examines my work first in a section on pages 30–38, then in an excursus on pages 41–47, and finally in a section on 158–163.1 Indeed, his book functions in large part as a critique of my writings on the topic of Thomas Aquinas and supersessionism. Among other things, he suggests that I “only . . . pay lip service to the call for the renunciation of harsh Christian supersessionism.”2 Given the significance of the topic, it seems appropriate for me to engage his criticisms, especially since this engagement provides a chance to clarify, rectify, and extend my long-standing interest in Aquinas and supersessionism. In addition to underscoring my firm “renunciation of harsh Christian supersessionism,” the present essay argues for the importance of Aquinas’s commentary on Gal. 5:3 for understanding the full contours of Aquinas’s theology of the Jewish people. Although in the body of the essay I focus upon Tapie’s concerns, and therefore do not discuss Messianic Judaism (which was in the foreground of my earlier engagements with Aquinas and supersessionism), I clarify and further develop my position on Messianic Judaism in the footnotes of the essay. Thanks in significant part to the efforts of Mark S. Kinzer, with whom I have been in dialogue for a number of years and who kindly read and criticized a draft of the present essay, Messianic Judaism has become an increasingly important topic in recent years within the Catholic Church.3

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READING THE TRINITY IN THE BIBLE: ASSUMPTIONS, WARRANTS, ENDS

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READING THE TRINITY IN THE BIBLE: ASSUMPTIONS, WARRANTS, ENDS

Brad East

INTRODUCTION

The one God depicted in and by the Bible is the Holy Trinity. Christians therefore read Scripture well when Trinitarian faith is operative in their reading and, in turn, when their reading leads them more deeply into the triune mystery. These claims are either unremarkably traditional or immediately implausible, depending on the audience in question. The disjunction is partly historical—that is, the claims’ purported implausibility appeared on the scene and thence became thinkable around, say, three centuries ago—but mostly it is regional, cultural, disciplinary: a certain pedagogical and scholarly tutelage has reinforced and maintained the in-principle improbability of Trinitarian interpretation of the Bible, not least among Christians, and it continues to exert a widespread influence. Whatever the factors and reasons informing such a view, however, whether ambivalent or antagonistic, I will not make it my task to sort them out or assign them to particular periods or persons. My aim in this article is more constructive, less polemical—though it unavoidably contains a polemical edge.

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CREATION AND CROSS IN THE ANGLICAN SPIRITUALITY OF THOMAS TRAHERNE

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CREATION AND CROSS IN THE ANGLICAN SPIRITUALITY OF THOMAS TRAHERNE

William Witt

In the following paper, I intend to examine the relationship between theology and spirituality in the theology of Thomas Traherne. I proceed with three assumptions.

First, there is a direct relationship between doctrines or beliefs and practices, including spirituality, worship (or liturgy), and ethics. This has been a common theme of much theology in the last half century, but it is almost always worthwhile to examine how this works out in the writings of a particular theologian.

Second, there is such a thing as the subject matter of Christian faith, and this has both a center and a periphery. The center is expressed in the Trinitarian and incarnational structure of the Rule of Faith appealed to by second-century Church Fathers like Irenaeus, and in the ecumenical creeds of the patristic era. This center is an essential summary of and hermeneutical guide to reading the normative text of the Christian Scriptures. Historically, the most enduring and helpful theologies have been those that have placed their focus on this center. We continue to read the works of Irenaeus, Athanasius, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Richard Hooker, Karl Barth, and C. S. Lewis for this reason.

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