This study explores the content correlation of two important and well-known early gospel harmonies for the first time – a visual harmony and a textual harmony – that originated within the Roman Empire in the Latin west and the Syriac east some 400 years apart during Late Antiquity. Based on in-depth comparative analyses summarized in tables and diagrams, it identifies four distinctly diatessaronic patterns in the painting that do not accord with any one of the canonical gospels, nor any other possible combination of them, but follow instead the unique construction of the Diatessaron as documented by its Arabic Christian witness. In light of contemporaneous Latin and Syriac evidence about the liturgical rites of pedilavium and eucharist during the Holy Week, this study also contextualizes the choice of the focal vignettes in the painting.
This article starts from the observation that current debates about race and racism are often couched in soteriological terms such as guilt and forgiveness, or confession and exoneration, and it argues that this overlap calls for theological analysis. Using the debate about Achille Mbembe’s disinvitation from the German art festival ‘Ruhrtriennale’ 2020 as a case that is typical of a specifically Western European discourse on race, it first sketches a brief genealogy of the modern/colonial history of religio-racialisation and its intersections with Christian tradition, in which racial categories were forged in soteriological discourses, and in which, in turn, soteriological categories were shaped by racist discourses. It proposes that in this process, Christianity, Whiteness and salvation were conflated in a way that has sponsored White supremacy, disguised as innocence. Engaging with performative race theory, the article concludes by making a constructive proposal for a performative theology of race that can account for the profound intersections between racism and soteriology, but also opens trajectories for transforming hegemonic discourses of race and their theological underpinnings.
This article is concerned with the theological implications of God’s laughter as pictured in Psalm 2:4 in view of sketching a basic comic theology proper. Since laughter is conceived by some as an overwhelming human emotion, divine laughter can be problematic. To make its case for a comic theology proper, the biblical scholarship with regard to Psalm 2 is first explored in order to establish the psalm’s content, then the current debate on im/passibility is explored to determine what is at stake in attributing emotions to God. Subsequently, the reading strategies of both analytic and narrative theology are followed to assess the theological implications of divine laughter in Psalm 2. It is concluded that divine laughter can be proper to God as an affectionate act to bring justice and reconciliation on earth.