This article examines the way Cyril of Alexandria interprets the Passion narrative in his commentary on the Gospel of John. It argues that besides the doctrinal, christological focus of his exegesis Cyril is concerned with a second issue: the contested masculinity of Jesus and his followers during the events of the Passion. This concern becomes clear when Cyril designates the cross-bearing Jesus as “the type of manly courage” (typos andreías). Following a survey of the current historical masculinity studies, the article examines Cyril’s interpretation of such scenes of the Johannine Passion account where Jesus is depicted as being arrested, beaten and flogged, humiliated and finally crucified – i.e., depicted in a way that might seem to contradict antique ideals of manliness. It finally analyzes Cyril’s explanations as to various “unmanly” or “manly” traits of Jesus’ adversaries, especially of the Jews, and of his followers: Peter, his beloved disciple and his Mother.
The way in which theology is formulated often relates to three components—texts, traditions, and contexts—each of which has its own distinctive and interactive forces to shape theology. The major conundrum affecting methodology of contemporary theology is, however, a radical shift from text and tradition to context, as if both text and tradition had been contextual and thus theology were always to be contextual. What if our contexts are oppressive and violent? On what basis can we resist such violent contextual values? Who are ‘we’ here and what does ‘resist’ imply for theological method? Reviewing various concepts of person in Max Scheler, Korean neo-Confucian scholar Dasan Cheong Yak Yong (1762–1836), and Emmanuel Levinas, this article argues that person, not as a self-sufficient subjectivity but as one interacting with others and their contexts, must be included as one of the subjects that formulates theology, along with texts, traditions, and contexts, and that interactions among the four components are the actual forces for constructing theology.
In “To Renew the Covenant”: Religious Themes in Eighteenth-Century Quaker Abolitionism, Jon R. Kershner argues that Quakers adhered to a providential view of history, which motivated their desire to take a corporate position against slavery. Antislavery Quakers believed God’s dealings with them, for good or ill, were contingent on their faithfulness. Their history of deliverance from persecution, the liberty of conscience they experienced in the British colonies, and the ethics of the Golden Rule formed a covenantal relationship with God that challenged notions of human bondage. Kershner traces the history of abolitionist theologies from George Fox and William Edmundson in the late seventeenth century to Paul Cuffe and Benjamin Banneker in the early nineteenth century. It covers the Germantown Protest, Benjamin Lay, John Woolman, Anthony Benezet, William Dillwyn, Warner Mifflin, and others who offered religious arguments against slavery. It also surveys recent developments in Quaker antislavery studies.
In this article, Dr. John Barclay’s work in Pauline studies and particularly his research on the ancient notion of gift (charis [χάρις]) will be used to inform the modern social—and really the theological—predicament of race and place for the church of Jesus Christ. While reviews and reflections of Barclay’s work have focused on the author’s place in the so-called New Perspective and intertestamental understandings of soteriological constructs in the NT, his theological utility for systematics engaging in the social sciences, ethics and practical theology have largely remained unexplored. Civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., famously opined, ‘We must face the fact that…the church is still the most segregated major institution…’ With this in mind, Barclay offers a genuine gift to our understanding of charis, which has implications for the post-segregated church today as she finds herself in a racialized world of brokenness and disparity. This paper will aim to creatively explore the theological utility of Barclay’s work in this intersection of race and place for the church, as she bears witness to the gracious gift of God in Christ.
This article responds to papers presented at a research conference at London School of Theology in April 2017 interacting with John Barclay’s Paul and the Gift, and subsequently published in Evangelical Quarterly. It responds in turn to Desta Heliso, Conrad Gempf, Matthew Jones, and Graham McFarlane on a journey from Paul to the Gospels, to Martin Luther King, and finally to Jacques Derrida.
Simon Wiesenthal encapsulates the impossibility of forgiveness in the face of Holocaust evil. Deconstructionist, Jacques Derrida articulates what he describes as the aporia of forgiveness—that once given it degenerates into an economy of exchange and thus negates the ‘purity’ of forgiveness. In Paul and the Gift John Barclay offers a New Testament response to contemporary voices. He argues that whilst the gift of the gospel is unconditional, it does not come unconditioned and identifies six ‘perfections’ of the gift of grace we receive in response to the Gospel. The free gift does indeed come with conditions. Anselm and McLeod Campbell are offered as examples of atonement that incorporate various aspects of Barclay’s presentation of gift.