The article offers, from a Christian perspective, an ‘interested’ reading of Romans 9-11 with a view to the problem of Christian supersessionism. Focusing on the identity and character of Israel, it offers a theologically engaged reading that resists a classic supersessionist logic. Drawing on recent historical scholarship on Jewish and Christian developments in the early centuries CE, the article argues for the underdetermined, contested and constructed character of postbiblical Israel. It then builds on a minority trajectory within recent Pauline scholarship that finds only one Israel in Romans 9-11, an Israel which embraces Christ-believing Gentiles but does not exclude non-Christ-believing Jews. Finally, it argues for a retrieval of Karl Barth’s insight (developed in the second edition of his Romans commentary) that hardened Israel is the church. Christians are thereby summoned not just to solidarity with others who have been hardened, but also to confession of their own hardening.
A New Apophaticism Susannah Ticciati draws on Augustine to develop an apophatic theology for the twenty-first century. Shifting the focus away from the potential and failure of words to say something about God, the book suggests that the purpose of God-language is to transform human beings in their relationship with God. Augustine's doctrine of predestination is read, with the help of speech-act theory and the study of indexicals, for its power to effect redemptive change; and his
De doctrina christiana is drawn upon for its semiotics. Together they make way for the hypothesis that God-language transforms human beings into better signs of God.