Walter H. Gray Associate Professor of Anglican Studies and Patristics
Yale University Divinity School and
Berkeley Divinity School at Yale
Yale Divinity School
409 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Award Winning Publication
Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God: 'In Your Light We Shall See Light', Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008.
This groundbreaking study focuses on the interconnection between theological and spiritual concerns in the Trinitarian doctrine of St Gregory of Nazianzus, who was the definitive teacher on the Trinity in Eastern Christian tradition. It shows the spiritual and pastoral import of Gregory's theology and the theological substance of his spirituality by treating the following main topics: (1) the spiritual dialectic of purification and illumination, (2) the dynamic process of divinization (theosis), (3) the singular identity of Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God, (4) the divinity of the Holy Spirit, (5) the Spirit's role in determining biblical interpretation and theological method, (6) the "theology" of the Trinity, rooted in the divine economy, (7) the basis of the Trinity in the monarchy of God the Father, (8) the Trinitarian shape of pastoral ministry, and (9) an overview of Gregory's life and work and an extensive comparison with his predecessors and contemporaries.
My current research projects include: (1) A large-scale reassessment of patristic tradition. The book focuses on the doctrine and worship of Christ among major Greek, Latin, and Oriental theologians, communities, and church councils between 300 and 800. It will offer a new account of the nature, development, and ecumenical significance of this influential body of Christian tradition, including an analysis of the use of patristic tradition in modern theological and ecclesiastical projects. (2) A book on the basic principles of early-Christian pastoral leadership, written for clergy, seminarians, and lay leaders of today's Christian churches of all denominations.
Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College's School of Theology and Ministry
School of Theology and Ministry
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3800
Award Winning Publication
The Promise of Christian Humanism: Thomas Aquinas on Hope, New York: Crossroads 2010.
This book brings the contemporary renewal of Christian humanism into conversation with a classic theology of hope, seeking to give theological depth to the work of two of the most influential Christian public intellectuals and cultural critics today, Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor and British Germanist Nicholas Boyle. At the heart of the renewal of Christian humanism lies the claim, contrary to modern atheism, that Christian belief and practice promote human flourishing and authentic transcendence. Thomas Aquinas's understanding of Christian hope provides a theological foundation for this project as it sees hope as the process whereby believers approach God as the human good. So the theological virtue of hope unites the humanist aspiration for the common good with the Christian desire for transcendence. This book advances a non-competitive understanding of the divine-human relationship and relates a classic understanding of pilgrim spirituality to the best Christian reflection on modern Western identity.
Dr. Doyle is currently completing a manuscript entitled Disputed Questions in Contemporary Theology for publication with Crossroad. His next major research project will be a comparative study of Aquinas and Calvin on participation and the theological virtues. He also continues to work on the idea of Christian humanism in the context of secularisation and globalisation.
Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Butler University
Brent A. R. Hege, PhD
Lecturer in Religion
Department of Philosophy and Religion
4600 Sunset Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Award Winning Publication
Faith at the Intersection of History and Experience: The Theology of Georg Wobbermin, 1911-1931, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2009.
Faith at the Intersection of History and Experience is the first English-language study of the German liberal theologian Georg Wobbermin, best remembered for his attempt to continue what he called the "Luther-Kant-Schleiermacher line" by developing an existential theology of the psychology of religion. I propose that Wobbermin's theology resides at the intersection of history and experience, namely experience as the unification of the individual Christian with the object of faith within and on the basis of Geschichte, understood as the persistent, present reality of the crucified and risen Christ as a historic figure. I focus especially on two themes in Wobbermin's work: (1) the distinction between Geschichte and Historie as the basis for later claims to have transcended the division between fides quae creditur and fides qua creditur, and (2) his "religio-psychological" circle encompassing personal religious experience and the objective fact of the historic Christ present and active in and through the Christian community as the means by which this division is transcended. Wobbermin's relationship to Luther, Kant and Schleiermacher as well as his debates with Karl Barth and the dialectical theologians in the 1920s and 30s are also considered. A persistent theme underlying the study is an attention to the indissoluble relationship between personal religious experience (spirituality) and the source and goal of the Christian faith and life (God).
I am currently working on two research projects. The first is a translation of sermons preached by pastors and theologians of the Confessing Church during the Nazi period and in the years immediately following World War II.
The second is a study of contemporary doctrines of God in light of the problem of evil, in which I will compare the positions of classical theism represented primarily by the work of David Bentley Hart) and process-relational theism (represented primarily by the work of Catherine Keller) to explore which construction of the doctrine of God provides the more defensible response to the problem of evil in contemporary constructive theology. I will also pay attention to Luther as a figure whose work could perhaps bridge the gap between classical and process-relational theism, specifically in terms of his doctrine of the incarnation.
Jones, Paul Dafydd
Assistant Professor of Western Religious Thought
Department of Religious Studies
PO Box 400126
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Paul Dafydd Jones is a British theologian whose teaching and research focus on Protestant theology. He joined the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia in the autumn of 2006; presently, he is also a resident member of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey. He holds an M.A. in Theology from Oxford University, an M.Div from Harvard Divinity School, and an A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Award Winning Publication
The Humanity of Christ: Christology in Karl Barth's Dogmatics, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2008.
The monograph offers a fresh reading of Karl Barth's mature Christology. Engaging the entirety of the Church Dogmatics, the book considers Barth's doctrine of election, with particular attention paid to the Son's "being in becoming" as an event of divine self-determination; uncovers a rich understanding of Christ's human being and acting as a history of wholeheartedness, sovereignty, love, and deliverance; and advances a bold analysis of Christ's atoning death, focusing particularly on Christ's decision to bear God's rejection of sin. The conclusion of the book reflects on the significance of Barth's work for Christian thought, spirituality and ethics in the present day.
Dr. Jones is currently starting work on his second book-length project, which examines Christian perspectives on the atonement. This project has interpretive and constructive dimensions. It considers the treatment of Christ’s atoning work in Martin Luther, John Calvin, Friedrich Schleiermacher, G. W. F. Hegel, and Karl Barth; it also engages recent liberationist critiques of classical thinking about Christ’s suffering and death. The goal is to develop a liberationist understanding of atonement for the present day.
Consultant, Continuing education for clergy in the Church of Norway
The Norwegian Ministers' Association (Presteforeningen)
Pb 437 Sentrum
Award Winning Publication
Becoming Divine, Becoming Human: Deification Themes in Irenaeus of Lyon, Dissertation, MF Norwegian School of Theology (2009).
This dissertation deals with the Orthodox doctrine of deification and how this doctrine is often traced back to Irenaeus of Lyons. It addresses Irenaeus' understanding of the telos of humanity, in particular what it means to "become divine " or "like God" or "participate in God". The study is divided into three parts. In part I (introduction and method) the problem is introduced, and distinction is drawn between various deification themes and a comprehensive doctrine of deification. These themes include reference to humans as gods, the ideal of likeness to God, and the idea of human participation in God. The dissertation argues that the presence of a particular deification theme does not necessarily entail the presence of a doctrine of deification. Part II situates Irenaeus in his second century context and sketches out certain themes in his theology including tradition, the rule of truth, recapitulation, and hisunderstanding of Father, Son and Spirit. Part III then focuses on these deification themes examined in detail. The conclusion is that, for Irenaeus, humanity's telos is not deification, but rather to become a mature, complete, perfect and spiritual human being, as God intended. This maturity entails attaining a certain likeness to God and participation in divine attributes, but it does not entail transcending human nature to become "divine". Although this dissertation concludes that Irenaus did not teach human deification, later Orthodox theologians were indebted to him and he was certainly a source for the later doctrine of deification.
Through my position at the Norwegian Minister's Association, I am involved in organizing and administering continuing education for clergy in the Church of Norway, in cooperation with several Norwegian theological schools and seminaries. In addition, I teach Church History classes on a contract basis, and am currently translating a collection of articles on the early Christian apologists from Danish into English.
Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Lincoln Christian University
Lincoln Christian University
100 Campus View Drive
Lincoln, IL 62656
Award Winning Publication
The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John and the Literacy of Jesus, Leiden: Brill, 2009.
The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus argues that John 8:6, 8 is a claim that Jesus was grapho-literate (capable of writing). As the first thorough exegetical analysis of John 8: 6, 8, this study shows that the narrative accomplishes this claim specifically by borrowing vocabulary, syntax, and themes from the account of God's authorship of the Decalogue in Exodus 32:15 (LXX), and is thus also a deliberate attempt to identify Jesus with, or in terms of, the god of Israel. This book combines its exegetical focus with a detailed original proposal of a transmission-history of the Pericope Adulterae in light of this interpretation of the passage, focusing particularly on the stage of transmission at which an interpolator inserted this passage into the Gospel of John. The argument is ultimately that the individual(s) who inserted the Pericope Adulterae into the Gospel of John was an astute reader of both the Exodus account of the Decalogue's origins and the Johannine narrative and sought to bring those two narratives into dialogue in order to make a statement about the figure of Jesus.
I am currently working on two projects. The first project is a monograph on the literacy of the historical Jesus, entitled Jesus’ Literacy: Education and the Teacher from Galilee, under contract with T&T Clark. Whereas my first book left the historical Jesus aside and focused on the social/exegetical/text-critical significance of the claim for Jesus’ literacy in one particular passage (John 8.6, 8), this monograph focuses on the issue of Jesus’ literacy in early Christianity as a whole and assesses the historical accuracy of early Christian claims from the perspective of social/cultural memory theory. My second current project is a textbook I am co-editing, entitled Jesus Among Friends and Enemies, under contract with Baker Academic.
Ng, Wai Hang
Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at the Hong Kong Baptist University
I was born and grew up in Hong Kong when it was still a colony of United Kingdom. I received my Master's Degree of Divinity at the China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong. After working in a Church as an assistant pastor for a short while, I came to Germany to further my studies and was granted my Doctorate in Theology by Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in 2008.
Award Winning Publication
Die Leidenschaft der Liebe. Schelers Liebesbegriff als eine Antwort auf Nietzsches Kritik an der christlichen Moral und seine soteriologische Bedeutung, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2009.
(The Passion of Love: Scheler's Concept of Love as a Response to Nietzscheís Critique on Christian Morality and Its Soteriological Significance)
Nietzsche successfully creates a modern atheistic critique rooted in a radical stream of the Enlightenment, above all by deserting shallow comforts furnished by old gods in the form of love and laying a new foundation for spirituality in a modern world, i.e. an affirmation of being conspicuously manifested in his Übermensch. The first part of this book tries to show that Max Scheler, entirely cognizant of the depth of Nietzscheís dare to Christianity, meets Nietzsche's challenge, though not by thoroughly repudiating his arguments. Instead, Scheler finds that Christian love is not at variance with the disposition of the Übermensch, particularly in regard to agape distancing itself from modern altruistic love. In taking issue with altruistic love, which is accused of being riddled with sensual mediocrity and thus occasioning the degeneration of life, Scheler incorporates some traits of Nietzsche's Übermensch into a Christian understanding of love and spirituality as well. The second part seeks to indicate that Scheler's phenomenological analysis of love unearths an intrinsic relationship between love and suffering, eventually shedding light on our understanding of salvation, i.e. regarding love as a power extricating us from suffering. Such a new perspective on love is definitely of profound significance in the religious practice of modern humanity.
My current research interest concentrates on joy as a fundamental emotional mood in Confucianism and its comparison with a Christian understanding of love. At the moment I am also co-editing a book concerning Christianity and the environment.
Associate professor of Hebrew Bible, Faculty of Theology and Religious Sciences, University of Lausanne
B‚timent Anthropole, bureau 5028
Phone +41 21 692 27 17, +41 21 692 27 30
Fax +41 21 692 27 35
Award Winning Publication
From Priestly Torah to Pentateuch: A Study in the Composition of the Book of Leviticus, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007.
This study combines literary, historical and social-anthropological approaches in order to recover the inherent logic of the Book of Leviticus, its place in the composition of the Pentateuch, as well as its contribution to the construction of Jewish identity and religion in the Second Temple period. In that respect, this study can be viewed as a contribution to a better understanding of this fascinating biblical book which, in the language of ritual, makes a profound statement about the relationship between God, his community, and creation. The originality of this study is to complement other social anthropological approaches to Leviticus with a reconstruction of the book's compositional history using historical-critical as well as comparative methods in order to retrace its origins and above all the historical process through which the book came to be defined as the very center of the Torah. In particular, such a reconstruction offers the possibility of disclosing the general background as well as the religious and philosophical concerns of the scribes who gradually composed Leviticus. It allows us to see the ritual system defined in this book as reflecting a living process of transmission, adaptation, revision and amplification.
I am currently completing a manuscript on chapters 56-66 of the book of Isaiah. The study understands the composition of this final section of the book from the perspective of the formation of prophetic “canons” (collections of revealed words associated with a prophet of the past) by scribal groups during the second temple period in Jerusalem. A specific focus of this study is the question about the identity and social location of the group responsible for the composition of Isa 56-66, their understanding of “prophecy”, as well as their relationship to the prophetic figure of “Isaiah”.
My next major project will be about the origins of the “Prophets” (Nebi’im) as a category referring to a collection of “Scriptures” alongside the Torah in the second temple period. In particular, the following issues will be explored: (a) the literary and thematic coherence of the Prophets as a collection (are the Prophets a mere anthology, or are there indications of comprehensive editing of that material and of deliberate links between the different scrolls?); (b) the relationship between “Law” and “Prophets” in Jewish literature of the second temple; (c) the groups involved in the definition of the Prophets and their relationship to major institutions and traditions of the second temple; and (d) the relationship between “Prophets”, “prophecy” and other eschatological traditions of the second temple period such as the apocalypses or the testaments.
Finally, I have pursued some of my work on Leviticus and rituals from a literary-historical perspective in various essays and articles, and am currently co-editing a volume on “Purity and impurity in the Ancient Mediterranean” which contains contributions from various international scholars. I am also preparing a broad-scale introduction to the book of Leviticus from a social-scientific perspective, which is part of a joint project on the Pentateuch between the Universities of Lausanne and Sheffield.
Dr. theol. Christian Polke, born 1980 in Munich, studied Protestant Theology in Berlin, Heidelberg and Tuebingen, PhD University of Heidelberg (2008). From 2005-8 he was a Research and Teaching Assistant in Sytematic Theology and Ethics in the Faculty of Theology in Heidelberg, and since 2008 he is a Research Assistant at the University of Hamburg (Department of Humanities, Institute for Systematic Theology). From 2009-10 he is working on a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Swedish Center of Advanced Study (Uppsala) and in 2010 is also working as Visiting Lecturer in Göteborg/Sweden (both part of the Ernst-Cassirer Programm, Volkswagen Stiftung).
Recent Publications: Öffentliche Religion in der Demokratie (Public Religion in Democracy. A Study of the religious Neutrality of modern State), Evangelische Verlagsanstalt: Leipzig 2008; with R. A. Klein and M. Wendte, Hauptwerke der Systematischen Theologie (Main Works of Systematic Theology. An Introduction), Mohr Siebeck: Tübingen 2008
Award Winning Publication
Öffentliche Religion in der Demokratie. Eine Untersuchung zur weltanschaulichen Neutralität des Staates, (Public Religion in Democracy. A Study of the religious Neutrality of modern State), Öffentliche Theologie 24, Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2008.
Currently, I am working on my Habilitation entitled A Personal God? Studies on a Problem of Modern Theology. While the word “person” and its meanings did not begin to play an important role before the settlement of the Trinitarian and Christological dogma in the ancient church, the general concept of personhood changed with the increase of moral autonomy during the Enlightenment. It was only then that the “Personality of God” as a necessary implication of a monotheistic understanding of deity became problematic, as one can see in the Pantheism/Atheism conflict between Mendelssohn, Jacobi and Fichte in the late 1780s and 1790s.
The book is divided into three main parts. While the first chapter deals with a history of ideas, describing the intertwining understandings of God and human personality starting with the concepts of Medieval Christology, the second part includes four detailed interpretations of central aspects of the philosophy of religion in the works of Kant, Troeltsch, Tillich and Ricoeur. All of them have developed profound concepts of human and divine personhood which are still important for a contemporary theological re-interpretation. Finally, in the last chapter, I try to describe an approach of God´s Personality which takes seriously the objections from the critique of religion (p. e. Feuerbach, Dux etc.) and is based at the same time on a hermeneutical understanding of religious experience. Along that line, the focus lies on an “expressive theism” which is far from mere supranaturalism, but without ignoring God´s own deity.
Assistant Head of Studies (Studienassistent) at the Preaching Seminar in Stuttgart of the Protestant Church of Württemberg.
Grüninger Straße 25
Completing postdoctoral thesis (Habilitation) in New Testament in Germany (see below)
as of Sept. 2010: post doctoral research assistant ("Oberassistent") at Zurich University, chair of Prof. Dr. Jörg Frey
Biography: Born 1977. Studied theology at the Universities of Tübingen, Glasgow (M.Th. 2001), and Pasadena (USA, Ph.D. 2006).
Award Winning Publication
Abraham's Faith in Romans 4: Paul's Concept in Light of the History of Reception of Genesis 15:6, WUNT 2/224, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006.
The concept of faith is at the core of Paul's theology, and the classic passage for his understanding of pistis is Genesis 15:6. This study explores the literary, tradition-historical and structural questions of Genesis 15 and offers a detailed exegesis of verse 6. It then points to the theological significance of this testimony on Abraham for the Jewish identity; it comes into sight in a multifaceted and nuanced process of reception, from later Old Testament texts to a broad array of literature from Second Temple Judaism. In the final and most substantial step, the study examines Paul's 'hermeneutics of faith': How does Paul, in his exegesis of the Genesis quote in Romans 4, come to view Abraham as the father of all believers? What is the concept of faith that he develops on the basis of Genesis 15:6? Taking into account the manifold textual and thematic links between Romans 4, Romans 3:21-31, and Romans 1:16-17, a unique, twofold structure of 'faith' discloses itself: Pistis designates first a divinely established sphere of power, i.e., a new christologically determined salvation-historical reality, and second human participation in this reality, i.e., individual believing in the community of believers.
Dr. Schliesser is also completing a postdoctoral thesis (Habilitation) dealing with the phenomenon of doubt (diakrínomai, distázō, dialogismós, dípsychos, etc.) in the New Testament.
Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of Chicago Divinity School
University of Chicago Divinity School
1025 E. 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Award Winning Publication
Rewriting the Torah: Literary Revision in Deuteronomy and the Holiness Legislation (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007).
This book engages the conflicting iterations of divinely revealed law in the Torah and seeks to demonstrate the nature of and motivation for interpretive revision in these differing corpora. Through an analysis of the laws treating asylum, seven-year release, manumission, and tithes in Priestly and Deuteronomic legislation, it argues that the competition between pentateuchal authors paradoxically motivates both their radical religious innovation and their fundamental conservatism. Thus, these authors expound unique religious perspectives while insisting upon a common literary fiction of their laws' origins (divine revelation to Moses at Sinai/Horeb). In the end, each revisionary author recreates the deity in his own image, and the two become inextricably linked in the product of their "collaboration"--the text itself. The study concludes by demonstrating that the assemblage of legal corpora in the Torah ultimately undermines each source's distinctive perspective, even as this combination facilitated their preservation and thereby allows readers to glimpse the vitality of theological debate that existed in ancient Israel.
My current research focuses upon the composition of the Torah and especially literary interactions with Israelite and non-Israelite sources in the book of Deuteronomy. One outgrowth of this research is a new book tentatively titled After Revision: The Wake of Inner-biblical Exegesis in the Composition of the Torah. It will address the question of what biblical authors who employed and revised sources in their compositions meant for the afterlife of their sources once exploited. I am also working on several article-length studies on various issues in pentateuchal criticism. Finally, I am co-authoring a new handbook on the book of Deuteronomy that will be part of the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library.
Curate, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Württemberg (Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg), currently serving in Stuttgart-Hedelfingen
Completing a postdoctoral dissertation (Habiitation) in Germany. Supervisor: Professor Dr. Volker Drehsen, Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Tübingen
Award Winning Publication
Woman-Poet as Theologian: A Study of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), University of Cambridge, Faculty of Divinity, Ph.D. Dissertation 2006.
This doctoral dissertation sets out to establish that the Romantic Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) is not simply a poet of signal importance but also a woman theologian who used her verse to shape and propagate a new theological understanding of woman as equal to man. In doing so, this thesis aims to enlarge the understanding of Victorian nonconformity and the role of women in nineteenth century theology, who due to gender restrictions were forced to remain ìcloset theologians,î expressing their religious ideas in alternative genres. Women theologians in Early Modern England such as the Anglican Mary Astell and the Rational Dissenter Mary Wollstonecraft form the background of female intellectual activity to which Barrett Browning and her verse subsequently contributed.
Modern literary scholarship has often tended to sideline matters of faith, religion and morals. This is the case with scholarly studies of many nineteenth century female poets and novelists such as George Eliot and Christina Rossetti, yet equally and even more so in the case of critical engagement with Barrett Browning. However, Barrett Browningís piety, her fervent desire for attaining truth and spiritual transcendence and her engagement with the theological issues of her time make the examination of her poetry and thought within a Christian framework indispensable. Hence, the distinctiveness of my own approach lies in investigating more fully the complexity of Barrett Browningís faith and theological convictions and resituating her work within the larger framework of nineteenth century theological debates, for instance, with regard to her affinities with the English Romantic tradition. I suggest that Barrett Browning should be seen theologically as in the Coleridgean tradition of Christian Romanticism.
My current post-doctoral project focuses on Mary Wollstonecraft and the Enlightenment assertion of universal and fundamental equality.
My research interest in the religious (and often also anti-religious) ideas of the late eighteenth century radical writer and novelist Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97), widely regarded as the mother of modern English feminism, is a natural extension of my doctoral thesis work. Wollstonecraftís Enlightened religious ideas, in particular with respect to the formulation of her proto-feminism, represent an aspect of her thought which until now has been understudied. In my post-doctoral research I investigate some of the central ideas of Wollstonecraftís Enlightenment proto-feminist critique of religion as they appear in her most famous work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman published in 1792, and show how Wollstonecraftís proto-feminist critique of gender inequality elaborated in this work is also a critique of traditional theological doctrines and scriptural interpretation concerning gender.