The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism: Papers from the St. Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus

The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism: Papers from the St. Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus

The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism: Papers from the St. Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus

The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism: Papers from the St. Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus

Synopsis

Although there are many studies of second Temple Judaism (in general) and of Christianitys relationship with Judaism (in particular), there has not been a sustained and comprehensive investigation of the way in which Christ-devotion in the first two centuries of the common era represents a manifestation of Jewish monotheism. This volume fills this gap in four distinctive ways: (1) by re-examining the theological force of monotheism" during the Second Temple period; (2) by retracing the historical steps of Christianitys adaptation / mutation / re-definition of Jewish monotheism; (3) by exploring and debating the influence of non-Jewish traditions on this process; and (4) by mapping the ways in which Christianitys unique appropriation of Jewish monotheism helps explain the intriguing relationships among emerging Christian, Jewish and Gnostic communities. In particular, the eighteen essays demonstrate how the creation mythic of narratives, the revelatory power of mystical experiences, and the sociology of community formation capitalized on the Jewish meditoral tradition to encourage and legitimate the Christian praxis of Christ-devotion."

Excerpt

In many ways, this volume is an extension – and specific application – of the work of the Divine Mediator Figure Group at the Society of Biblical Literature. For seven years (1991–1997) many of the contributors for this work met annually to discuss developments and counterdevelopments of the phenomenon of divine mediation during the Greco-Roman period. In specific, the Group adopted three goals: (1) to integrate a variety of methods in the study of divine mediation; (2) to integrate a variety of disciplines in the study of divine mediation; and (3) to integrate a variety of sources in the study of divine mediation. I would like to thank my co-chair of that Group, John R. Levison, and its steering committee, Donald Juel, Marianne Meye Thompson, Larry W. Hurtado, Wendy Cotter, Alan F. Segal, and Paula Fredriksen, for paving the way for this work.

This volume also arises from a university course and an Internet discussion group, both led by James R. Davila. The honors module “Divine Mediator Figures in the Biblical World”, taught in the spring semester of 1998 at the University of St. Andrews, examined traditions in the biblical and para-biblical literature about exalted figures who served as mediators between God and human beings. The focus was on biblical, Jewish, and Greco-Roman traditions in the Second Temple period, but with an awareness of the larger context of the ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds from the second millennium B.C.E. to late antiquity. Each seminar concentrated on a particular figure, and the overarching concern of the module was to further our understanding of the cultural matrix that gave rise to the veneration of Jesus and to New Testament Christology. The last seminar was devoted to the topic of Jesus as a divine mediator.

A public discussion group on the Internet was conducted concurrently with the on-line module. The students and instructor used electronic mail to dialogue with students and scholars outside the University of St. Andrews on the subject matter of the course. The list opened for discussion in early February of 1998 and closed on 30 June 1998.

Finally, this book grows out of the The International Conference on the Origins of the Worship of Jesus, held at St. Mary’s College . . .

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