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Meeting Program Units

2018 Annual Meeting

Denver, CO

Meeting Begins11/17/2018
Meeting Ends11/21/2018

Call for Papers Opens: 12/18/2017
Call for Papers Closes: 3/6/2018

Requirements for Participation

Development of Early Christian Theology

Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers:

In 2018 we will explore the close connections between Biblical Exegesis and the Development of Christological Doctrine. It has become increasingly recognized in patristic scholarship that exegetical disputes were one of the driving forces of the period’s theological debates and developments. The early Christological debates are primary sites for investigating the biblical dimension of early Christian doctrine, since in the controversies over the correct theological account of Christ opponents offered rival interpretations of key passages of scripture whose meaning was disputed. But recognition of the fact that rival interpretations were fundamental to Christological debates raises other interrelated questions. What criteria could be used to evaluate whether one interpretation was superior to another? Could opponents even agree on these criteria? Are we in a position today to assess whether competing readings were more or less in keeping with the Christologies present in the biblical texts themselves? Were there different assumptions about hermeneutics, epistemology, language, etc., that informed biblical exegesis and led to rival interpretations? How useful is it to continue to speak of “schools” with clear exegetical and Christological frameworks (e.g., Antioch vs. Alexandria), and to employ existing scholarly paradigms (e.g., Logos-sarx vs. Logos-anthropos)? And so, biblical exegesis and the development of Christological doctrine constitute two mutually-illuminating subjects of study: focusing on the biblical dimension of Christological doctrine clarifies early beliefs about Christ and sheds light on the forces that shaped Christological development, and analyzing the Christological application of biblical texts in early Christian argumentation increases our understanding of the details of early Christian exegetical theory and practice. We call for papers that explore such issues and questions in authors and texts from the 1st to 3rd centuries CE.

Program Unit Chairs

Mark DelCogliano
Matthew R. Crawford

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