Monday, September 21, 2015 - "What is so Radical About Grace? A New View of Paul"
with Dr. John M. G. Barclay
“At least since Augustine it has been recognised that grace is a central theme in the Pauline letters, but there have been strong disagreements about what ‘grace’ means and why it matters. The last generation of Pauline scholars has marginalised this motif on the grounds that it is common in Paul’s contemporary Judaism and hardly distinctive of Paul. In disagreement with aspects of the ‘new perspective on Paul’, I wish to highlight how unusual is Paul’s emphasis on the incongruity of grace, God’s gift being given without regard to the worth of the recipient. It therefore puts into question inherited criteria of worth, social, ethnic and moral. I will outline a new reading of this theme in Galatians and Romans that indicates the socially radical significance of grace and its capacity to found culturally innovative communities.”
Dr. John M. G. Barclay is the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at Durham University, UK. He teaches New Testament and Early Christianity. He has published on Paul, early Pauline churches, ancient Judaism, and spoke on his most recent book on Paul’s theology: Paul and the Gift (Eerdmans, 2015). For more information click here.