St Andrews Son of God Symposium — Summary Day 2

Day two of the St Andrews Symposium start­ed with a bang, as Michael Peppard pre­sent­ed a strong argu­ment for the need of Christological research to engage with the per­va­sive impe­r­i­al cult, rather than mere­ly focus­ing on the Jewish ori­gins. To put Peppard’s per­spec­tive on the impe­r­i­al cult in his own words it is “not look­ing under every rock for Imperial ide­ol­o­gy but acknowl­edg­ing that on thou­sands of rocks the impe­r­i­al cult is already found….” [through inscriptions]

This sec­ond day focused more on par­al­lel ses­sions, rather than ple­nar­ies, with some inter­est­ing papers from David Moffitt on par­al­lels to Sonship Christology in Hebrews 1–2 (lever­ag­ing Umberto Eco); Mateusz Kusio on divine fic­tive kin­ship in Hebrews; David Ritsema on Jewish Divine Messiah expec­ta­tions and their par­al­lels in John’s Gospel and final­ly Daniel McClellan on Cognitive the­o­ries of Divine Agency (tak­ing an inter­nal­ist cog­ni­tive approach from Cognitive Models of Religion)

Matthew Novenson gave our sec­ond ple­nary for the day on the top­ic of Sonship and the Messiah, high­light­ing the breadth of Messiahs who are not the Son of God, and Sons of God who are not Messiahs (pre­sum­ably some in the for­mer cat­e­go­ry are mere­ly very naughty boys). Novenson’s overview of the inter­ac­tion of mes­sian­ic expec­ta­tion and patronymics is an area that should be engaged with further.

The sec­ond par­al­lel ses­sions engaged with aspects of Christology and Early Christian Origins. Stefan Mulder pre­sent­ed a heuris­tic mod­el for describ­ing Docetism in the ancient world (a very good descrip­tive mod­el); Mina Monier pre­sent­ed on the Christology present with­in the Epistle of Barnabas; Tavis Bohlinger pre­sent­ed on Messianism in Pseudo-Philo, and I pre­sent­ed on Christological Salience in the First Century.

The sec­ond day fin­ished with a love­ly string quar­tet con­cert head­ed by the mul­ti-tal­ent­ed Madhavi Nevader, and then din­ner at a local pub with plen­ty of stim­u­lat­ing and eru­dite con­ver­sa­tion. Here is to anoth­er good day.


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