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John the Theologian and his Paschal Gospel

In Gospel of John, John, John Behr, Jonathan Rowlands, Oxford University Press on May 29, 2020 at 3:00 pm


2020.05.09 | John Behr. John the Theologian and his Paschal Gospel: A Prologue to Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. ISBN: 978-0-19-883753-4.

Review by Jonathan Rowlands, St. Mellitus College.

In this monograph, John Behr examines the conception of incarnation in John’s Gospel, and its connection to the Easter event. Behr’s central thesis is that “the Gospel, together with its Prologue, in fact pivots upon the Passion—it is a ‘paschal gospel’” (p. 5), such that the incarnation is not conceived of as “an episode in the biography of the Word” (p. 4, a phrase borrowed from Rowan Williams) but “the ongoing embodiment of God in those who follow Christ” (p. 5). He approaches this topic by engaging three different groups of readers: (1) the Church Fathers, (2) modern biblical scholars, and (3) little-known French phenomenologist Michel Henry. Read the rest of this entry »

Toward Decentering the New Testament

In Cascade Books, Jonathan Rowlands, Minoritized Voices, Mitzi J. SMITH, New Testament, Yung Suk KIM on January 2, 2020 at 3:00 pm


2020.01.01 | Mitzi J. Smith and Yung Suk Kim. Toward Decentering the New Testament: A Reintroduction. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-5326-0465-2.

Review by Jonathan Rowlands, University of Nottingham.

Toward Decentering the New Testament is an introduction to the New Testament authored by Mitzi J. Smith—an African-American woman biblical scholar—and Yung Suk Kim—an Asian-American male biblical scholar. It is the first such introductory text authored by scholars from minoritized communities. Following a foreword by Michael Willett Newheart, the book begins with an introduction from the authors wherein their aims are clearly stated. Most significantly, they express their desire for this textbook to serve as “a step in the direction of creating an introductory text that focuses on an prioritizes diverse and nonwhite readers and contemporary issues that affect real flesh-and-blood minoritized readers and our sisters and brothers as allies” (p. 3). From this arise the two most distinctive aspects of this textbook. Read the rest of this entry »