Reading Notes 5/11/2014

I started reading David Bentley Hart’s article on Anselm’s ‘Cur Deo Homos’, and he makes an interesting case for reading Anselm in a much more patristic light, instead of the typical way he’s understood (in terms of merit theology/trangression/honour). Hart notes similarities in Athanasius, though, and that’s fairly interesting. Hart argues that Anselm, once some of the language barriers are overcome, is drawing from the themes of recapitulation to make his own argument – with lots of neoplatonism as well. I’ll read it a bit more in depth, but so far it’s an intriguing take on a well-worn topic.

I’m reading, one chapter per night, through Abraham Joshua Heschel’s ‘dogmatics’ – ‘Man is Not Alone’ and ‘God in Search of Man’, and I’d like to do a bit of systematizing along the way. Those two books are fantastic works of philosophy – the latter being one of the best books on religion/philosophy I’ve ever read. It’s safe to say that Heschel’s philosophy of Judaism has had a profound influence on my own spiritual development.

Wright’s book on justification remains one of my favourites. His exegesis of Galatians, while brief, is superb – though the brevity has no doubt been the reason for much of its criticism. His framing of the doctrine around the Abrahamic promises is absolutely on point, as is his insistence that the problem surrounding the occasion of Galatians is the ethnic identity of Israel. I pretty much regard this aspect of the NPP as firmly established.

3 thoughts on “Reading Notes 5/11/2014

  1. Rod May 11, 2014 / 5:30 pm

    I’ve seen a lot of people posting things about David Bentley Hart. Where would you recommend I start, if I were to get the best introduction into his thought and theology? Re: Wright. I’ve always walked away from material on the New Perspectives with a sense of ‘Yes, but..’.


    • whitefrozen May 11, 2014 / 6:51 pm

      I’d recommend starting with Hart’s essays:

      His newest book, ‘The Experience of God’ is a good place to go after that – it’s inexpensive, and currently the best survey/exposition of classical metaphysics/philosophy/philosophy of science/religion availible.

      RE the NPP, I have to run out the door now, but I’ll reply in a bit.


    • whitefrozen May 11, 2014 / 9:13 pm

      RE the NPP: it’s hard to really even have a discussion about the NPP, because there is no monolithic thing called the NPP – it’s an exegetical method more than set of ideas or doctrines, though it’s come to stand for a whole host of doctrines. At this point, however, there’s nothing really new or even controversial about the NPP – it’s the standard picture among Pauline scholars today, the odd dissenting voice notwithstanding.


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