The scandal of particularity, Part I

Philip Clayton and Steven Knapp

in The Predicament of Belief

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695270
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731945 | DOI:
The scandal of particularity, Part I

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What reason is there to think that something of enduring religious importance happened in the case of Jesus? In the Christian tradition, the most striking claim for Jesus’ importance is that he was “raised” from the dead. But although belief in Jesus’ resurrection has always been central to Christian belief, it turns out that the resurrection claim can mean many different things. This chapter begins with two minimalistic accounts of resurrection, the symbolic theory and the exemplary theory. A stronger claim, the participatory theory, claims that the resurrection established a new mode of divine-human relationship. Only this last approach allows one to speak of an ongoing influence of “the Spirit of Christ” beyond the first century. Yet, although this claim is much stronger than the first two options, it remains consistent with the constraints on divine action established in earlier chapters.

Keywords: New Testament; historical-critical scholarship; quest for the historical Jesus; resurrection; symbolic theory; exemplary theory; participation theory; Spirit of Christ; divine action

Chapter.  5889 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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