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Wheaton Conference on Wright – Day 1 (Part 1)

Wheaton Conference on Wright – Day 1 (Part 1) April 17, 2010

I only have a few minutes, as I am launching in to day 2 of the Wheaton/NT Wright conference, but I wanted to give just a sense for what happened yesterday.

Yesterday (Day 1) was the “Jesus” day, where there were several papers that worked through Jesus and the Victory of God and were thinking about this big book with Tom.  In the morning Richard Hays and Marianne Meye Thompson offered very well-crafted methodological critiques of JVG, especially in light of the book Seeking the Identity of Jesus: A Pilgrimage (edited by Hays and Gaventa; Thompson was a contributor).  It happens that this book was a project very different from JVG and critical of the Historical Jesus project.  At SBL, Wright gave a response to this book and strikingly launched an attack on the methods and aims of the study.  In turn, Hays saw this as a chance to give a rejoinder and counter-criticism, but not with the single-minded hostility with which Wright had offered his response.  More anon.

In the afternoon, there were papers by Sylvia Keesmaat and Brian Walsh, as well as Nick Perrin.  I will get into these more later, but suffice it to say for now that while these papers were informative, they will not necessarily be what everyone remembers (as compared to the morning session).  Keesmaat and Walsh held Wright’s feet to the fire to ask more about the modern political and ethical implications of his theology and conclusions in JVG – this should be remembered and taken to heart.

There was an evening plenary lecture on Jesus by Wright and Q & A, but it was not really that prescient.  It is always nice to have a chance to hear him in person, though, as he is always so engaging.

The crowds were very excited to be there and so was I.

I will post again next week more specifically on what the papers were about.  The various papers, though, will apparently be published in a book (by IVP?), so don’t worry – you did not completely miss out!


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