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John the Jew (2016 Enoch Seminar Conference)

John the Jew (2016 Enoch Seminar Conference) June 2, 2015

Next summer, the Enoch Seminar will hold a conference with the title “John the Jew: Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as a Form of Jewish Messianism.” It will be held in Camaldoli, Italy, and I am delighted to be one of the participants in this event. Here’s a description of the purpose of the meeting from the Enoch Seminar website:

Purpose: The purpose of the sixth Nangeroni meeting is to explore the Gospel of John’s christology, traditionally considered to be “high christology,” as part of the diversity of Jewish messianism within the Second Temple Period. The focus of discussions will address John’s depiction of the messiah in relation to the following topics: “divinity” and a divine messiah, the Incarnation, wisdom traditions, Enoch traditions and the Son of Man, Davidic expectations, and Moses and Torah. The following questions will serve to guide our sessions: How and in what ways can the Gospel of John’s messiah be situated within Second Temple Period Judaism? Can John’s christology be seen as a part the diversity of Jewish messianism? If so, should it still be labeled a high christology? Can the Johannine messiah be considered “divine”? Were there other divine messiahs in Second Temple Judaism? What do we mean by “divine” and “divinity”? Is there a relationship between John’s λόγος and the Jewish sapiential tradition? What, if any, sort of relationship exists between Second Temple interpretations of the “one like a son of man,” particularly in the Parables of Enoch, and what we find in the Gospel of John? How do Nathanael and the Jerusalem crowd’s “King of Israel” and Pilate’s “King of the Jews” influence our perspectives on Davidic/kingship traditions in Second Temple Judaism, especially in light of Roman rule? How do the Moses traditions in the Gospel of John add to our understanding of prophetic messiah expectations of the time?

I am really excited about this topic, given my longstanding interest in the Christology of the Gospel of John and its relationship to Jewish monotheism.

I’d be interested to hear from readers who have visited Italy, as believe it or not this will actually be my first time. As this meeting will be in a rather remote setting in Tuscany, I am wondering whether or not it would make sense to bring my family along, as I’m not sure whether they could make convenient day trips from there to places like Florence and Siena. Any general tips for a first-time visitor to Italy?

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