2007 Hermeneutics: Theory & Practice

Session 1

Panel discussion

'Painting the Text: The Artist as Biblical Interpreter' (joint session with Use and Influence Seminar)

This session will focus upon the significance of the artist as biblical interpreter, using Martin O'Kane's recent monograph, 'Painting the Text: The Artist as Biblical Interpreter' (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2007) as a springboard for debate.


  • Prof Philip Esler (AHRC & University of St Andrews), author of Visuality and Biblical Text (Leo S. Olschki Editore, 2004)
  • Prof Timothy Gorringe (University of Exeter), author of Furthering Humanity: A Theology of Culture (Ashgate, 2004)
  • Dr Ela Nutu (University of Sheffield), editor of Between the Texts and the Canvas: The Bible and Art in Dialogue (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2007)

Session 2

Ben Blackwell (Durham University)

The Motif of Glory (Doxa) in Romans

While glory (doxa) is often discussed in relation to 2 Corinthians, the motif is also significant for Paul's argument throughout much of Romans. Several commentators note how glory is a key motif in the letter, but they do not often integrate this into their larger discussions. Spread evenly throughout the letter, doxa and its cognates occur 22 times in Romans, and I propose that this motif gives important insights into Paul's argument and theology, in particular his anthropology, soteriology and eschatology. Within this discussion I explore particularly the relation of glory to righteousness and also the present-future timing of glorification. And finally, I discuss the implications of this motif for recent interest in the theology of theosis (deification), or participating in the divine attributes.

Session 3

Stephen I. Wright (Spurgeon's College)

Israel and the Gentiles: rebellion, role reversal and divine sovereignty Hermeneutical reflections on links between Matthew 21:33-22:22 and Romans 9, 13:1-7

This paper will explore thematic and structural links between the section of Matthew containing the parables of the wicked tenants and the marriage feast, and a part of Paul's argument concerning God's sovereign purposes in Romans. It will question the widespread assumption that the parables of Jesus find little echo in Paul, suggesting that though they are indeed linguistically distinct, in structure and pattern they closely parallel some of Paul's argumentation. Building on an adaptation of the sociological approach of William Herzog to the parables, which I applied in outline in my Tales Jesus Told (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2003), I will propose that the warnings of Jesus to Israel's representatives to submit to the sovereignty of God as that sovereignty is mediated through their pagan rulers are quite closely parallel to Paul's argument in Romans that God's sovereignty is to be discerned by Israel in the present ascendancy of Gentiles not only in the Church but also in the political realm. There are, however, various ways to 'read' this similarity, according to a range of interests and aims - literary, historical, sociological, theological - and the latter part of the paper will seek to clarify what is at stake in such readings.