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dc.contributor.advisorRae, Murray
dc.contributor.advisorDavidson, Ivor
dc.contributor.authorNicol, Andrew William
dc.identifier.citationNicol, A. W. (2012). The God of Israel in Robert W. Jenson’s Theology (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThis research analyses the important place God’s identity as the God of Israel has in the systematic theology of American Lutheran theologian Robert W. Jenson. I demonstrate that the identification of the God of Israel as the agent of Jesus’ resurrection functions as a foundational premise in Jenson’s trinitarian theology. In addition, I show that this premise, whilst consistent with his earlier theological thinking, develops more acutely in and around, what he describes as, a ‘new encounter with Judaism.’ In response to a number of stimuli which have arisen around this ‘encounter,’ Jenson has in recent years vigorously pursued the implications of this foundational premise in the formation of a thoroughly non-supersessionist dogmatic theology. A central characteristic of Jenson’s work then, is not merely his recognition that the same God who rescued Israel from Egypt raised Jesus from the dead, or the related, yet distinct step, of renovating his theology in a non-supersessionist fashion, but his attempt to conceive of the full implications for doing so in Christian theology, in the church’s self-understanding and in the church’s relation to Israel and continuing Judaism. This identification of God as the God of Israel serves to anchor Jenson’s trinitarian theology in the very particular story of God with a peculiar people in history. It is also an attempt to elucidate, in faithfulness to the scriptural narrative, how this one God works in Israel and the church to bring about his purposes in the consummation of all things. The thesis argues that Jenson’s attention to the centrality of God’s identity as the God of Israel permeates his theology and its profound importance for Christian theology is convincingly developed by Jenson himself, but that the abiding significance of the God of Israel’s identity is nevertheless undermined by his tendency to conflate the being of God with the divine economy, and by promoting futurity at the expense of protology. I contend, that despite Jenson’s stated intentions, the identity of the God of Israel is sublated within a temporal schema of trinitarian becoming, which also renders the antecedent basis of Jesus’ unique identity as the ‘beloved Son’ indeterminate and impairs the capacity to speak of the incarnate Christ as an active subject in the God of Israel’s mission. In order to establish and elucidate this argument the significance of the God of Israel in Jenson’s system is extrapolated and analysed across a number of theological loci. The introductory chapter identifies several broad motifs which are indicative of the centrality of the God of Israel to Jenson’s thought. Chapter 2 explores the formation of Jenson’s biblical hermeneutic; in particular his convictions regarding the abiding significance of the Old Testament for Christian theology. In chapter 3 I continue to extrapolate how Jenson conceives God’s involvement by and with canonical Israel. The God of Israel’s relation to Jesus is developed in chapter 4. Jenson’s doctrine of God continues to be highlighted as the centrality of Jesus’ place in Israel is discussed. Chapter 5 explores the crucial interrelation between Trinitarian doctrine and the oneness of the God of Israel. Jenson’s construal of the ‘people of God’ is examined in chapter 6, along with implications for thinking about the eschaton. Chapter 7 further examines Jenson’s doctrine of God with critical assessment of his narrative ontology and the degree to which it might be said that’s God’s being is constituted by the economy. It is argued that such an account also pays insufficient attention to the ‘whence of Christ.’ Chapter 8 assesses how the God of Israel’s relation to the church and continuing Judaism in Christ is to be considered. This is augmented by a discussion of how the ‘where’ of Christ is critical to the account. The thesis argument is summed up in a brief conclusion.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectGod of Israel
dc.titleThe God of Israel in Robert W. Jenson's Theology
dc.language.rfc3066en and Religioous Studies of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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