7. Rome 2016

The Early Reception of Paul the Second Temple Jew

Rome, June 26 – 30 2016

Waldensian School of Theology
Rome, Italy

   Boccaccini   185px-Noffke

 Chair: Isaac W. Oliver, Bradley University
Co-Chairs: Gabriele Boccaccini & Eric Noffke

Paul was no doubt a complex Second Temple Jewish thinker whose figure, writings, and ideas were repeatedly appropriated and recast in various ways by his earliest interpreters. The study of the reception history of Paul during the first two centuries of the Common Era has traditionally been performed without sufficient appreciation for the Jewish matrix and heritage of early Christianity, built on the assumption that Paul had forsaken his Jewishness after “converting” to “Christianity” and that “the ways had already parted” between all Jews and Christians once the first generation of Jesus’ Jewish followers had passed away. The following seminar will focus on the earliest reception of Paul by assessing how his first interpreters handled and perceived his relationship to Judaism within the broader framework and scholarly study of early Jewish-Christian relations. Special attention will be granted to the interpretation of Jewish themes in the early reception history of Paul such as Torah observance and Jewish-Gentile relations. The seminar will seek to uncover the neglected Jewish strata of Paul’s Wirkungsgeschichte during the first two centuries of the Common Era in an attempt to comprehend the complex and diverse nature of Jewish-Christian relations at the time. A wide spectrum of writings and figures from right after Paul’s time until roughly the end of the second century CE will be assessed, including, to name just a few: Marcion and his recasting of Paul’s thought over against Judaism, the depiction of Paul as a Torah observant Jew in the Acts of the Apostles, the denunciation in the Pastoral Letters of “Jewish myths” (e.g., Titus 1:10–16; 3:9), the condemnation of Paul as an apostate Jew (“anti-Paulinism”) in writings such as the Pseudo-Clementines, the handling of Jewish-Gentile relations in Deutero-Pauline Epistles such as Ephesians, as well as the relationship between Pauline teachings and canonical gospels such Matthew. An edited volume containing chapters written by the participants of the conference on the relevant primary sources will be published with the aim of serving as a reference on the topic. For further information, including paper proposals, please contact Isaac W. Oliver at ioliver@bradley.edu.

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Advisory Board

Gabriele Boccaccini, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Robert B. Foster, Madonna University
Isaac W. Oliver, Bradley University
Eric Noffke, Waldensian School of Theology

Conference Secretary

Joshua Scott, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Confirmed Participants 

Albert I. Baumgarten, Bar Ilan University
Giovanni Bazzana, Harvard University
Gabriele Boccaccini, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Daniel Boyarin, University of California – Berkeley
William S. Campbell, University of Wales – Trinity Saint David
George Carras, Washington and Lee University
James C. Charlesworth, Princeton Theological Seminary
Cavan W. Concannon, University of Southern California
David J. Downs, Fuller Theological Seminary
Kathy Ehrensperger, University of Wales – Trinity Saint David
Robert B. Foster, Madonna University
Gabriella Gelardini, University of Basel
Anders Klostergaard Petersen, Aarhus University
Judith Lieu, Cambridge University
Harry O. Maier, Vancouver School of Theology
Eric F. Mason, Judson University
Simon Claude Mimouni, École pratique des hautes études
David Nienhuis, Seattle Pacific University
Eric Noffke, Waldensian School of Theology
Isaac W. Oliver, Bradley University
Ilaria L.E. Ramelli, Catholic University, Milan
Yann Redalié, Waldensian School of Theology
David Rudolph, The King’s University
Timothy B. Sailors, Tübingen
David Sim, Australian Catholic University
Matthew Thiessen, McMaster University
James Waddell, Ecumenical Theological Seminary
Benjamin White, Clemson University
Joel Willits, North Park University