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Title: Kerygma and didache
Author: McDonald, James I. H.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1974
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This thesis is intended as a study of some aspects of the process by which the Christian faith found articulation in the early Church and was communicated to others. The problems inherent in the use of kerygma, or of kerygma and didache in combination, to designate the Christian message in operation provide the starting point of our discussion. The ambivalence of these terms suggests that early Christian discourse requires analysis in more precise, descriptive categories: hence our hypothesis that appropriate categories may be found in (i) propheteia; (ii) paraclesis and homily; (iii) paraenesis and catechesis; and (iv) paradosis: categories corresponding respectively to the inspirational and charismatic, to exhortation and exposition in a scripture using community which was also messianic, to instruction and guidance in matters of belief and action, and to the transmission of tradition for the purposes of edification. The hypothesis is then tested by an exploration of each category in relation to a possible hinterland in the Graeco-Roman and Jewish world and then in terms of spontaneous development at the hands of Jesus and the early Christian Church. The extent to which each category may be said to operate kerygmatically and didactically is noted, as is also the extent to which the categories are inter-dependent. Such forms of articulation presuppose certain conditions: initial dependence upon existing Jewish religious traditions (e.g., religious concepts; practices such as midrash); the memory of one dynamic religious figure, Jesus of Nazareth, together with recollection of certain specific experiences related to the Risen Lord and continuing fellowship with him in cultic practices; the koinonia of the messianic community, with its manifold activities - worship, sacraments, spiritual life; its constant exploration, under the guidance of the Spirit, of the meaning of the great events of which it knew itself to be part, and the necessity to communicate its message to those within and outwith its fellowship, for apologetic, nurtural or evangelistic purposes. The results of our investigations are brought together in the Conclusion, which therefore presents a sketch of the total process of the articulation of the earliest Christian message together with a very brief consideration of the importance of our findings for Christian communication today.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available