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Title: Participation in Christ : Paul and pre-Pauline eucharistic tradition
Author: Nikkanen, Pentti Markus
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 7514
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2018
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Recent scholarship has highlighted the centrality of the concept of participation in Christ in Paul's theology. While scholars recognise that one of the key elements in Paul's account of participation in Christ is the believer's participation in the narrative of Christ's death and resurrection, there is less agreement about the origin of Paul's participatory theology. Scholars debate whether he simply developed in distinctive ways a widely held participationist belief, or effectively generated a new way of thinking about salvation. The present study argues that Paul's understanding of how the believer participates in the narrative of Christ's death and resurrection can be traced back to pre-Pauline Christian beliefs that are reflected in, and partly shaped by, the practice of the Eucharist, which must be understood against the background of Passover and the concept of covenant. The traceability of Paul's narrative account shows that Paul's participatory theology is shaped by categories drawn from the Mosaic Torah, an observation that further distinguishes this analysis of Paul's thought from the alternative participatory approach associated with the ”apocalyptic Paul” school. While these are not entirely new claims, those who have made them recently offer little engagement with two distinct bodies of scholarship that, if correct, would falsify their arguments entirely. The present study addresses this problem by challenging the recent socio-cultural research on eucharistic origins which has suggested that the earliest meals of the Jesus movement had no participatory significance and no connection with Jewish Passover traditions. The study also challenges the claims of the rabbinics scholars who have proposed that the Second Temple Passover meal had very little engagement with the exodus narrative. Therefore it could not have been the source from which early Christians drew their understanding of participation in Jesus's death and resurrection.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Kirkon Tutkimuskeskus (Finland)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Lord's Supper