Kristus og naturen

Article by Martin Jakobsen in Scandinavian Journal for Leadership & Theology.

‘Kristus og naturen: Hvordan motivere til miljøengasjement i kirke og menighet?’

This article motivates evangelical environmental care. Theological environmental ethics tends to be based on the doctrine of creation, but evangelical ethics – if it wants to be properly evangelical and convincing to evangelicals – should be based on the heart of the evangelical faith, namely on Jesus Christ. I argue that belief in the resurrection of Christ has relevance for a Christian environmental ethics. Paul’s ethics is tied to his eschatology. He argues that the eschatological reality should shape our stance toward the reality of this present age. The eschatological reality is revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the disciples meet the resurrected Jesus, they see that the same body that hung on the cross and lay in the tomb is now a resurrected glorified body. As Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 15, the continuity between our earthly bodies and the resurrected body entails that we should take care of our bodies. By pointing to Romans 8, I argue that the same line of reasoning applies to nature: the continuity between creation and the new creation entails that we should take care of nature.PDF

Den himmelske kungen och hans folk

Article by Tobias Ålöw in Svensk Teologisk Kvartalskrift.

‘Den himmelske kungen och hans folk: Betydelse och användningar av βασιλεία i Matteusevangeliet’

This article examines the meaning and uses of the Greek term βασιλεία in the Gospel of Matthew. Contrary to the scholarly opinio communis, according to which the term should be construed dynamically as the “rule” of God, it argues with reference to Charles Ruhl’s theory of semantic monosemy/pragmatic modulation that the pertinent term has a single abstract meaning – “that which pertains to royalty” – which is modulated pragmatically throughout the course of the narrative, to the effect that five distinct senses are engendered. Through an analysis of five examples in the text, it is submitted that Matthew employs the pertinent term both personally as to mean “king”, abstractly to mean “majesty”, dynamically to mean “rule”, collectively to mean “people”, and spatially as to mean “kingdom”. At the same time, this article also argues that these distinct uses are best understood not in separation from each other, but as integrated parts of a coherent concept. Finally, the two dominant uses – the collective and the personal – are related to the overarching dual focus of Matthew’s narrative, namely the new king and his people, to which they attest and contribute. While the wider scope of the pragmatic field opens up to a more nuanced understanding of Matthew’s Basileiakonzeption in itself, it indirectly also has more far-reaching implications for how we understand βασιλεία in early Jewish and Christian literature at large.

Teologins kritiska pedagogik

Article by Peter Karlsson in Svensk Teologisk Kvartalskrift.

‘Teologins kritiska pedagogik: Illich, Herdt, Hitz och den eskatologiska referensen’

In this essay, I examine three thinkers who have turned to theology as a resource for thinking critically about learning: Ivan Illich, Jennifer A. Herdt, and Zena Hitz. Situating my project in the context of what I with refer­ence to David Lewin call a post-secular educational philosophy, the aim is to investigate which mechanisms that are included in the articulation of a de-instrumentalized conception of learning that draws from theological sources. Starting with Ivan Illich’s concept of the “epimethean man” – the person not-in-control – I investigate which understanding of learning that is implicated in the production of this life form. By drawing on the theological and philosophical projects of Herdt and Hitz – who articulate an anthropological and political vision similar to Illich’s – I come up with three different concepts that are implicated in the pedagogical process and connected to a de-instrumentalized view on learning. The first concept is eschatology, which in this context means a reduction of the possibility of educational perfection in the learning process. The second concept is ascetism, delineating a learning practice that is both condi­tioned by and produces traditional ascetical themes, such as seclusion and attention. The third is dialogicity, which is the ethical and political outcome of the eschatological and ascetical aspects of learning.

Från antika kättarmunkar till religionsdebatter på Facebook

Article by Paul Linjamaa in Svensk Teologisk Kvartalskrift.

This article argues that there are observable similarities between the way ancient heresiologists depicted their theological opponents and how religious people and religion as a phenomenon are described by con­­­tempo­rary anti-religion orators. The short study takes its departure from previ­ous studies on the Nag Hammadi texts and ancient heresiological discourse and ends with reflections on the parallels to how religion is debated in social media today. It is argued, by way of Zygmunt Bauman and
Umberto Eco, that if we wish to understand the underlying mechanisms behind both ancient heresiological and contemporary anti-religious rhetorics, we can gain much by applying theories on the formation of individ­ual and group identity.

Hope gone awry—An odd bed fellowship of Islamic and Christian neo-apocalypticism

Article by Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen in Dialog.

While the rise of neo-apocalypticism, as it is called in Christian parlance, is a well-known phenomenon to theologians and other scholars observing the current global religious landscape, the significance of neoapocalypticism in Islam is a less well-known fact. Yet–and this makes the topic so significant theologically–between these two forms of intense eschatological expectations, astonishing cross-breeding is taking place. This is counterintuitive in light of the fact that in many ways Islamic and Christian neo-apocalyptic visions seem to be totally hostile towards each other. This article introduces both Islamic and Christian neo-apocalypticisms and reflects on the implications of their co-existence and mutual exchanges for the future of interfaith relations and global peace.

Human hope and the reign of God

Article by Werner G. Jeanrond in Dialog.

This article discusses the theological virtue of hope in relation to the Christian expectation of God’s coming reign. Hope, as distinct from optimism and from all sorts of individualistic hopes, refers to God’s gift of future. Hence, the tension between expecting God’s coming reign, on the one hand, and the challenge of living constructively in the here and now, on the other hand, engages theological approaches to hope. It is argued that the divine gift of love, rather than faith, provides the main source of orientation for the Jewish and the Christian praxis of hope in this world. Faith is often understood in terms of assent to certain doctrinal definitions, while the other dimension of faith, God’s offer of relationship, has moved to the background. Accepting love as guide to the Christian praxis of hope strengthens the relational nature of hope. No one can hope for herself or himself alone. The Gospels and the Pauline letters confirm the centrality of love for Christian discipleship. The article concludes with, first, a discussion of the contemporary challenge of migration; and, second, with a consideration of the connection between hope for personal fulfilment and hope for the future of the universe. Both examples point to a theology that is inspired by love and equipped to approach Christian discipleship in a spirit of hope.

What may we hope?

Article by Antje Jackelén in Dialog.

Christians are a people of hope. There is no other alternative after Jesus Christ overcame the power of death through his resurrection. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer,” Paul encourages the congregation in Rome (Romans 12:12). The author of 1 Peter is conscious that hope is no mere feeling. Like faith and love, hope is a gift. But hope is also a choice that is based on realities, a virtue if you like. For this reason, “always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear.” (1 Peter 3:15–16). Keeping silent about hope is to deceive. Speaking of hope when humankind is shuttered in crisis requires both clear mind and pastoral empathy. Otherwise speaking of hope may sound as an escape from reality, a superficial consolation, or even cynicism. We need to ask: how is hope a power that prevails in worldly adversities?

Olav den hellige etter reformasjonen

Article by Tarald Rasmussen in Teologisk tidsskrift.

‘Olav den hellige etter reformasjonen. Om den norske reformasjonen og omkodingen av Olav til en protestantisk helgen’

In Norway, the reformation came along with Danish political takeover and a loss of political sovereignty. It is a remarkable characteristic of Norwegian reformation history that the country had no reformation hero of its own. In this situation, Norwegian sixteenth century humanists turned to the Old Norse tradition. Here, they found a Norwegian hero who could be reinterpreted in a Protestant context: St. Olaf – Norway’s martyr king. His memory was kept alive during the Protestant centuries. In the era of national consolidation in the nineteenth century, new energy and new perspectives were brought into the Protestant reinterpretation of Olaf.

Effort and Grace book launch

Book launch of the paper back edition of Simone Kotva’s Effort and Grace. 4th may, 08:30–10:30, Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo.

I Effort and Grace utforsker forfatter Simone Kotva filosofi som «a way of life» (Hadot, Foucault) i lys av Maine de Biran og Simone Weil. Kotva kritiserer fokuset på anstrengelse og selvutvikling i moderne filosofi. Hun argumenterer for at mystikken den springer ut av, fremfor alt fokuserer på nåden.


  • Servering av kaffe og croissants fra kl. 08.30-09.00
  • Velkommen ved Marius Timmann Mjaaland kl. 09.00.
  • Kort presentasjon av boken ved Simone Kotva.
  • Filosofien som åndelig øvelse i Effort and Grace ved Ragnar Misje Bergem, postdoktor på MF vitenskapelig høyskole.
  • Mystikk, materialisme og feministisk filosofi i Effort and Grace ved Jone Salomonsen, professor ved Det teologiske fakultet, UiO.

Det blir også salg av paperback-utgaven og muligheter for signering.

Alle interesserte er hjertelig velkommen!

Boklanseringen arrangeres av forskergruppen for systematisk teologi.

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