John the Theologian and his Paschal Gospel
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John the Theologian and his Paschal Gospel : A Prologue to Theology

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Description

This study brings three different kinds of readers of the Gospel of John together with the theological goal of understanding what is meant by Incarnation and how it relates to Pascha, the Passion of Christ, how this is conceived of as revelation, and how we speak of it. The first group of readers are the Christian writers from the early centuries, some of whom (such as Irenaeus of Lyons) stood in direct continuity, through Polycarp of Smyrna, with John himself. In
exploring these writers, John Behr offers a glimpse of the figure of John and the celebration of Pascha, which held to have started with him.

The second group of readers are modern scriptural scholars, from whom we learn of the apocalyptic dimensions of John's Gospel and the way in which it presents the life of Christ in terms of the Temple and its feasts. With Christ's own body, finally erected on the Cross, being the true Temple in an offering of love rather than a sacrifice for sin. An offering in which Jesus becomes the flesh he offers for consumption, the bread which descends from heaven, so that 'incarnation' is not an event
now in the past, but the embodiment of God in those who follow Christ in the present.

The third reader is Michel Henry, a French Phenomenologist, whose reading of John opens up further surprising dimensions of this Gospel, which yet align with those uncovered in the first parts of this work. This thought-provoking work brings these threads together to reflect on the nature and task of Christian theology.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 163 x 236 x 29mm | 748g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 0198837534
  • 9780198837534
  • 579,318

Table of contents

Abbreviations
Introduction: The Gospel of John and Christian Theology
Part I: John The Theologian And His Paschal Gospel
1: John the Evangelist
2: The Paschal Gospel
Part II: 'It Is Finished'
3: 'The Temple of his Body'
4: 'Behold the Human Being'
5: The Prologue as a Paschal Hymn
Part III: The Phenomenology of Life in Flesh
6: Johannine Arch-Intelligibility
7: History, Phenomenology, and Theology
Conclusion: A Prologue to Theology
Bibliography
Index of cited passages
Index of authors
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Review Text

For those readers who are seeking to ask theological questions of the biblical texts, Behr's work will provide much to digest. It serves as an example of theological interpretation of scripture, of the highest order. Jonathan Rowlands, Biblical and Early Christian Studies
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Review quote

His interpretation is bold and offers a thought-provoking stimulus for readers of this gospel to revisit a familiar text with fresh eyes. These considerations, along with the author's impressive learning, methodological approach, and theological creativity make this volume an important contribution that merits reading and rereading. * William M. Wright IV, Duquesne University, Review of Biblical Literature * For those readers who are seeking to ask theological questions of the biblical texts, Behr's work will provide much to digest. It serves as an example of theological interpretation of scripture, of the highest order. * Jonathan Rowlands, Biblical and Early Christian Studies * ...the Gospel has generated numerous strong readings using a variety of lenses - historical, literary, theological - to provide new insights into the text's profoundly alluring and sometimes baffling story of Jesus. John Behr's volume adds yet another of these strong readings, offering a view of the Gospelthat roots it firmly in early Christian history and Biblical exegesis, explores its literary dynamics, and articulates in contemporary terms what Behr
sees as its central theological claims. Any serious student of the Fourth Gospel will want to engage with Behr's argument. * Harold W. Attridge, Yale University, Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology * Behr has provided profound new insight into the cruciformity of John's vision, an apocalyptic eschatology in which the Son of Man's own end, the "lifting up," the exaltation on the cross, was already humanity's true beginning and destiny, the "life that was the light of all people." * Paul M. Blowers, Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan University, Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology * My overall response to reading this book is one of overwhelming enthusiasm; it certainly marks a new stage in Orthodox theology...Altogether, this is a remarkable achievement. * Andrew Louth, University of Durham, Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology * Behr's work effectively and critically draws together scholarly discourses that are usually (and, for the most part, lamentably) kept apart....One of the most impressive features of the book is the depth of Behr's critical engagement with these fields on their own terms. * Paul Saieg, University of Notre Dame, USA, Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology * This book traverses biblical scholarship and patristic literature with ease. As if that were not enough, in the final two chapters Behr also engages the contemporary phenomenological tradition, specifically the work of Michel Henry, the late French philosopher who sought to ground his phenomenology of life in foundational Christian texts, including the Gospel of John. * Charles M. Stang, Harvard Divinity School, Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology * With John the Theologian and His Paschal Gospel, John Behr offers us a book so rich... that summarizing it is beyond our capacity. Let the well-intentioned reader not be discouraged, however: brilliant synthetic statements helping you to better situate yourself in the journey in which you are embarked are not sparse in the book...Rather than trying to produce the synthesis missing in the book, I would like to stress from the outset that with this magnum
opus, John Behr invites his readers (hopefully many of them biblical scholars) to a real (at least intellectual) conversion: start with the invisible, not the visible. * Olivier-Thomas Venard, OP, Ecole biblique et archeologique francaise de Jerusalem, Israel, Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology * A Prologue to Theology is an opus magnum that needs to be studied thoroughly in today's theology departments and seminaries around the globe and which invites, if not demands, further theological investigation along this initiated path. * Thomas Sojer, Phenomenological Reviews *
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About John Behr

John Behr is the Fr George's Florovsky Distinguished Professor of Patristics at St Vladimir's Seminary, where he served as Dean from 2007-17, and the Metropolitan Kallistos Chair of Orthodox Theology at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. His publications include critical editions and translations of the fragments of Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopuestia (2011) and Origen's On First Principles (2017). He is the author of Irenaeus of Lyons:
Identifying Christianity (2013), Becoming Human: Theological Anthropology in Word and Image (2013), and Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement (2000).
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