Title page for ETD etd-07122010-115141

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Janse van Rensburg, Hanre
Email han.kepan@gmail.com
URN etd-07122010-115141
Document Title The resurrection revived : a critical examination
Degree MTh
Department New Testament Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof E van Eck Committee Chair
  • public debate
  • ancient resurrection beliefs
  • modern resurrection debate
  • exponents of modern resurrection debate
  • Gary Habermas
  • William Craig
  • Tom Wright
  • Alexander Wedderburn
  • James Dunn
  • John Dominic Crossan
  • the Jesus Seminar
  • Michael Licona
  • Geza Vermes
  • Michael Goulder
  • Gerd Lüdemann
  • Pieter Craffert
  • Resurrection
  • textual re-reading
  • critical reflexivity
  • development
  • Jesus
  • history
  • historiography
Date 2010-09-03
Availability unrestricted

Why has the resurrection once again become the centre point of a new storm brewing in both popular and academic culture? Because of the combination of a realisation of death, and of human beings’ need to interpret its (death’s) mysteries; a question innate to the human experience. In a fear-filled world where war, terrorism, and economic collapse bring the question of death (and the afterlife) to the fore, people are asking – perhaps more than ever – what happens after we die. This popular fascination with the end, with death, and with what (if anything) lies beyond it, has also influenced the theme and the direction of academic work in the theological field. For this reason an informed analysis of the resurrection debate has become necessary – a process of analysing the different strata of understanding as it relates to current resurrection research. Any consideration given to gender or power, birth or burial, money or food is made in an effort to situate the debates being studied. Could a reason for these still varied conclusions on the subject be that those writing on it are not equipped for the task of analysing and interpreting history and historical method? In order to be able to begin answering this question, one of this study's main objectives is to learn and apply the approach of historians – outside of the community of Biblical scholars – to the question of whether Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead; thus providing interaction with philosophers of history related to hermeneutical and methodological considerations. The method proposed here is a combination of historiography and an ethics of understanding, with the use of Correspondence theory (in which history is described as knowable, and some hypotheses as truer than others in a correspondence sense). This study wants to address both the different questions and analyses of the debate by asking: What if we see things differently? What if we were to ask a different set of questions? In order for this to be possible, we need to develop an ethics of interpretation – instead of asking the expected questions, this study aims to ask: What interests and frameworks inform the questions we ask and the way in which we interpret our sources? How does scholarship echo (and even participate in) contemporary public discourses about Christian identity? These questions will be attended to through three intersecting practices – critical reflexivity, complemented by the use of the two related practices of textual re-reading and public debate. However, these are not methodical steps in a linear progression, they are mutually interacting practices that draw on each other; raising new possibilities for the way in which we historically reconstruct the Jesus movement, allowing us to enter into the public debate about Jesus and eschatology in a way that takes the ethical possibilities and consequences of our reconstructions of Christian origins and identity seriously. For, though fragmentary and broken human words may be, they nevertheless possess a capacity to function as the medium through which God is able to disclose himself.

Copyright © 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Janse van Rensburg, H 2010, The resurrection revived : a critical examination, MTh dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07122010-115141/ >


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