Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Gold dust for Childs-junkies!

I don't like to post more than once a day, but Daniel Driver over at Occasional Publications has just posted something that, for Childs-junkies like myself, is gold dust! He's dug up a very rare transcript of Karl Barth and the Future of Theology: A Memorial Colloquium Held at Yale Divinity School January 28, 1969—held barely a month after Barth passed away. Brevard Childs and Hans Frei were among the panelists. At the back of the book is a transcript of a question and answer session that followed the paper session. Daniel helpfully summarizes the main points and then types out the bits relevant to Childs and Frei.

My favorite is this bit:

Childs lines up with Frei (indeed, partly learns from Frei) on "the heart of the problem: that for Calvin, the sensus literalis IS Jesus Christ. And it was only when you have the eighteenth century identification of the literal sense with the historical sense that you’re just hopelessly lost."

When they say this (Frei: "That's right.") nobody knows what they're talking about.

I love it! Read the whole dialogue here!


voxstefani said...

Wow, this is truly outstanding! Many thanks for the link.

I am convinced that Calvin is a crucially important point of reference for all those engaged in the canonical enterprise. In Calvin we find someone for whom, as Childs so delightfully states in the dialog you quote, Jesus Christ is the Scripture's "literal sense," and who puts the critical tools of exegesis (yes, critical, for Calvin is clearly a forerunner of historical exegesis) at the service of this "hermeneutical program." I find myself turning to Calvin again and again for light on how to proceed with a canonical reading of biblical texts, and I have never been turned away empty-handed, but rather always find more than I can process at any given time.


Phil Sumpter said...

Thanks Stefan. I haven't read enough of Calvin by far, so you've just inspired me. Luckily most of him is for free on the Internet! I'd also love to know how to relate this to Orthodoxy, a tradition which fascinates me yet which seems so alien to me (aesthetically, Orthodox churches come after Norman Anglican churches for me and compete closely with Romanesque architecture in general). If you could recommend any other good Orthodox blogs I'd be grateful ...