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SECSOR 2010 Presentation: A Theology of Mutuality

Posted by on Oct 28, 2009 in edification | Comments Off

At the beginning of October, I submitted a proposal to SECSOR 2010. SECSOR is the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion. Here is their Call for Papers for their meeting in Atlanta on March 5-7, 2010.

Last week, I learned that my submission had been accepted. So, in a few months, I’ll be presenting “A Theology of Mutuality” at the SECSOR 2010 meeting.

Here is a short summary of my presentation:

Twenty years ago, David Peterson began a “limited” study of the concept of encouragement by briefly examining the use of the παρακαλέω / παράκλησις word group in Paul’s letters and in the Book of Hebrews. [David G. Peterson, “The Ministry of Encouragement,” in God Who is Rich in Mercy (Eds. Peter T. O’Brien and David G. Peterson; Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1986), 235] However, in his short article, Peterson suggested that “there is need of a comprehensive study” of encouragement. This presentation begins a further investigation into one aspect of Peterson’s study: mutuality. A theology of mutuality recognizes the importance that New Testament authors placed on the work of Christians in the lives of other Christians. The research in this presentation suggests that mutuality in the New Testament (especially as a subset of a more general theology of encouragement) does not apply necessarily to individuals separately, but to the group as a whole. Thus, mutual encouragement (as used by Peterson and others) does not point to the spiritual growth of individuals, but to the spiritual growth of the group.

The research into this presentation will also be beneficial for my dissertation.