Thursday, June 12, 2014

A new book of academic essays reflects on the work of Douglas Campbell, professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School, and his interpretation of the letters of the Apostle Paul. The book, Beyond Old and New Perspectives on Paul: Reflections on the Work of Douglas Campbell, was published in May by Cascade Books.

This collection of essays primarily engages with Campbell's major study, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul, published by Eerdmans in 2009. This extensive monograph critiques traditional justification theory, which Campbell says is inconsistent with both orthodox theology and Paul's first-century context. In order to see what Paul thinks about justification, it is imperative to identify and then remove the theoretical construct of contractual justification.

Two conferences were held to discuss Campbell's work, one at King's College London and the other at Duke Divinity School. The essays in Beyond Old and New Perspectives on Paul grew out of those conferences, and they range from critiques of Campbell's proposals to summaries of his key themes. Contributors include scholars from the fields of theology, New Testament studies, patristics, and church history, indicating the range of influence of Campbell's work throughout theological disciplines. The essays were edited by Chris Tilling, tutor in New Testament Studies at St Mellitus College (London) and visiting lecturer in theology at King's College London. Tilling is also the author of Paul’s Divine Christology.

Several of Campbell's colleagues from Duke Divinity School contributed essays, including Kate Bowler, Curtis Freeman, Warren Smith, and Brittany Wilson. The book also contains Campbell's own responses to the reception of his work and outlines his developing thinking in this area of Pauline studies.