Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Morning Thesis brain Storm

My thesis is coming along slowly but I have begun to realise that my current question is more like a PhD than a Masters, and I dont have the time or money to be considering one of those at the moment! So I am unforunately looking at narrowing the question. The problem with this is that much of my thesis was going to be looking at the development of the metaphor across the corpus (collection of Paul's letters) and if I only do one book tings would have to change. So this morning I have had a brain storm to see if I did just do 1 Corinthians if I would have enough to talk about...

"Christ's body and its parts: An Ecclesiological Metaphor in 1 Corinthians"

Metaphor theses and questions
  • That the use of mele (member) must be taken account of as well as soma (body) in appreciating this metpahor (contra Yorke)
  • That how the metaphor is used in varied locations and constructions in 1 Corinthians has ramifications for discussions of development across the corpus
  • That the Metaphor is used and presented in such a way as to suggest the concept is already extant among Corinthian church - possibly through Paul's earlier letter or ministry. (this is necessary for those who wish to interpret 11:29 as being ecclesiological, although even with this it remains a moot point)
  • How does this metaphor interact with other metaphors in 1 Cor?
  • That the source question is both an old-chesnut and a dead-horse.

Interpretational/Theological theses and questions
  • That the Christological character of the body cannot be reduced to possesion (contra Yorke) but neither can it be identified wholesale with Christ's resurected human body (contra JAT Robinson) and so some theological middle ground must be exegetically uncovered. (3:23 could be important in this)
  • Should the metaphor be understood primarily as theological (Jewett) or idealogical (Martin) engagement?
  • What place does the metaphor have in the overall ecclesiology of 1 Cor?
  • How does the metaphor relate to themes of resurrection and eucharist and Spirit? (i.e. is it purely rhetorical in function or does it contribute in other ways?)
Aplicational/Missional possiblities

  • To explore the potential of this metaphor (once correctly exegetically comprehended) in contempory (multicultural) Urban church settings
  • To explore and critique contemporary concepts and practices of church membership in light of the metaphor
  • To work towards a 'higher' evangelical ecclesiology


That should be enough to keep me busy don't you think?

Would of course value any other ideas, suggestions, questions that spring to mind :-)

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