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Holy Mutability: Religionsgeschichte and Theological Ontology

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

The Christian community characteristically confesses the constancy of God. But historians of religion know by contrast that the deity Yhwh evolved over time. How might scholars who belong to both these camps negotiate the disconnect? This essay seeks an answer by staging a moment of complementarity between Religionsgeschichte and OT theology. First it considers two cases in which the discourses of each discipline mirror one another by narrating the same event of deity change: Ps 82 and Yhwh’s greater mercy through exile. Second, it provides a sampler of two theological ontologies that countenance “holy mutability”: the open theism of Terence Fretheim and the evangelical historicism of Eberhard Jüngel.

Affiliations: 1: Emory University Atlanta, ga 30322USA


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