John Barclay, Firth Lectures: Gift-Reciprocity and Community Construction in the New Testament

On 17 and 18 April, Professor John Barclay (University of Durham) delivered the two 2018 Firth lectures at the University of Nottingham, entitled “Beyond Charity: Gift-Reciprocity and Community Construction in the New Testament”.

John Barclay also led a postgraduate seminar on 18 April, “Reciprocity and Risk at the Economic Margin: Some Early Christian Examples”.

His most recent major book is a study of Pauline theology from the perspective of his theology of grace, called Paul and the Gift (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015). If we read Paul’s theology of grace in the light of ancient notions of gift, Barclay argues we can understand in a new way his relationship to Judaism, his theology of the Christ-event and his ethic of reciprocal generosity. Paul and the Gift explores the theological and social significance of the incongruity of grace in the formation of innovative communities, going beyond Sanders and the current antithesis between old and new perspectives on Paul. This book, focusing on divine gift/grace, is the first of a two-part series.

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John Barclay on his book Paul and the Gift

barclay-paul-and-the-gift

Eerdmans interviews Professor John M.G. Barclay about the content of his recent book, Paul and the Gift (Eerdmans, 2015).

See also in Biblical Studies Online: 

Under Grace: The Christ-Gift and the Construction of a Christian Habitus

John Barclay on Social-Scientific Methods in Biblical Studies and the Anthropology of Gifting

 

h/t: Mark Goodacre, “John Barclay Interviewed by Eerdmans

John Barclay on Social-Scientific Methods in Biblical Studies and the Anthropology of Gifting

Professor John Barclay delivers the guest lecture at the inauguration of St Mary’s Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible, on May 3, 2013: “Paul and the Gift: Gift-theory, Grace and Critical Issues in the Interpretation of Paul.”

John Barclay speaks on the anthropology of the term gift for understanding the nature of grace or charis in the New Testament and especially in Paul’s letters.

This lecture attempts three tasks: first, to use the anthropology of gift and historical studies of gift-giving in the Graeco-Roman world (including ancient Judaism) to raise appropriate questions about Pauline and early Christian discourses concerning  gift; second, to outline ways in which gift-giving can be and has been ‘perfected’, that is, drawn out to an absolute or extreme form for the sake of definition or polemical advantage; and third, on this basis, to outline some of the key configurations of grace  in the history of reception of Paul, and thus to clarify central issues currently mired in conceptual confusion.

The lecture begins at 6:10 in the video.

John Barclay is Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at Durham University.