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Reframing resurrection: Toward a renewed and redeemed creation

Chidgzey, Aaron K. (2019) Reframing resurrection: Toward a renewed and redeemed creation. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Jesus’ resurrection has long been a central tenet of Christian theology, and the focus of extensive debate and curiosity. Scholars have defended a physical resurrection; interpreted it as metaphor, hallucination, or deception; removed it entirely from the scope of historical inquiry; and have denied it outright. However, belying this scholarship is the propensity to assume that the language of ‘resurrection’ envisages the reanimation of a corporeal and personal body (and then defended, re-interpreted, or denied). Therein lies the problem. This thesis argues that the ancient Jewish and Christian notion of resurrection cannot be restricted within a re-animated body but includes a broad spectrum of eschatological hope, particularly the renewal of relationship with YHWH, the dispensation of justice, and the transformation of creation as a whole. Jesus’ resurrection is the fulfilment of these broader eschatological hopes and cannot be reduced to the return to life of a personal body. Connected to this is the corollary assertion that Jesus’ resurrection is characterised by a unification of elements that bear both continuity and discontinuity with empirical reality, echoing the hope for a renewed and transformed reality. As a result of its limited understanding of ‘resurrection,’ scholarship has often emphasized either the continuity or discontinuity at the expense of the other, where this thesis contends that the two must be upheld in a dialectic tension. This reframing of resurrection necessitates a re-evaluation of methodology, proposing a ‘Postfoundationalist Constructive Realism,’ a framework built upon a dialogue with Wolfhart Pannenberg and N.T. Wright. PCR upholds the external event or object, with its inherent meaning, and its subjective interpretation by an interpreter who imbues that event with contextually conditioned meaning, according to the interpreter’s presupposed categories of understanding. Though this thesis is primarily a project within the discipline of systematic theology, it is significantly informed by, and engages with, New Testament scholarship.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Creative Media, Arts and Design
Supervisor(s): Strong, Rowan and Myles, Robert
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