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SMC330Y1 Study Guide - Final Guide: Master Sergeant, Kenosis, Marcus Borg

St. Michael's College Courses
Course Code
Reid Locklin
Study Guide

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1. Gregory of Nyssa, Julian of Norwich and Gustavo Gutiérrez, among others, all give
prominence to some notion of “oppression” or “captivity” in their theologies of sin
and salvation. How are these proposals similar? How are they different? To what
extent does the soteriology of Gutiérrez and other liberationists represent a new
development in Christian theology and to what extent does it represent a return to
earlier traditions?
Gregory of Nyssa
Good/bad change, proof/demonstration of God, gate-keeper mentality
Freewill was a gift, used wrongly and following the consequence of adversary
opposition; Used against God
A good change, eating, drinking, sustaining one's life in a good way, course of the
human life is natural; Restoration of original state, purification
The process of restoration difficult and painful
Salvation: Killing of sin, recapitulation vs sin & death -> new life; release from
captivity to sin and devil, raise up to God; restoration of human nature
Flesh: harmony between human and God…. Persuading devil, trickery, availability,
persuasion > power; meeting point between life & death; devil need flesh to control
God: must be God, if not it wont be real/secure; goodness and excellence;
unchangeable vs changeable creation, immortal, divine; existence of anything,
humanity is a thing that exists, the divine is a thing that exists, actual
transformations of thing, the thing-ness of what they are; Sin and death understood
as a lost of being, and being is restored as the resurrection of Christ; God dispel
darkness, contradict dark, better than humans
Ransom allegory; God is not only good, but he is wise; devil can’t hang in to him,
he’s fair, just, good, could have released from captivity but not just, honor devil’s
legitimate rights; lying for humankind, positive outcome for devil and human,
darkness burn away
Strength; offers a universal redemption, universalist, rational and logical coherence
vs weakness: death doesn’t seem to be defeated, we are still dying, still exhibiting
signs of captivity to the devil
His answer; death has been destroyed because the fear destroyed by martyrs
During the fall, the devil tricked human kind; devil put forward something as good,
that was actually evil. apparent ‘good’ is the bait that causes us to sin.
God does the same thing with Jesus. He disguises himself as the human nature of
Christ, and uses this bait to trade for humans who are enslaved to sin. Devil takes
the bait and releases captives, and discovers that when he takes Jesus, it’s actually
God, so he has to release it. And as a result, the devil loses everything.
Notion of theosis / divinization exchange of human and divine. God became a
human being so that human beings may become Gods -> divinizing, recapitulating
human nature, human divinized, God become human so human can become god
recapitulation; redo and re-explain what’s been done before, return to original
state by renacting full life… what was lost in Adam recreated in Christ (Adam
human nature created)
Allegory of clay pot only way to fix it to shatter it, make it back into clay, remake

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Julian of Norwich
Question of rational argumentation of resurrection… alternative view and approach;
mystical vision and allegory
Theology born of suffering and illness… vision of bleeding crucifix, overwhelming blood
and love of God
Offers reflections on her visions…. MORAL EXEMPLARISM
Image of hazelnut in God’s hand, everlasting tiny thing + image of Jesus as loving
mother, feminine… also in Anselm
Vision of Lord and Servant, Theory of redemption, Adam -> Christ mystical union
Adam fell from grace, Jesus chose to fall o save Adam, raise him back up with him ->
recapitulation and theosis (link with Gregory with Adam)
co-existence of blame and blamelessness; God doesn't blame humans in her visions
because fall is due to love of God; felix culpa -> good error/fault, fall and what comes
after the fall is greater than what was before, servant no fault of own for falling`
Deep language of love. simplify the image further by looking at it in God’s love.
Narrative, symbols, mystical visions
Revised soteriology
Salvation is an intrahistorical reality; inside not outside history, history is one
Salvation embraces all persons and whole person (oppressed)
Integral liberation including all aspects of life including social and political
Quantitative to qualitative (extensive to intensive)
Historical reality of sin, human act transformed to perfection with Christ
Political liberation; creation of new order, human self-creation, historic salvific act
Christo-finalized, one history; Recreation and complete fulfillment
New creation from work of Christ, liberation from sin, new chosen people
Eschatological promises, future and historical present, bible as book of promise
Historical promises, beyond foreseeable, hope for gift
Christ the Liberator, human act transformed into perfection, fullest sense
History as means to look at what’s beyond us, transcendent
One human destiny; Salvation and new creation connected
Creation: always talking about new creation, all interrelated
Deifies political activity, Inclusion…Struggle for just society part of salvation
Sin impediment to communion; Christological sense of salvation
Anselm doesn’t talk much about Jesus but conclusion is God man… Gutierrez too
Exodus telling what Christ means, shaping interpretation
Anselm - Metaphysical (debt repaid), ontological -> existential
o convicted of God’s wrath to appreciate his grace, throw self at God’s mercy
o Move us in particular way ; “For us.” Pro nobis
o extranos important stuff happens out there, between God man and father,
humans as side players
o God just, rewards and Jesus, salvation… merit and reward

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liberating action of Christ, struggle for just society is part of salvational history not
consequence but integral. Part of message but apart
Anticipation/participation in single salvific process
Placing life of Christ into historical and liberating experience of exodus from Egypt
Analysis of situation, critique of tradition and light of situation, searching traditions
for elements that may function to liberate rather than oppress
Situation of poverty = death, alienates persons from themselves and society, form of
foreign captivity
Xtians talk about usually in quantitative terms, how many saved, but need to speak
of it in terms of qualitative terms, what it entails
Gregory of Nyssa sin - enslaved to devil salvation to liberate from that
Calvin sin as alienation of God, breach of relationship with God (like Gutierrez)
Gutierrez adding meaning
o abject to poverty impediment to communion with God, sin
o sin includes structures and injustice
o sin depersonalizes persons
3. The twentieth-century theologian Jürgen Moltmann argued that eschatology and the
kingdom of God must assume a central role in any Christian understanding of Jesus as
Messiah and Saviour. Evaluate Moltmann’s argument in critical comparison with those of
John Calvin, on the one hand, and Rosemary Radford Ruether, on the other. How do these
scholars’ different contexts, assumptions and leading concerns shape the ways they
respond to this critical issue?
Moltmann Theology of Hope
Jesus is how we see future of God, cross is sign of God’s hope on earth
stop short of giving theology revolutionary role, only see as able to critique, not
alternative… liberation theology
Postwar context 60s political hope, JFK, student riots
Past -> future, change ourselves, countries - Action on behalf of oppressed/poor
Concept of Kingdom of God, presence of God, repentance/transformation
Freedom -> spiritual/political
Critique of secularism and privatization of religion leading to distortion of religion
Religion removed from society and politics, just me and God
Privatization of religion led to reinventing of Xtianity as just another commodity
Object of advertising, individual choice, shoppers and consumers of religion
Critique of existential theology
Individual subjectivity implicitly reinforces privatization of religion that focuses on
individual; Humans do not exist as individual self-transcending but part of history of
suffering and injustice
Eschatology eschatos (the end) + logos (word)… discourse about final reality
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