Thursday, 30 April 2015

Jeremy Barrier: Abraham’s Seed: Tracing pneuma as a corporeal substance from Paul’s writings to the Apocryphon of John

Since the time of Augustine, the pneuma (i.e., Spirit) of God has often been assumed to be a non-corporeal substance. However, an influx of more recent studies have begun to explore the corporeal dimensions of God as discussed in earliest Christianity. In particular, scholars such as Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Dale Martin, and Troy Martin have paved the way in Pauline Studies for understanding pneuma as a physiological, corporeal substance, instead of viewing it primarily as a metaphor. In 2014, I published an article reinforcing these concepts by connecting pneuma with “Abraham’s Seed” (Galatians 3:29) through a physiological explanation. In this presentation, I will further test the hypothesis of a corporeal pneuma by examining the concept of “Abraham’s Seed” within several early church writings to see whether or not any traces of this corporeal concept of pneuma can be detected.

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