Critical theory and Johannine mission a test case: the Johannine community as divine communicative action

PhD thesis


Galbo, S. 2014. Critical theory and Johannine mission a test case: the Johannine community as divine communicative action. PhD thesis Middlesex University / London School of Theology (LST) School of Law
TypePhD thesis
TitleCritical theory and Johannine mission a test case: the Johannine community as divine communicative action
AuthorsGalbo, S.
Abstract

This dissertation explores the potential for utilizing Jurgen Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action (TCA) as a hermeneutical method in biblical studies—in this case—Johannine agency and mission. The thesis is developed by means of TCA and four “contextual anchor points.” These components of critical and literary theory are used in a sequential argument to examine the thesis: The Johannine community was portrayed by John as divine communicative action to the world. After a brief introduction, chapter two discusses TCA, differentiating its relevant aspects from those unsuitable. An examination of the intertextual interface between John and his readership is performed in chapter three. Chapter four analyzes John’s call for unity in the face of cosmic brokenness and division over Jesus. Though John portrays a closed κόσμος, opposed to its creator, he demonstrates openness, showing interest in gathering exiles. Unity is for the sake of the world (13:35; 17:21, 23). Chapter four discusses the possibility that the AD 70 loss of the temple was John’s motivation for communicative action to his fellow “Jews.” Chapter five examines re-creation. Humanity separated from its creator was incapable of communicative reason. Jesus therefore served as God’s communicative act and Tatwort (deed-word, sign) to set it free. Chapter six concerns the mediatorial role of the παράκλητος. Central to John’s eschatology was the continued presence of Messiah through the Spirit. The παράκλητος was the communicative glue of the Johannine community, mediating communicative action to the world. Chapter seven concludes the study, demonstrating the community was a provocateur of life and judgment, gathering those who responded to communicative action and relinquishing others to judgment. The community’s oneness served as a Tatwort (deed-word) to the κόσμος. Their words and deed-words served as divine communicative action to re-create the world.

Department nameSchool of Law
Institution nameMiddlesex University / London School of Theology (LST)
Publication dates
Print01 Jul 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Jul 2014
Completed2014
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
LanguageEnglish
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