|Lincoln Harvey and Alan Spence|
Next up was Alan Spence’s critique of Gunton’s acceptance of monothelitism (the doctrine that there is only one will in Jesus) or, as I would put it, qualified dyothelitism (Gunton’s qualified version argues that there are two wills at work in the life of Jesus [the Father’s will and the Son’s will], but not in the person of Jesus, which is traditional dyothelitism). Spence, the author of Christology: A Guide for the Perplexed, is always good value, and is a very animated communicator. So while the issue of dyothelitism is undoubtedly arcane, Spence transformed the subject into thoroughly absorbing stuff.
After lunch, Professor Oliver Davies presented a paper that seemed concerned to outline the dynamics of divine action in the life of Mary. To be honest, I didn’t catch much of this as I missed the opening five minutes or so, and I found it difficult to tune in for the remainder. But what I did process was very interesting; I need to get hold of a copy of Professor Davies’s paper so that I can read it for myself.
After this, two current Ph.D students at King’s took the floor: Ray Yeo and Trey Medley. Ray’s paper briefly outlined his research into the relation between a theological psychology of transforming grace and Jonathan Edwards’s notion of spiritual perception. Trey’s paper looked at Wolfhart Pannenberg’s use of field theory. Both papers were interesting and encouraged good question and answer sessions.
(There are two morals to this story. First, never give up on a paper, even if its first draft appears to stink! And secondly, when attending conferences, always make sure you have a paper on you, or have remote access to a paper, just in case you’re asked at the last minute to step in.)
In the evening, Alan Torrance presented a paper in which he argued that a trinitarian vision of the person is as a matchmaker, seeking to promote forgiveness at the heart of human community. And during the course of his presentation – which included a brief tribute to Colin Gunton at its beginning – Torrance conveyed exactly how radical is the notion of forgiveness. I’ll never look at the story of the Prodigal Son in the same way again!
|Jacob Phillips and Oliver Davies|