Lectures in Antwerp and Lausanne
Unforgivably tardy in doing so, I express my gratitude to colleagues in Antwerp (Le Centre Universitaire Saint Ignace d’Anvers) for their invitation to their historic city to hold a doctoral seminar and give a public lecture (04 April). This involved also the collaboration of the Philosophy Department and the Institute of Jewish Studies of the University of Antwerp, the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Leuven, the Faculty of Theology of the Universite catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve), and the Protestant Faculty of Theology, Brussels. The doctoral seminar focused on my book, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Eerdmans, 2003), and I enjoyed the lively discussion of some key issues. My public lecture that evening advanced the thesis that belief in the personal/bodily resurrection of Jesus was a major impetus behind interest in traditions about Jesus, leading to the narrative Gospels.
After these events, I traveled to Lausanne, another historic city (set on Lake Geneva and with majestic snow-capped mountains on the near-horizon) at the invitation of the Swiss-French Institute for Biblical Studies, as one of several presenters in a mini-conference on ancient “monotheisms” (06 April). There were presentations on examples of ancient Mesopotamian “high god” developments (Assur and Marduk), on monotheism in second temple Jewish religion, and on Zoroastrianism. My own presentation focused on issues concerning “monotheism” in the New Testament. This was a stimulating and enjoyable visit (though it was demanding to handle the presentations in French!). I am very grateful for this invitation also, for the hospitality provided, and for the opportunity to further acquaintances with colleagues there.