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Lautenschlaeger Award for 2019: Applications Invited

February 3, 2018

After a year’s hiatus, it is heartening to learn that the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise has been renewed and will be offered again in 2019.   The awards are administered by the University of Heidelberg Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology.

The deadline for the 2019 awards is 30 June 2018.  Here is the poster with basic information:  lautenschlaeger-award2019.

The ten winners will receive 3000 Euros each and be brought to Heidelberg for the ceremony.

The scope of the awards is considerable.  “Theological Promise” and “God and Spirituality” are interpreted very broadly.  Illustrative of this, the list of most recent awardees (2017) is on the web here.  From that page there is a link with more information on the winners and their winning publications.

I know of nothing comparable in the Humanities.  It’s a wonderful boost and recognition for the young scholars who receive these awards.

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  1. Gary permalink

    I apologize if I offended you, Dr. Hurtado. That was not my intent.

    One ossuary with a crucified body does not indicate a pattern of behavior.

    It is certainly possible that the Romans occasionally made exceptions. It is certainly possible that the Romans made an exception in Jesus’ case. But is the reason that we have only found ONE crucified body in an ossuary because that was not the typical Roman custom?

    I appreciate the discussion. I won’t bother you further on this subject.

    • Gary: Apology accepted. One ossuary with a crucified man shows that the Romans did, on at least some occasions, grant crucified corpses for proper burial. The Gospel narratives claims that ranking representation was made to Pilate for Jesus’ body. So, yes, perhaps exceptional. But that’s sufficient.

  2. Gary permalink

    Maybe a member or members of Jesus’ followers watched from a distance as the Romans “thapto’d” Jesus body into a common grave with other criminals. There never was an “empty tomb”. This was the invention of the author of Mark. This is why we have no good evidence that the burial site of Jesus ever became a place of veneration or even of curiosity. Paul never mentions a rock tomb or any detail of the Arimathea burial in his writings.

    The original resurrection belief arose due to the disciples experiencing “visions” of some nature (illusions, vivid dreams, or even hallucinations) not due to an empty grave. If Jesus was buried in a common grave with many other bodies how would anyone have verified that his body was missing? It would have been impossible. His grave was assumed to be empty!

    The burial was included in the Early Creed because that is what witnesses saw. And that certainly sounds more dignified for a liturgical creed than saying that most of Christ’s body had been devoured by scavengers while hanging on the cross for a week.

    • Hmm. Well, anything is possible. But the job of critical historiography is to judge what is more plausible. And I still don’t think you’re reckoning with the likely implication of Paul’s inclusion of Jesus’ burial as one component in the Jerusalem tradition that he recites in 1 Cor 15. A casual disposal of Jesus’ corpse such as you moot wouldn’t in my view have generated this. And the reason that Jesus’ tomb wasn’t a pilgrimage site is more likely because the resurrection-faith made it “history”, not like going to reverence the memory of a dead figure such as Abraham. Why, one must ask, such wriggling and squirming to avoid what is the more economical view: that Jesus was buried “properly” in accordance with Jewish piety? Food for your thought. Not for another extended comment.

      • Gary permalink

        I would say because the evidence is stacked against a proper Jewish burial.

        -the Roman custom for persons charged with treason was not to allow the family or anyone else to have the body. The entire purpose of crucifixion was humiliation and deterrence. Christians are forced to twist themselves into pretzels denying that Jesus was executed for treason when that is exactly what their holy book says. The idea that the Romans, and in particular Pilate, would allow the body of someone accused of treason to have the high honor of a proper funeral in a rich man’s rock tomb is just too far-fetched…to anyone who has not grown up in the Christian tradition.

        -We know from their writings that early Christians in the second and third century venerated practically everything involving Jesus and the apostles. So why should we believe that the Christians of the first century were any different? I believe it was Origen who toured the holy land and visited the alleged sites of Jesus birth and his baptism. If early Christians were venerating the locations of Jesus’ birth and baptism why wouldn’t they venerate the spot where Jesus’ was buried and allegedly rose from the dead?

      • Gary: You’re incorrect. We have an example of a crucified man buried in a tomb, so obviously granted to his family by the Roman authority. You’re the one twisting like a pretzel. Scholars (including Christians) freely grant that the charge on which Jesus was crucified was claiming to be king, i.e., sedition. I’ve given you some reasoning, but your mind is set. So we’re done. No use continuing when you don’t want to learn anything.
        If you seriously want to study the question, here are a few scholarly studies:
        –Rachel Hachlili, Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices and Rites in the Second Temple Period, JSJSup, no. 94 (Leiden: Brill, 2004)
        –John Granger Cook, “Crucifixion and Burial,” New Testament Studies 57 (2011): 193-213
        –Jodi Magness, “Ossuaries and the Burials of Jesus and James,” Journal of Biblical Literature 124 (2005): 121-54
        Be well.

  3. Gary permalink

    Hi Dr. Hurtado,

    I asked this question under another post but you must have missed it as it has never been posted:

    I asked Bart Ehrman about the proper translation of the Greek word “thapto” used by Paul in the Early Creed and translated in English bibles as “buried”. He was puzzled why you would insist that the Greek word “thapto” ONLY means “burial with ritual”. Here is his exact statement:

    “What Greek word does he [Larry Hurtado] think would be used for putting someone in the ground without a ceremony, or in a common grave?

    How would you respond to that, Dr. Hurtado?

    • I think you may have misread my point. Which is that “thapto” = burial, not simply being cast in a ditch. All the Greek sentences that I know which use the word are sentences referring to a disposal of a body in a grave of some sort, not casting it into a pit.

      • Gary permalink

        I see. So as long as the Romans placed Jesus’ body in a dirt trench and covered it over with dirt, that would qualify as “thapto’d”?

      • I suppose. But you need to reckon with another matter that is sadly and curiously often under-estimated. Why does Paul include Jesus’ burial as one of the four core affirmations that comprise the kerygma that he says he shares with Jerusalem church? It’s not enough to say that Paul presumed Jesus was entombed. In that case, it would have been enough (as usually the case) to affirm Jesus’ death and resurrection. So, why is the burial included? The most reasonable answer is because Jesus’ burial (and probably the place of his burial) had become (in the Jerusalem tradition) a component of tradition. I doubt that dropping Jesus’ body into a trench would have generated such a tradition. It’s more likely that “thapto” in 1 Cor 15 has its more typical meaning: a body placed in a tomb.

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