Author: Stephen Richard Turley, Ph.D.
Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark
Date of Publication: August 27, 2015
Retail Price: $78.40
Rituals – Not quite the first term we think of when it comes to modern life. However there is an emerging consensus among social scientists that rituals play a profound role in our daily lives. From our expressions of nationalism and law court etiquette to weddings and graduation ceremonies, rituals reveal what we consider central to life’s meaning and purpose.
Enter the apostle Paul. He, too, believed that certain acts and utterances, beliefs and practices, revealed an event so central to life that it changed the world. With The Ritualized Revelation of the Messianic Age, Steve Turley demonstrates the profound cosmic drama disclosed through the practices of baptism and the Lord’s Supper in Galatians and 1 Corinthians. By exploring Paul’s references to washings and meals in light of ritual theory, Turley shows how baptism and the Lord’s Supper were seen by Paul as inherently revelatory, in that they revealed the dawning of the messianic age through the bodies of the ritual participants. This bodily revelation established both a distinctly Christian ethic and a distinctly Christian social space by which such an ethical identity might be identified and sustained.
With The Ritualized Revelation, you will read these letters of Paul with a profound sense of just how much the early church changed the world, and discover baptism and the Lord’s Supper like never before!
About the Author:
Steve Turley (PhD, Durham University) is an internationally recognized scholar, speaker, author, and blogger at TurleyTalks.com. He is a Teacher of Theology, Greek, and Rhetoric at Tall Oaks Classical School in New Castle, Delaware, and Professor of Fine Arts at Eastern University. His research and writings have appeared in such journals as Christianity and Literature, Calvin Theological Journal, First Things, Touchstone, and The Chesterton Review. He and his wife, Akiko, have four children and live in Newark, DE, where they together enjoy fishing, gardening, and watching Duck Dynasty marathons.
This episode of iView is an interview with Steve Turley (Ph.D. Durham University) on several topics: ritual and ritual theorgy, faith vs baptism, contemporary worship, meals, and we also touch on contemporary worship. This discussion highlights Dr. Turley’s new book, The Ritualized Revelation of the Messianic Age: Washings and Meals in Galatians and 1 Corinthians (T&T Clark, 2015). Gregg Strawbridge and Scott Jones conduct this interview.
Sample Interview Questions
- What got you interested in rituals?
- You indicate that there is a growing consensus among social scientists that rituals are central to our daily lives. Can you clarify what in fact are rituals and what do they bring to our lives?
- Who is your audience? For whom is the book written?
- Your opening chapter explores the history of scholarship surrounding a ‘ritual reading of Paul.’ Can you explain for our listeners what such a ritual reading of Paul involves?
- Why do you focus particularly on Galatians and 1 Corinthians?
- In your section on ritual washings, you argue that Paul sees baptism as what you call an ‘apocalyptic ritual’. Can you explain that?
- You argue that baptism, far from being a mere symbolic washing, in fact reveals the dawning of the messianic age through the bodies of the baptized. Can you explain how baptism reveals this Christian conception of time?
- You further note that baptism creates a distinctively Christian ethical identity. Can you explain how this is related to baptism’s revelatory significance?
- You in turn explain this ethical obligation in relation to the Holy Spirit in passages such as 1 Corinthians 6:11 and 12:13. Can you explain how baptism is related to the Spirit?
- Your section on ritual meals begins with the Antiochene meal described by Paul in Galatians 2:11-21, the place where Paul confronted Peter in not walking according to the truth of the gospel. Can you explain how the meals shared at Antioch were themselves embodiments of the gospel?
- In the chapter on 1 Corinthians, you make the argument that the Lord’s Supper was a ‘cosmic meal’. Can you explain what you mean by that, and how does that fact relate to the controversies over eating within the Corinthian church?
- Can you summarize what you conclude to be Paul’s views of baptism and the Lord’s Supper?