I spent yesterday at the John Owen Centre here in London, with about 50 others, at the Abraham Conference they have organised. Garry Williams, Director of the centre, began by outlining the work of the centre and then we were into the first session in which former LTS principal Philip Eveson helpfully outlined what we have in Genesis about Abraham, using diagrams to show the various chiasms and drawing out some interesting points about the careful way the Book of Genesis appears to be constructed. We had more of that sort of thing in the session after lunch when LTS Vice-principal David Green took us through the text showing us the significance of the word Ra'ah to see and its cognates and sometimes homonyms too. Again this was very interesting and helpful.
Personally, I found the third paper from James Mulrooney, an Edinburgh PhD candidate, who will be lecturing at LTS from this term, the most stimulating even though he used the phrase iconic mimesis at one point. He took us through Genesis 22 arguing for a nuanced typology that helpfully understood Abraham, Isaac and the ram in specific bounded terms. The paper generated a good discussion, most people being favourable to what was proposed while others were more sceptical.
In the evening we had the Lloyd-Jones Memorial Lecture, which was open to the public. Peter Law, a local pastor who regularly lectures in the middle east, was given the subject The great Abrahamic faiths? and he gave us some of the background to this phrase then argued, leaning on Daniel Strange, for a subversive fulfilment, that is a balanced acceptance of commonalities while seeking to expose and challenge differences.
Looking forward to day two.