Thesis Title: New Testament Wealth Ethics: the Limits of Christian Generosity
Much recent work on NT ethics has emphasised the divergent 'ethics' of different biblical writers from each other and from the teaching of Jesus, either explicitly, or by choosing to focus on a particular authors 'wealth ethics'. This is somewhat understandable, due to the variety of different instructions regarding money, descriptions of individual (and church) practice and the apparent incompatibility of some of the most demanding ethical teachings. However, I intend to investigate whether this variety can be better understood in relation to two key paradigms within which wealth ethics were taught by Jesus: (1) the relationship between the believer and God; (2) the relationship between an individual and others around him. Variety found within the New Testament may reflect different concretizations of these principles rather than fundamentally different ethics.
Within this framework I intend to investigate key questions that are, as yet, paid little attention in research: On what basis should Christians discriminate in their generosity? Does the radical generosity found in some commands apply to all mankind or is it an 'in-group' solidarity only necessitated within the church? How did these decisions compare with other communities of the first century that practised some form of monetary sharing (both Jewish and Greco-Roman associations)?
My hope is that this will not only contribute to debates on the relationship between the historical Jesus and the first churches, but will outline the principles on which they concretized the radical teaching found in the NT documents, which may aid Christians who are trying to do the same thing today.
Supervisors and Institution(s):
Prof. Roland Deines & Prof. Philip Goodchild
University of Nottingham
MRes Theology - UoN - result due Nov. 2014
MA Theology - LST - 2012 (1st)
BA Music - UoN - 2009 (1st)
Employed at the Nottingham Emmanuel School since 2009 in variety of roles, including classroom teaching (RS), working with SEN, mentoring. Particular focus was students with behavioral/emotional difficulties and engagement with holistic life-issues and family contexts. I currently run one mentoring project for 6 students focussed on holistic investment and personal change. I've also served as a governor since 2014.
In 2012-13 I worked part time for Urban Devotion Birmingham, a charity that works alongside young people in deprived communities in N Birmingham.
I'm a Christian, member of a local church and increasingly involved in our local community (the Meadows). I have been married to my wife Jo since 2010 and now have a 1 year old daughter. My research was provoked by our experiences in these contexts and hopes to inform the rest of our lives as we try to work out what it means to apply the teaching of the NT in 21st century Nottingham.