A Missional Reading of the Letter of James: Hearing the Voice of James in Mission

Dancy, Graham Paul (2021) A Missional Reading of the Letter of James: Hearing the Voice of James in Mission. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/BJ22UY47

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Abstract

This thesis examines the letter of James from the perspective of mission, applying a missional hermeneutic to the letter. This is an approach that understands the mission of God’s people as intricately linked to the prior mission of God, or missio Dei. In this sense, the whole of Scripture is missional since it records the narrative of God’s redemptive mission. Thus, texts such as James, which have been previously neglected in mission literature, can be fruitfully explored. I begin with recent developments in Jacobean scholarship that set the foundation for my own reading and then consider the use of James in mission literature, showing the lack of engagement with the letter in this field. I then outline the development of missional hermeneutics, in which several streams have been developed to date, three of which can be interwoven to provide a robust reading of the text. These ask how the text draws on and speaks into the missio Dei, how it forms God’s people to participate in this and how the author uses biblical tradition for this purpose. From this basis I investigate the letter, following a structure that reflects the presentation of the different themes of James as they appear in the first chapter and are then developed in the rest of the letter. I explore the missional implications of diaspora and restoration, perfection in trials, wisdom and the double-souled, poverty and wealth, and active faith and right speech. James offers a distinctive contribution to mission theology through these themes. The author builds a missional identity that draws on OT and the Jesus tradition that focuses on the attractional nature of the audience as God’s people. Thus, this thesis brings the voice of James to the missional conversation and contributes to scholarship on the letter.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Esler, Philippesler@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/philip-esler/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mission; Letter of James; Epistle of James; Sacred texts
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education & Humanities > Humanities
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2022 11:08
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2022 11:08
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/10708

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