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The Centre for Anabaptist Studies 2021 Annual Lecture

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Paul, Nachfolge Christi and Gelassenheit: Reading Paul with the Radical Reformers

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Since the Reformation the dominant Protestant view has been that justification by faith is at the heart of Paul’s theology. Anabaptists, whilst recognising the importance of justification by faith, insisted that true believers sought to follow the example of Jesus and that their faith resulted in transformed lives. The themes of Nachfolge Christi and Gelassenheit occur regularly in their writings. Whilst mainstream Protestants arguably made Paul and “the Christ of faith” central to their theology, Anabaptists insisted on the centrality of the Jesus of the Gospels. This lecture, however, seeks to challenge this simplistic notion of a “Protestant Paul” over against an “Anabaptist Jesus” and, by drawing on a sampling of sixteenth century Anabaptist writers, argues that Anabaptists saw Paul as a prime exemplar of both the imitation of Christ and true yieldedness. By drawing attention to these Anabaptist readings this lecture seeks to provide an Anabaptist contribution to contemporary debates surrounding the New Perspective on Paul.

This lecture will be delivered at Bristol Baptist College and livestreamed online. This Eventbrite is for you to sign up to receive a link to view the livestream. We regret that due to covid safety measures it is not possible for you to attend the lecture in person.


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Lloyd Pietersen first trained as a chartered accountant and served for many years as Treasurer of the Anabaptist Network. He left accountancy to become a teaching elder in a large church in Bristol where his teaching responsibilities led to a desire to pursue further academic training in biblical studies. His doctoral research was published as “The Polemic of the Pastorals: A Sociological Examination of the Development of Pauline Christianity.” Lloyd is currently an honorary research fellow at Bristol Baptist College and editor of Anabaptism Today. He teaches two of the core modules on the MA programme at the Centre for Anabaptist Studies. He is also the author of Reading the Bible After Christendom. Lloyd is working on an academic monograph provisionally titled Reading Paul with the Radical Reformers and also hopes to write a volume on Paul for the ‘After Christendom’ series.

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