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    Creation and Christ. An Exploration of the Topic of Creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews


    Costley, Angela (2018) Creation and Christ. An Exploration of the Topic of Creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews. PhD thesis, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This work is a revised version of my PhD thesis, completed at St. Patrick’s College, the Pontifical University, Maynooth between 2013 and 2018, under the supervision of Rev. Dr. Jeremy Corley. It was inspired by a course undertaken at the same university, taught by Rev. Anthony O’Leary CP, in which I examined the theme of creation in Heb 1 – 2 as part of the assessment process. As part of the course on Hebrews at Maynooth, we naturally covered the more commonly discussed theme in the Epistle, the high priesthood of Christ. However, as I began to look at Hebrews more closely, I saw that the term high priest is not so common in the first four chapters of Hebrews, occurring only four times with a further reference to sacrifice in 1:3. Rather than emphasising the sacrificial activity of Christ, the opening section is replete with a number of references to creation: 1:2 – 3,10 – 12, 2:5 – 9, 10; 3:1 – 6; 4:3 – 4 and 4:9 – 10. This prompted me to ask why creation was being referenced so many times, and, indeed, in so many different ways. There was no one word that connected all the mentions of creation and Hebrews was not making references only to the Genesis account, but also to psalms, most notably 102, 8 and 95, in that order. This prompted an essay of around 2,000 words to begin with, but it only covered chapters 1 – 2, and it became clear that a much bigger investigation was needed. The result is this study, and a close analsysis of Hebrews’ discourse in its opening four chapters that is contained herein. The research proceeds by examining Hebrews’ references to creation sequentially, hoping to gather insights into the purpose of the references to creation from the point of view of linearization. In the course of this investigation, I try to grapple with interpretational questions from a discourse analysis perspective, including intertextual analysis, and thus hope to contribute to a scholarly understanding of the discourse of Hebrews. I highlight important connections between the topic of creation and the Son’s salvific activity and look at the impact of taking seriously the references to creation on some of the questions long posed of the text, such as the meaning of “rest” in Heb 3 – 4. It is hoped that this investigation will prompt further discourse analysis investigations into this topic in the later chapter of Hebrews and perhaps even into the theme of creation in other New Testament books.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Creation; Christ; Exploration; Epistle; Hebrews;
    Academic Unit: St Patrick's College, Maynooth > Faculty of Theology
    Item ID: 14087
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2021 10:37
    URI:

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