Here are a few of the papers I’ve written during my studies at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit in Leuven (BE). In most cases the topics were chosen by us, the students. The papers that I introduce to you are academic exercises that have shaped my thinking and my theology thoroughly. I hope you enjoy them.
The Disciples in Mark: A Narrative-Critical Study of Character Development
My MA thesis has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever worked on. I’ve spent four years working on this thesis and I’ve grown incredibly fond of Mark’s Gospel. Much research has been done on the characters of Mark, but very little on character development. My central question was, put simply, “Do the disciples in Mark change throughout the story?”
Communal “Respondability”: An Evangelical Appreciation of Intersubjective Hermeneutics
By far the most fun paper I have ever written, started with comparing three books on their approach to Postmodern hermeneutics and then adding some own insights. I wrote on the need of community with both God and other people in order to make truth claims. Every individual has a subjective viewpoint, but only in community can the argument for that viewpoint become stronger.
The Blind Model: The Role of Bartimaeus in Markan Discipleship (10:46-52)
The conversation between Bartimaeus and Jesus is a very intriguing one. Analysing the passage makes clear that it is very crucial in Mark’s development of discipleship. Bartimaeus stands in big contrast with Jesus’ disciples.
Tripping on STM: Cultural-Anthropological Approaches to the Presentation and Perception of Short-Term Mission
In the last decades, short-term mission trips have boomed. Millions of dollars are spent to go to an (often) third-world country to do some missionary work there. In this critical paper, I wanted to look at how those mission trips are presented back home and how they are perceived by local mission workers in the target country. I belief money, time and energy are invested in short-term trips too flippantly without a good analysis beforehand. This paper helps to put a few arguments more in perspective.
A Translation without Meaning? An Exegesis of Col. 3:21
For a paper of New Testament we were asked to pick a verse in Colossians and do an exegesis on it. Instead of choosing a passage on the deep theological, I chose a verse from the Haustafeln in Col. 3. I found that neither of the verbs in the exhortation to fathers (3:21) have been properly researched.
Who Do You Say I Am? Narrative Exegesis of Mark 8:29
For a New Testament exegesis study, I chose for a narrative approach in preparation to my MA thesis. Mk 8:29 is seen as a turning point in the Gospel of Mark and it was interesting to dive into that passage.
An Ancient Template for Modern Research (Qohelet 1:12-2:26)
Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) has been one of my favourite Bible books. The philosophical thoughts of the author are very easy to relate to as a Westerner having grown up in a postmodern setting. This exegesis helped me to appreciate the book even more.
Process Theology: A Critical Evaluation of Its Method
Process Theology is a twentieth-century movement within theology trying to combine natural scientific arguments with philosophy and theology. In this paper I try to index the strengths and the shortcomings of this approach.