Argumentum ad Lunam: Discourse and Competition on the Moon

I'm looking forward to the 7th Annual Meeting on Christian Origins hosted by CISSR (Il Centro Italiano di Studi Superiori sulle Religioni). I will be presenting my paper, "Argumentum ad Lunam: Discourse and Competition on the Moon," as part of the "Bible and Conflict" session, chaired by Sarah E. Rollens and James G. Crossley, on September 29th. Here is the conference program.

Here is the abstract of my paper:

Increasingly scholars are aware and accepting of Paul the Apostle’s use of Middle Platonic/Stoic terminology in his descriptions of cosmology, moral psychology, and the function of certain substances (e.g., pneuma) in his descriptions of (in)corporeality, adoption, and the transformation of Christ and those “in Christ.” Studies along these lines identify points of contact between Paul and his philosophical ilk, identifying how similar lines of discourse among various Platonists, Aristotelians, Stoics, Pythagoreans, and figures like Philo help to illuminate the nuances of Paul’s thought, while simultaneously spackling over lacunae left by the “occasional” nature of his extant corpus. In this paper, I would like to move beyond a justification framework set to prove Paul’s use of popular philosophy. Rather, I will take this reality for granted and ask what Paul’s claims about cosmology signify in terms of his competitive position in the emerging “wonder-culture” of the imperial period. Specifically, in a period in which discourses, claims, and demonstrations involving the moon were rife, what was Paul’s position on this celestial marker and what role did it play in justifying his cosmology over and against those in the competitive landscape of both Christ-groups and philosophy writ large?

For more information about CISSR's annual meeting, see their website.