Baptism and Cognition in Romans 6–8 978-3-16-154049-3 - Mohr Siebeck

Samuli Siikavirta

Baptism and Cognition in Romans 6–8

Paul's Ethics beyond 'Indicative' and 'Imperative'

[Taufe und Erkenntnis in Römer 6–8. Die Ethik des Paulus jenseits von »Indikativ« und »Imperativ".]

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How does Paul make use of baptism? Samuli Siikavirta looks at how in Romans, baptism is not just a symbol but a concrete rite that has connected the baptised to Christ and that, by stressing reason, Paul wants his audience to remember what their baptism means for their everyday lives.
Baptism, for Paul, is a christological event that he also uses in his ethical argument. The discussion of the relationship between Paul's theology and ethics has made use of the terms 'indicative' and 'imperative' since Wernle and Bultmann. As subsequent discussion has shown, these terms are problematic not only because of their rigidity and ambiguity. In this study, Samuli Siikavirta focuses on Romans 6–8, the key text for the interplay between Paul's theological and ethical material. He brings the discussion back to what he sees as central to this interaction: baptism and its cognition. Both elements are examined in their Jewish and Stoic settings. Death to sin, slavery to God, holiness and the indwelling of the Spirit are all seen as integral parts of the baptismal state that is deeply christological rather than symbolical. Paul's cognitive language is then viewed in light of his desire to remind his addressees of who and whose they are because of their baptism.

Samuli Siikavirta Born 1985; 2005–15 student of theology and religious studies at Cambridge; 2012–14 teacher of New Testament Greek; 2015 PhD in theology (New Testament exegetics) from the University of Cambridge; currently pastor in St Mark's Lutheran Church in Helsinki, Finland.


The following reviews are known:

In: New Testament Abstracts — 60 (2016), S. 176
In: Soteria — September 2016, S. 43–44 (Jos Jumelet)
In: The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology — 20.1 (2016), S. 174–176 (Brian J. Wright)
In: Revue Biblique — 124 (2017), S. 634 (Étienne Nodet)
In: Trinity Journal — 38 (2017), S. 103–105 (Benjamin J. Snyder)
In: Journal for the Study of the NT — 39.5 (2017), S. 70 (Dorothea H. Bertschmann)
In: Religious Studies Review — 43 (2017), S. 177 (John K. Goodrich)
In: Revue d'histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses — 96 (2016), S. 353–354 (Ch. Grappe)