Fergus J. King

Epicureanism and the Gospel of John

A Study of their Compatibility

[Epikureismus und das Johannesevangelium. Eine Untersuchung ihrer Vereinbarkeit.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-159545-5
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Published in English.
Recent studies of Epicureanism and emerging Christianity tend to engage with Paul. Fergus J. King addresses the potential compatibility of the Gospel of John with Epicurean theory and praxis. This work supplements historic and recent studies of the Gospel's relationship to Platonism and Stoicism.
The Gospel of John and Epicureanism share vocabulary and reject the conventions of Graeco-Roman theology. Would it then have been easy for an Epicurean to become a Christian or vice-versa? Fergus J. King suggests that such claims become unlikely when detailed analyses of the two traditions are set out and compared. The first step in his examination looks at evidence for potential engagement between the two traditions historically and geographically. Both traditions address concerns about the good life, death, and the divine. However, this correspondence soon unravels as their worldviews are far from identical. Shared terms (like Saviour), their respective rituals, and teaching about community life reveal substantial differences in ethos and behaviour.

Fergus J. King Born 1962; holds a doctorate in Theology from the University of South Africa; has taught at St Mark's College, Dar es Salaam and The University of Newcastle, NSW; currently the Farnham Maynard lecturer in Ministry and Director of the Ministry Education Centre at Trinity College Theological School, within the University of Divinity, Melbourne.


The following reviews are known:

In: Religious Studies Review — 48 (2022), p. 398 (Jeremy A. Gallegos)
In: Journal for the Study of the New Testament (JSNT) — 45 (2023), p. 38 (Tim Murray)