Markus Vinzent's Blog

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Inaugural Lecture reviewed in the Corriere della Sera

It was a nice surprise when I gave a paper a few days ago in Lecce, South Italy, on Eckhart and the Parisian University of 1311-1313, that my dear colleagues Alessandra Beccarisi and Loris Sturlese pointed me to an article that had appeared a few weeks earlier in the Sunday addition to the Corriere della Sera. In this article Alessandro Scafi reported and discussed my inaugural lecture that I gave last year at King's College London. If you want to read the article, you will find it following this link.

Here an English translation of the Italian text:

London, autumn 2012: in the Conference Room of King's College, a German scholar of fifty-three years holds his inaugural lecture for his appointment as Professor. Markus Vinzent offers its audience a radically new view of the history of early Christianity. The person who wrote the first Gospel, after the destruction of Jerusalem in 136, would be Marcion, a wealthy Greek shipowner from Sinope, in Asia minor. The authors of the canonical Gospels would have taken their material from the account of Marcion (of which there remain only the parts mentioned by his critics). In his own day considered a heretic, today undervalued by scholars according to Vinzent, Marcion would play an important role in the process of formation of the new Christian identity. To Marcion the Risen Savior of the new Covenant stood in antithesis to the Jewish God of the Old Testament, but the authors of the Gospels who undertook a first redaction of Marcion's text, would have altered it to turn its antithetical character into an anti-Judaic. In the inaugural Vinzent reiterates the thesis of his recent Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2011): For St. Paul the resurrection of Christ was the foundation of Christian hope, but in contrast to Paul, the center of theology and liturgy of the first generations of faithful were the teachings of the Lord and his sacrificial death, not his resurrection. It would have been Marcion to rediscover the emphasis on the salvific character of the Pauline resurrection of Christ with an enormous impact on the following development of Church doctrine. Vinzent, who teaches the history of theology, said he had discussed with a New Testament colleague the Gospel of Luke in comparison with that of Marcion, a synopsis which convinced this colleague of his new interpretation while they were sitting in the Augustinian convent at Erfurt, where Luther was.