Creation, Conflict and Cosmos: Plenary 3 (Susan Grove Eastman)

Next up was Susan Grove Eastman who gave a presentation on ‘Double Participation and the Responsible Self in Romans 5–8’

The paper aimed to explore the ways in which human existence is construed by Paul in Romans 7 using the category of 'double participation', namely participation in the Adam and Christ narratives. Eastman argued that in Romans 7 (where the turn to the self is explicitly marked by use of the 1st person singular) Paul offers a sustained account of the self by means of which the self is reconstituted as 'responsible' in the light of the Christ-event or 'under the agency of grace.' Especially interesting was the concluding connection to recent therapeutic approaches to eating disorders, in which, rather than allowing the human subject to be defined by disorder, the disorder is construed as a hostile occupying power against which the self must wage war. The resonance of this approach to enabling recovery from eating disorders with the apocalyptic dimensions of Paul's construals of the self are clearly apparent.