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New PhD fellow at the Department of Theology

Sigurvin Lárus Jónsson is a new PhD fellow at the Department of Theology with a project entitled “James in Light of Mimesis and Intertextuality”

06.02.2016 | Ulrik Albert Vosgerau

My name is Sigurvin Lárus Jónsson and I am a theologian from the University of Iceland. The Letter of James has been my research passion for many years and I wrote my Cand. theol. thesis (2006) on its connection to the sayings of Jesus in the gospels of Matthew and Luke (Q). In 2014 I completed a MA in New Testament, where I focused on the persona of James ‘the Just’ in early Christian literature in comparison to ancient ideals of masculinity.

My PhD project entitled “James in Light of Mimesis and Intertextuality” will explore the connection between the Letter of James and the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew’s gospel. I will argue that the author of James knows and employs ancient literary techniques, more specifically the rhetorical practice of mimesis, and deliberately emulates the Sermon in his letter. The method of mimesis was widespread throughout the Hellenistic world and the subject of emulating texts was an integral part of the Hellenistic tripartite education.

With my research on literary techniques in James I hope to provide a broader framework for studying textual relationships in general, with reference to well-known rhetorical practices. More importantly I hope to contribute to the study of the Letter of James as an important witness to the transmission and rewriting of Jesus logia, an undertaking that I would like to relate to the upcoming 500-year reformation jubilee and the debate about Martin Luther’s hermeneutical approach to various New Testament writings.

The PhD project falls under the program “Theology, History of Ideas and Philosophy: New Testament Studies” under the supervision of professor Eve-Marie Becker.