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The Suffering Messiah Complex in the Gospel of Matthew

Sarah Gagliano
4th Year, BSc Honours
University of Toronto

A Messiah who must suffer would have been a paradox for the Jewish people of the first century.  However, in the Gospel of Matthew, even though the author notes that Jesus Christ is in fact the promised and awaited liberator of the Jewish people, the Messiah must suffer.  The author prepares the disciples and his readers to anticipate this paradox by using comparisons between Jesus Christ and other characters who also suffer and by including explicit predictions of the suffering of Jesus.  At the same time, the opportunity to doubt this phenomenon is permitted. 

The Complexity of a Simple God: Aquinas' Response to Richard Dawkins

Matthew Morris
2nd Year, PhD Ecology and Evolution
University of Calgary

Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion is a recent popular attack on theism.  Rather than rely on empirical evidence, Dawkins attempts to disprove the existence of all supernatural entities through a philosophical argument: anything complex enough to create an organism must itself have been designed.  The validity of this argument rests on Dawkins’ use of Thomas Aquinas’ First Way.  This paper will explore Aquinas’ First Way and the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity in order to better assess Dawkins’ argument. 
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky

The study of mystical experiences is an endeavor that has been approached in many ways. One unresolved issue in this area of study is whether or not there is a particular type of experience underlying the traditionally religious interpretations, which can be termed “mystical.” In this paper, the author posits that some of the foundational claims of the common core view and the social constructivist view of the nature of such experiences, respectively, are not completely incompatible. Rather, the two approaches may converge with regard to the cognitive foundations of cross-culturally accessible anomalous experiences.
Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
La Mirada, California

Malachi’s prophetic voice continues to speak today through its interpreters. This article considers two of Malachi’s oracles, namely the pronouncement against divorce (Mal 2:10-17) and a call to faithful temple tithing (Mal.3:8-12) citing some of their contemporary and popular interpretations. It notes major themes that run through the book, highlighting key cultural and historical realities of Malachi’s day and its context of corporate unity. It demonstrates how differently Malachi can be understood by ignoring or utilizing the interpretive framework of historical, cultural and religious backgrounds.