Susan Eastman on the Apostle Paul and Knowledge of Divine Action

Dr. Susan Eastman is Associate Research Professor of New Testament at Duke University Divinity School. Below is a video presentation of her paper on “Second-Personal Knowledge of Divine Action: A View from the Apostle Paul.” Of the paper she writes:

In this paper I shall argue that we know and recognize the presence of God in the same ways that we know and recognize other human beings as different from ourselves and yet personally engaged with us. Knowledge of divine action is not primarily inward, private, esoteric, ineffable and other-worldly but interpersonal, embodied, and embedded in communal interaction. Such an argument requires two subsidiary arguments: first, concerning the sources of our capacity for thought, including the knowledge of self and others; and second, concerning the mode of knowing and experiencing God’s action. For the first argument it will be important to clarify two contrasting approaches to infant development and problems of mind in psychology and philosophy – a first- or third-personal approach starting with the self, and a second-personal approach starting with relationship. These approaches may also be discerned in different presumptions about what constitutes the knowledge and experience of divine action, or “spiritual experience”. For the second half of my argument concerning the mode of knowing God, I will draw on the writings of the apostle Paul, in whom one finds a second-personal understanding and expression of knowing and being known by God in relationship with other people through the Spirit indwelling the community of faith.

Her presentation begins at the 16:45 mark.

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