On January 29, 2018, Fr. Delio Ruiz, SCJ, member of the Philippine Region, has defended his STD Dissertation entitled “MINISTER OF CHRIST JESUS: A Study of Cultic Language in Romans 15:14-21 in the Context of Paul’s Missionary Framework.” The Board of Examiners was composed of Fr. Renato Repole, S.J., S.T.D. (Principal Examiner), Dr. Markus Locker (Adviser), Fr. Herbert Schneider, S.J., S.T.D., and Fr. Antonio de Castro, S.J., S.T.L., E.H.D. The defense was being held in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctorate in Sacred Theology with field of specialization in Biblical Theology.
“In this study, the author draws upon the apostle Paul’s Old Testament background and the Pharisaic Judaism’s context TRACING Paul’s use of cultic language in Romans. Cultic language in Paul’s letters does not ONLY refer to a number of terms related to the Temple services such as offering sacrifices. Paul ALSO uses cultic language outside the context of the Temple in order to explain his arguments, creating an imaginative context for his theological and ethical message (cf. Phil 4:18; Rom 12:1).
The study focuses on the letter-frame (Rom 1:1-15; 15:13-16:27), especially the closing section, the so-called “neglected endings,” where Paul explains the nature of his mission to the Gentiles (Rom 15:14-21) and his travel plans (15:22-32). An essential part of the study is that Romans 15 SHOULD not be considered merely as an appendix of the letter, and that one still can learn more of the whole letter. In view of the significance of cultic language in Romans the investigation seeks to clarify the meaning of Paul’s self-description as “ministry of Christ Jesus” and his “priestly service of the gospel” with its result, “the offering of the Gentiles” (Rom 15:16).
The use of cultic language aids Paul in defining his ministry to both Jewish and Gentiles Christians in a comprehensible and compelling manner (Rom 15:14-21). In doing so, the apostle emphasizes his appeal to fraternal relation and mutual acceptance within the believers in the house churches in Rome (15:7-13). Thus, both groups would be united in worship and communal response to the gospel (Rom 15:5-6; 15:16).” (http://lst.edu/community/news-a-features/1099-std-dissertation-oral-defense-of-fr-delio-ruiz-scj-argentina-on-29-january-2018)
The defense, held at Tipanan ni San Ignacio, Loyola School of Theology, lasted for almost two hours and was attended by the SCJs and friends from Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro and Macao.
Congratulations to Fr. Delio, the new Doctor in Sacred Theology!