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Jerry Hwang, Ph.D. 2009

Jerry Hwang, Ph.D. 2009

Jerry HwangRecipient of the Eugene and Margaret Logan Fellowship

Academic Dean and Associate Professor of the School of Theology (English)
Singapore Bible College, Singapore

My dissertation was entitled "The Rhetoric of Remembrance: An Exegetical and Theological Investigation into the 'Fathers' in Deuteronomy" (ProQuest, requires library access), supervised by Dr. Daniel Block. This study addresses one of the more vexing questions in recent Old Testament scholarship: From the narrative perspective of the plains of Moab, are Israel's "fathers" the patriarchs of Genesis (e.g., 1:8), or the first exodus generation that Yahweh delivered from Egypt (e.g., 30:5) ? Redaction critics have typically viewed the apparently conflicting referents for Deuteronomy's "fathers" as evidence of multiple, imperfectly blended tradition layers. In response, I argue that the so-called Generationswechsel is an intentional literary device that blends various generations of the "fathers" with the current audience of "you" in a theologically charged vision of corporate solidarity. While using traditional historical-critical tools such as redaction criticism, I attempt to reframe the scholarly discussion by drawing on insights gleaned from newer interpretive methods such as "new literary criticism" and speech-act theory.

Wheaton provided an ideal environment to undertake my doctoral research and broaden my academic horizons. Though I was an Old Testament student, the interdisciplinary nature of the program also equipped me in the disciplines of New Testament and theology in order to minister effectively in the Majority World. The fellowship that I enjoyed with mentors and fellow students has been a model for how theological education must be -- a place where one experiences, in Dietrich Bonhoeffer's terms, the hermeneutical "turn from the phraseological to the real." In addition, the provision of the Wheaton PhD fellowship allowed me the unhurried time for contemplation, reading, and writing that a scholar-in-training needs. I am extremely grateful for how Wheaton offered a unique blend of rigorous academics, financial provision, and missional engagement during my three years of study here.