Dr. Max J. Lee Receives a Lilly Theological Scholars Grant for 2010–11

Dr. Max J. Lee Receives a Lilly Theological Scholars Grant

CHICAGO, IL (May 17, 2010) – Dr. Max J. Lee, North Park Theological Seminary Associate Professor of New Testament, has received a Lilly Theological Scholars Grant for 2010–11. The Lilly Theological Research Grants program is designed to encourage high-quality research across the theological disciplines by scholars at all stages in their careers.

Dr. Lee is one of three nationwide recipients of this grant, which will further Lee’s project entitled “Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind and Paul: Mapping the Apostle’s Moral Landscape.” This project examines the moral transformation systems of the three major philosophies of mind which dominated the intellectual milieu of the Apostle Paul and his letter recipients during the early Roman Empire: namely, Platonism, Stoicism, and Epicureanism.

According to Professor Lee, the study of Greco-Roman philosophy of mind and Diaspora Judaism provides a framework for an examination of the Apostle Paul. While Paul interacts with, and thinks in, ancient ethical categories, he does not necessarily draw his linguistic currency from any particular philosophical school. What is at stake is how persons, with their rational faculties, cooperate with God’s divine activity to experience moral development and human flourishing.

Dr. Lee has been a member of the North Park Theological Seminary faculty since 2006. Ordained as a Baptist minister, Dr. Lee has served as a pastor, preacher, college staff member, youth leader, and short-term missionary to Japan.

"I am thrilled to receive the Lilly grant,” Lee says. “It is both an honor and affirmation that other scholars in theological education find my research relevant for the ministry of the church. I hope that my study on ancient ethical theory and moral psychology in the Roman era will not only help us understand the Apostle Paul's own message but also how the church today can cooperate with God's transforming activity. The grant will help fund a trip to the University of Durham in England, where I will meet with Professor John Barclay to discuss my work. My thanks go out to the selection committee who awarded my proposal, but most of all to colleagues and friends at the Seminary, whose support I treasure."