Here. See you there March 2-4, 2018.
Daily Archives: 22 Aug 2017
What a brilliant and exceedingly concise review. Brilliant!
Though Rudolf Bultmann’s 133rd birthday was August 20th, we thought we’d celebrate by sharing Jim West’s short but sweet review and excerpt from the back cover of Rudolf Bultmann, one of the books in our Makers of the Modern Theological Mind series. Read, enjoy, and grab a copy of the book for yourself.
Hidden Criticism?: The Methodology and Plausibility of the Search for a Counter-Imperial Subtext in Paul
Christoph Heilig’s book is out in American clothing.
Paul has been regarded as being uncritical of the Roman Empire for a long time, not least because of his apparent call to obey the state in Romans 13:1–7. However, recent scholarship has questioned this assumption by pointing to “hidden criticism” in the letters of the apostle. But how can we decide, in a methodologically sound way, whether such a counter-imperial message lies beneath the surface of the text? On the basis of insights from the philosophy of science, Christoph Heilig suggests several analytical steps for examining this paradigm. He concludes that the hypothesis that we can identify critical “echoes” of the Roman Empire in Paul’s letters needs to be modified if it is to be maintained. In particular, the hypothesis of Paul’s concern that any overt criticism would be dangerous and lead to subsequent persecution of himself or his congregations is dubious and does not sufficiently justify this interpretative approach. Nevertheless, Heilig concludes that the search for a counter-imperial subtext in Paul could turn out to be heuristically fruitful, so long as the limitations of the approach are heeded. Hence, a reevaluation of Pauline passages in light of Paul’s engagement with ideas from his Roman environment is encouraged.
The series continues…
In his surviving writings, Paul’s preferred term for people who are not slaves appears to be ἐλεύθερος (eleutheros); ‘free’. However, in 1 Corinthians 7:22, Paul uses a more specific term ἀπελεύθερος (apeleutheros), ‘freedman/feedperson’, referring to slaves who had been emancipated through the civic and legal process of manumission. Although it was a relatively common word, Paul only uses it once. Newman University graduand Isabella Wray explored what may have prompted Paul to use it here and what his readers may have understood by its use.
This excerpt from her dissertation, introduces us to a freedperson who, like Babbius Philinus (see part 2), rose to become an influential figure in Corinthian society. What is particularly intriguing about this person, however, is that he may also have also been a member of the Corinthian church…
Paul’s Liberating Theology in 1 Corinthians 7:21-24: The Freedperson’s Journey…
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