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Paul in Israel's Story

John L. Meech

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780195306941
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785018 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195306945.001.0001

Series: AAR Academy Series

Paul in Israel's Story

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The self has become a problem in postmodern thought, and this problem poses a sharp challenge for dialogue between Christians and others who tell different stories of self and community. A healthy suspicion of the self’s transcendence lets the self approach the other in humility, but what can create the community where the self and other can embrace? Paul was humbled before Christ, yet to embrace the crucified Christ in one community he had to retell his community’s story. Can the Church today repeat Paul’s costly embrace? Paul in Israel’s Story addresses the problem of the self in community in a theological hermeneutics that brings together recent biblical scholarship and constructive theology. Proponents and critics of the new perspective on Paul join philosophers in an ongoing conversation about selfhood. Paul’s story extends Paul Ricoeur’s “hermeneutics of the self” into stories of communities; hermeneutics deepens our sense of Paul’s “I have been crucified with Christ” and “Christ lives in me”. Linking hermeneutics with Paul’s story is a critical engagement with Rudolf Bultmann. Avoiding the stark either/or that can characterize critiques of Bultmann, the book reconceives demythologizing as an ongoing conversation about how to embrace the other from out of the past in one community. It concludes by situating the communal self in a contextual framework built on Jürgen Moltmann’s “community in Christ” and Robert Jenson’s pneumatology. This framework carries communal selfhood into interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, ecclesiology, and pneumatology. Just as retelling Israel’s story challenged Paul’s self-understanding, Paul in Israel’s Story challenges us to risk our reliable understandings of self and community to embrace Christ crucified and the other in Christ.

Keywords: Rudolf Bultmann; Christ; hermeneutics; Robert Jenson; Jürgen Moltmann; St. Paul; phenomenology; Paul Ricoeur

Book.  192 pages. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Paul in Israel's Story

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Paul as Another in Israel's Story in Paul in Israel's Story

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