Paul and the Dynamics of Power
In this illuminating study Kathy Ehrensperger looks at the question of Paul's use of power and authority as an apostle who understands himself as called to proclaim the Gospel among the gentiles. Ehrensperger examines the broad range of perspectives...
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In this illuminating study Kathy Ehrensperger looks at the question of Paul's use of power and authority as an apostle who understands himself as called to proclaim the Gospel among the gentiles. Ehrensperger examines the broad range of perspectives on how this use of power should be evaluated. These range from the traditional interpretation of unquestioned, taken for granted for a church leader, to a feminist interpretation. She examines whether or not Paul's use of power presents an open or hidden re-inscription of hierarchical structures in what was previously a discipleship of equals.
Paul and the Dynamics of Powerquestions whether such hierarchical tendencies are rightly identified within Paul's discourse of power. Furthermore it considers whether these are inherently and necessarily expressions of domination and control and are thus in opposition to a 'discipleship of equals'? In her careful analysis Ehrensperger draws on such wide-ranging figures as Derrida, Michel Foucault and James Scott. This enables fresh insights into Paul's use of authority and power in its first century context.
Dr Kathy Ehrensperger (Lic.Theol (MA) (Basel), PhD (Wales) is Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies and Director of the Lampeter Centre for Biblical Studies, University of Wales. She studied theology at the Universities of Basel and Berne, and was a pastor for sixteen years in Switzerland. Her publications include Paul and the Dynamics of Power: Communication and Interaction in the Early Christ-Movement, That We May Be Mutually Encouraged: Feminism and the New Perspective on Paul, and Reformation Readings of Romans with R.Ward Holder.
- 1.introduction Setting The Scene: Paul And Power Relations In The Context Of First Century Judaism And The Roman Empire; 2.authority And Power In Contemporary Pauline Interpretation Traditional Use Of Paul In Support Of And Legitimising Domination And Control In Church And State, Approaches Critical Of Paul's Use Of Power As E.g. Feminist And Postmodern Interpretations; 3.authority, Power And Domination In Contemporary Theory Social Relations As Power Relations, Flexible Hierarchies, And Hidden Transcripts: Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, James Scott; 4.the Exercise Of Power - Networking In The Early Christ-movement Social Relationships Within And Amongst The Christ-movement Communities: Paul And Other Apostles Paul And His Co-workers Paul And His Communities Paul And His Opponents; 5. Power In Action - The Dynamics Of Grace In Pauline Discourse Critical Analysis Of The Discourse Of Grace In Paul's Activity And In His Communities As Reflected In His Writings; 6. Power In Conflict Suffering And The Inversion Of Power: Conflict With Institutions And Ideology Of The Roman Empire, With Other Jews, With His Communities; 7. Power In Interaction - Paul As Father, Mother, And Teacher Founding, Nurturing And Teaching As Guidance Practices; 8. Power In Interaction - Paul As Exemplar The Language Of Imitation; 9. Power In Interaction - Paul, A 'slave Of Christ' Slavery Metaphors And Obedience Language; 10. Paul's Discourse Of Power For Empowerment.