Paul in Israels Story: Self And Community At The Cross

Hardcover | December 13, 2006

byJohn L. Meech

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It is commonplace that postmodern thought has problematized the concept of the self. This poses a particularly sharp problem for Christian theologians, for whom the idea of the person as a Christian self must be central. In this book John Meech addresses this problem by means of a theologicalhermeneutics that brings together cutting edge scholarship in biblical interpretation and constructive theology. The book comprises three major parts. In the first, Meech reflects on St. Paul's construal of Christian identity in light of what has become known as the "new paradigm" in Paulinestudies. This movement, identified with N.T. Wright, James Dunn, and Terence Donaldson, stresses the communal aspects of Paul's thought and his narrative understanding of the self. In the second part, Meech offers a pivotal analysis of Rudolf Bultmann's phenomenology of the self and its impact onhis demythologizing interpretation of Paul's writings. In the third part, Meech engages Paul Ricoeur's late work, Oneself as Another, as a guide to the postmodern problem of selfhood and as a heuristic resource for interpreting Paul's writings. He does not restrict himself to a textual treatment ofRicoeur's work on selfhood and narrative, nor does he stop at an abstract reflection on its significance for theology. Instead he explores in considerable detail the contributions and implications of Ricoeur's later writings for biblical hermeneutics and theology. Investigating the unthematizedhints about community presupposed in Ricoeur's work, Meech reconfigures his ontology of the self as an ontology of the self in community. Finally, he correlates Paul's communal understanding of the "I" with this ontology, articulating a self that is constituted in community but not reduced to a merelocus of community. He argues that the community posited in his study can be understood as the community of the living and dead in Christ.

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It is commonplace that postmodern thought has problematized the concept of the self. This poses a particularly sharp problem for Christian theologians, for whom the idea of the person as a Christian self must be central. In this book John Meech addresses this problem by means of a theologicalhermeneutics that brings together cutting ed...

John L. Meech is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Shimer College in Chicago, Illinois.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 6.1 × 9.29 × 0.91 inPublished:December 13, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195306945

ISBN - 13:9780195306941

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"'I have been crucified with Christ.' Those astonishing words by the apostle Paul set in motion John Meech's timely and important proposal for an ontology of self and community in mutual correlation, an ontology constituted by Paul's gospel of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. Meechpresents a superb example of the bountiful fruit yielded by grafting the branches of biblical exegesis, theology, and philosophy seamlessly into the Pauline tree. Both intellectually demanding carefully written, Meech's work challenges the church to hear again the good news of Jesus Christ and theSpirit, and to risk living by it." --Douglas Harink, author of Paul among the Postliberals: Pauline Theology beyond Christendom and Modernity