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Reference: Lewis, John G. (John Goddard), (2004). Looking for life. Dphil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:


Looking for life Subtitle: The role of theo-ethical reasoning in Paul's religion

Abstract: ´╗┐This dissertation challenges the adequacy of three interrelated foci of twentieth-century Protestant Pauline interpretation. Interpreters regularly: (1) distinguish Paul'stheology from his ethics, (2) emphasise his preaching as the sole or primary vehicle forgospel proclamation and divine revelation, and (3) deny that Paul engages in reasoned,ethical reflection. This study offers a new proposal for understanding how Paul doestheology and ethics as a former Pharisee and first-century pastoral theologian aChristian community-builder with an apocalyptic (i.e. revelatory) perspective.Paul integrates Christian thinking and living, combining what interpretersfrequently separate as theology and ethics. This becomes evident in Paul's complexprocess of theological, moral reasoning for which we have coined the phrase 'theo-ethicalreasoning'. This characterisation captures both the divine and human elements of Paul'sbehavioural reasoning grounded in the revelation of the risen Christ to Paul and in Paul.According to theo-ethical reasoning, Paul associates specific acts of Christ-conformingconduct with the power of God that becomes manifest in community experiences of newlife. Since this reasoning often lies beneath the surface of the texts, the study explores theunderlying logic of Paul's arguments. This highlights the consistent pattern of reasoningby which Paul analyses and responds to behavioural issues.The study also argues that Paul encourages his churches to practise spiritualdiscernment by engaging in theo-ethical reasoning a dialogical, comparative process ofreasoned reflection on the links between behaviour and experience. In this practice oflooking for life, the Spirit leads community members to associate experiences of new lifewith conduct that conforms to Christ's cruciform pattern of self-giving love for others.This correlation grounds both Paul's proclamation of Jesus Christ by word and deed andbelievers' faith in the power of God. We conclude that theo-ethical reasoning lies at thecentre of Paul's religion.

Type of Award:Dphil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:The digital copy of this thesis has been made available thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky


the Revd Robert MorganMore by this contributor


 Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 2004Identifiers

Urn: uuid:f9eea823-a877-4926-8ed8-c47517b31646

Source identifier: 601848741 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: Criticism and interpretation Theology Christian ethics Protestant churches Tiny URL: td:601848741


Author: Lewis, John G. John Goddard - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyHumanities Division facultyFaculty of Theology oxfordCollege

Source: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:f9eea823-a877-4926-8ed8-c47517b31646


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