Paul and the Dynamics of Power: Communication and Interaction in the Early Christ-Movement

Kathy Ehrensperger

Paul and the Dynamics of Power: Communication and Interaction in the Early Christ-Movement
Paul and the Dynamics of Power: Communication and Interaction in the Early Christ-Movement

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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 Power questions 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.

  • Table of Contents
  • 1. The Pauline Letters: Presuppositions and Contexts of Reading 
  • 2. Contexts of Power in Contemporary Theory
  • 3. The Exercise of Power - Networking in the Early Christ-Movement.
  • 4. Power in Action - the Dynamics of Grace in Pauline Discourse 
  • 5. The Grace and Burden of Apostleship - Paul's Perception of Apostole
  • 6. Power in Weakness - The Discourse of Confrontation and Conflict
  • 7. Power in Interaction - Paul and the Discourse of Education
  • 8. Power in Interaction - The Discourse of Imitation
  • 9. Power in Interaction - The Discourse of Response-ability
  • 10. The Dynamics of Power and the Challenge of Empowerment


Pages: 250
Publisher: T&T Clark
Published: 2007
ISBN-10: 0567043746
ISBN-13: 9780567043740

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