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New Volume on Paul

March 16, 2011

I’ve just received my copy of a newly-published and very impressive resource-volume:  The Blackwell Companion to Paul, edited by Stephen Westerholm (London:  Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) ISBN 978-1-4051-8844-9.  The 37 contributions cover an unusually wide spectrum of topics, and the contributors form a veritable galaxy of scholars of international recognition.

There are the expected chapters, e.g., on Pauline chronology, on the texts that make up the Pauline epistles in the NT, and on key topics such as “Paul and Scripture,” “Paul’s Christology,” “Paul, Judaism, and the Jewish People,” “Paul and the Law,” “The Social Setting of the Pauline Communities,” “Women in the Pauline Churches,” and “Paul and Empire”.

But in addition there are 13 chapters on “Readers of Paul,” including, e.g., Marcion, Origen, Chrysostom, Augustine, Acquinas, Luther, Calvin, the Wesleys, Karl Barth, and on “Jewish Readings of Paul,” “Orthodox [Eastern] Readings,” and “African Readings.”

Furthermore, there are another 6 chapters on “The Legacy of Paul,” including treatments of Paul in Art, Literature, and influences on Christian ideas of Sin and the Fall, the Spirit, Ethics, and the Church.

Looks like a particularly valuable and wide body of scholarly discussion under one set of covers!

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  1. Jeromey Martini permalink

    Is it more than coincidence that Cambridge’s volume is edited by James Dunn (champion *for* the New Perspective on Paul) and that Blackwell’s volume is edited by Stephen Westerholm (champion *against* the New Perspective on Paul)?

    • Jeromey Martini permalink

      I haven’t seen the volume but I wonder if, for example, the 13 chapters dedicated to Paul’s readers will simultaneously mount a case for the pervasiveness of the (so-called) “Lutheran” perspective on Paul, both pre- and post-Luther.

    • Hmm. I hadn’t noticed that. In both cases, however, there is a goodly diversity of contributors. E.g., Jimmy’s invitation to me to write the chapter on “christology” for the Cambridge vol came with the understanding that what I’d propose would be different from his views on some key matters. Actually, we scholars don’t all fight tribal warfare, but often tend to promote a legitimate diversity of perspectives . . . when we’re at our best 🙂

  2. David Reimer permalink

    How would you compare it to the older Cambridge Companion, Larry (in which you’ve got something?). Looks like the Blackwells volume is a bit (?) trendier?

    • Essentially, two differences: (1) The Blackwell volume is much bigger (615 pp, 17 x 24.5 cm; cf. the Cambridge vol. 301 pp., 15 x 22.5 cm)), and so (2) the Blackwell vol has a wider spectrum of contributions, esp. those in the final part mentioned in my posting. I’m not a contributor in the Blackwell vol, but I did contribute the chapter on “Paul’s Christology” in The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul. ed. James D. G. Dunn (Cambridge University Press, 2003). So, dear old Paul now has two “companions”!

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