>1. "Radical dualism?" You, of course, know that there is a difference
>between the metaphorical use of opposites (dualities of thought and
>experience) and hard and fast dualism.
Sure, but I do think Paul adopts the latter. Yes, of course he uses
metaphors of opposition, but he seems to apply these consistently to both
experience and theology. Metaphoric or mythological oppositions between,
say, "flesh" and "spirit" are pretty consistently coordinated with actual
behaviors oriented to rejecting the former and promoting the latter. Or do I
misunderstand your point?
>2. With this... to attribute a consistent philosophical dualism to >Paul
>in my view, to credit him, too much as a consistent philosophical
> His writings show him digging all over the place to make his >points.
I'm not sure HOW intellectual we should regard Paul to have been. I've got a
Ph.D., and *I* dig all over the place to make my points! Paul sometimes
strikes me as pretty sophisticated. However, in a way this is all beside the
point. I don't need to describe Paul's dualism as "philosophical" for the
point to stand. Indeed, I find myself thinking right now of the huge body of
scholarship on "primitive" systems of classification, the "savage mind," and
so on, all of which seem to reinforce the idea that, even absent FORMAL
intellectual operations, people classify and "metaphorize" their world in
terms of enormously sophisticated systems of thought. The same TYPES of
mental operations are present in "I am a parrot" (I have a t-shirt that says
this, by the way -- but nobody gets it) and "I am pursuing 'the Good'" (or
what have you). So, just to clarify -- I am imputing THOUGHT to Paul (this
should be uncontroversial!), but there's no need for this to be formal
>as an aside, I seriously wonder about the 1st century influence the
>historical Paul actually had?
Il ne matter pas. The question is how much influence on Paul the HJ
(mediated through the earliest "Christians," of course) might have had. I
tend to agree that Paul's influence in 1C was VERY limited. But he is
himself a 1C thinker, and so may tell us something about those who
>this). Some went to a contemplative focus and the earliest collection >of
>sayings in Thomas suggest this and I would say some of Paul's writing
>this kind of emphasis in places.
I agree. But WHY? Why this direction? Does it have anything to do with the
original content of Jesus' teaching or the character of his life? Or is it
solely a function of the circumstances of those who pursued this direction?
>Still others seem to have avowed "a Cynic
>like" itinerant movement (as the earliest layer of Q suggest). I would
Cynic-like, sure. Itinerant, no. I suggest reading, on this issue, the
positively brilliant book, _Jesus and the Village Scribes_. I forget who
wrote it, but it'll change your life.
>And so I'm not surprised that "Jesus was taken to mean" a range of >things.
But why "this thing" and not "that thing"? Or is this totally unanswerable?
Department of Religion
University of Manitoba
"I wish that I was born a thousand years ago.
I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
on a great big clipper ship,
going from this land here to that,
in a sailor suit and cap."
-- Lou Reed
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