[Fwd: graphai Paul Discussion List]
- Message text written by INTERNET:jgibson000@...
>Here's a message I just received from Matthew Collins at SBL. Soundslike we are good to go. Issues to be cleared up are (a) the name of the
list; (b) it's scope; (c) whether it should be moderated; and (d) if so,
who the moderators would be. Have I overlooked anything?
One suggestion for (a) that came in already from John Dickson (Ph.D.
candidate, researching expectations of congregational participation in
mission within Pauline Christianity at Macquarie University in Sydney,
Australia) is "Paulos Apostolos". Any others?<
Hmmm! How about the "Paulus Episcopus" of A. Pierson & S. A. Naber? <g>
Actually, that -could- be considered a serious suggestion!
As for scope, I think we have to decide whether to restrict the discussion
to 1) the traditional models, where Paul is either the inventor of, or
major adapter of an already existing, Christology, or 2) to broaden it to
allow discussion of alternate models relating to who Paul was and what he
may have contributed to the formation of Christianity.
But then, option #2 raises the question of what defines "Christianity"? I'd
propose that we could define it as "Christianity as described by the early
2nd century and later church fathers" (i.e., "proto-orthodox" Christianity,
almost exclusively Gentile, etc.). The earlier forms of Christianity that
may have existed would of course be open territory.
We could then include the 13 epistles attributed to Paul, Hebrews (as a
synthesis of the Christology of the epistles with Judaic models of
individual justification), and Acts (as an outline within which to place
Paul's career as well as an early Christian "view" of his place in the
formation of their group). Even the "Catholic" epistles and the Gospels
should be open for discussion, as they relate to how Paul was perceived by
other (later?) schools of early Christians. I would even like to see
discussion opened up to include the way that Paul is treated in early
Christian literature (say, through the end of the 2nd century). Gee, I
guess I should have just said "the NT corpus and early Christian literature
through 200 CE."
Personally, I would only be interested in option #2 above, since the models
commonly assumed in option #1 are practically treated as beyond dispute,
which I doubt can be demonstrated critically. We can open almost any 20th
century book on the subject and find the themes of option #1 discussed
endlessly. I'm not saying that ther is no literature about Paul, only that
it has pretty much lost any forward momentum in the 20th century.
Since it seems safe to say that an analysis of Paul's epistles should
preceed any analysis of later material, such as the Gospels or even Acts
(unless you are an follower of the 19th century Ultra Radical school), it
is not a good idea to treat the traditional assumptions about Paul as
settled. The almost complete lack of discussion lists about Paul (I am
aware of one, along lines of option #1 above) is a sad confirmation of my
Moderation is fine, as long as it is consistantly applied and not intended
to weed out "heretics." In my proposed scope option #1 above, it could also
serve to stifle discussion. In option #2, I do not think it will be a
problem, since -some- moderation is necessary to keep the discussion from
digressing into a theological slug fest.
Who should be the moderators? I am much too new to these e-lists to say I
know who is available and what their credentials are. Hopefully, that will
become clear as this topic progresses!