Paul and human rights : a dialogue with the father of the Corinthian community

Long, Adrian (2004) Paul and human rights : a dialogue with the father of the Corinthian community. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Paul's impact upon the Corinthian community encompassed matters which the contemporary world construes largely in terms of human rights, whatever his temporal and cultural distance from such ideas. Although Paul and human rights have been and remain important influences upon the shape of the world humanity inhabits, neither is susceptible to straightforward comprehension. A dialogue between the two provides valuable if unusual opportunities for insight into both; the perspective and dynamics of one informs reflection upon the other. Such a dialogue is particularly worthwhile because, contrary to some vernacular uses of rights language and much theological interaction with rights, human rights thought is neither fixed nor monolithic; it evinces a capacity for development and debate which suggests openness to a Pauline contribution, no matter that-or perhaps especially because-that contribution comes from without. Selecting specific aspects of human rights and Paul's relationship with the Corinthians, this study focuses attention upon matters of power-both relational and structural-and equality. After an examination of contemporary human rights thought, it provides detailed analysis of relevant issues within the Corinthian correspondence. Paul's apostolic influence, including the emotive and affective language of fatherhood and imitation, is seen to be defined by the gospel rather thart a search for self-promotion, although there are clear status and power claims in the way Paul presents himself and his ministry (1 Car. 9 provides a particular focus). This gospel­orientation is also found in Paul's comments about women and slaves (especially in 1 Cor. 7), although the ambiguity of his stance toward inequitable social structures requires a balanced assessment of his position on 'human rights' matters. The human rights compatibility of Paul's gospel-oriented impact upon the Corinthian community is assessed, as is the potential for Paul and human rights to contribute to reflection upon one another. Initial conclusions on the value of a Paul-human rights dialogue are drawn, emphasizing the importance of a theological interaction which seeks neither to baptize nor demonize human rights thought.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2022 14:15
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 14:15

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