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Title: Metamorphosis of the beholder : Pauline visual piety in a Hellenistic and Jewish setting (Romans, 2 Corinthians 2:14-5:21 and 1 Corinthians 10-13)
Author: Heath, Jane Mary Felicity
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis argues that contemporary discussion of visuality in the wider academe can contribute to Pauline scholarship, with reciprocal benefit to scholars of visuality. In this context, ‘visuality’ means learnt practices of viewing the material world. Such practices are culturally conditioned and constitutive of relationships with God and neighbour. When practised systematically and religiously, they form and transform people both individually and collectively, patterning their lives and creating distinctive cultures of devout looking. Paul’s interest in visual relationship to God and its transformative effects have been studied before, but investigation has often remained closely bound to the exegetical discussion of 2 Corinthians 3:18. The contemporary field of visuality offers a different perspective via the cultures of looking at the material world in which Paul lives, prayed and taught. Understanding Paul’s visual piety in the modern sense requires historical critical investigation of the visual cultures that shaped him; and it requires exegesis of the texts where Paul most explicitly handles the theme of metamorphosis of the beholder. This thesis argues that Romans, 2 Corinthians 2:14-5:21 and 1 Corinthians 10-13 together form a coherent contribution to Paul’s account of metamorphosis of the beholder. The enquiry brings out the significance of two icons in particular for the formation of Paul’s communities: Jesus is beheld both in the suffering flesh of the faithful and in the Eucharist where the bread is broken and set forth as ‘my body for you’. Paul adapted Jewish tradition imaginatively to envisage new patterns of heart formed in pious beholders of these images.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available