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Title: Communal participation in the spirit : the Corinthian Correspondence in light of early Jewish mysticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Author: Foster, Christopher
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis identifies Jewish mystical elements in the Dead Sea Scrolls and compares them with analogous elements in the Corinthian Correspondence, to illuminate through differences and similarities how Paul advocates a mystical and communal participation in the spirit. After defining early Jewish mysticism and introducing methodology—heuristic comparison—in chapter 1, Part I identifies and investigates mystical elements in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Chapter 2 explores how the spirit facilitates a liturgica mystica with angels in Hodayota. Chapter 3 shows from 1QS and Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice that the Qumran temple community, in an archetypal relationship, shares in the priestly service of the angels. Chapter 4 argues that Moses-Δόξα traditions in the Scrolls portray Moses as an exalted, angelic-like mediator with supernatural authority—an ideal model for the Qumran priesthood. The ascent texts surveyed in chapter 5 reveal the conceivability of heavenly ascent at Qumran. In light of these studies, the Qumran community’s worship praxis and apperception of divine transcendence can be characterised as a liturgical and communal mysticism. Part II compares these findings with corresponding elements related to participation in the spirit in 1 and 2 Corinthians. Chapter 6 shows how Paul advances an epistemology of the spirit and participation (κοινωνία) in the spirit that is communal. Chapter 7 analyses angelic presence and angelic tongues as extensions of the spirit-enabled temple metaphor. Chapter 8 demonstrates how Paul democratises the spirit-facilitated, mystical encounter with the glory of the Lord and supports an ongoing, christomorphic and theotic transformation of the community. Chapter 9 examines how Paul’s heavenly ascent functions rhetorically to build up and instruct the ekklesia with a cruciform perspective of communal participation. Chapter 10 draws final conclusions showing the fruitfulness and validity of heuristic comparison. Paul appropriates Jewish mystical traditions and reinterprets them to promote the ongoing Christological and mystical transformation of the Corinthian community in and by the spirit. This reveals the predominantly corporate tenor of participation in the spirit for Paul. Overall, this investigation builds upon and contributes to studies of Jewish mysticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Paul and Jewish mysticism, Corinthians, spirit, and notions of communal participation and theosis.
Supervisor: Brower, Kent Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Paul ; Corinthians ; Jewish Mysticism ; Dead Sea Scrolls ; spirit ; participation ; temple ; theosis