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Title: God, grace, and righteousness : wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s Letter to the Romans in conversation
Author: Linebaugh, Jonathan Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 1678 9237
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis places the Wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s letter to the Romans in conversation. While the lexical and thematic parallels between Wisdom 13-15 and Romans 1.18-2.5, and to a lesser extent Wisdom 10-12 (or 10-19) and Romans 9-11, have often been noted, comparisons between these two texts have typically identified points of continuity and discontinuity without enquiring into the hermeneutical rationale and theological basis for the observed similarity-in-contrast. This thesis attempts to deepen the dialogue between Wisdom and Romans, not primarily by an examination of Paul’s use of or dependence upon Wisdom but by attempting to consider and compare the essential theological grammar of both texts. Part one offers a reading of Wisdom without reference to Romans. In this way, this thesis both fills a scholarly gap – as no large scale comparison of Wisdom and Romans provides a complete reading of the former text – and allows the terms of Wisdom’s theological description to be configured on the basis of its own basic theological structures. It will be argued that Wisdom’s absolute distinction between the righteous (Israel) and the ungodly (non-Israel), its emphatic articulation of divine grace and its rereading of Israel’s scripture are consistent with and comprehended within a fundamental theological conviction: the God of illimitable love is immutably just. Part two considers pivotal sections of Romans in dialogue with Wisdom. Taking Wisdom’s central concerns and motifs as topics of conversation, chapters six, seven and eight compare and consider the relationship and respective soteriological status of Jew and Gentile (chapter six), the meaning and relationship of divine righteousness and grace (chapter seven), and the hermeneutical logic that shapes the respective rereadings of Israel’s scripture (chapter eight). These multiple points of comparison reflect a common conversational pattern: while Wisdom and Romans share much in terms of theme, vocabulary and theological mode, the theologies they articulate are ultimately incommensurable. The central thesis of part two is that the anthropological, semantic and hermeneutical differences between Wisdom and Romans point to and are generated by a material contrast at the level of the texts’ essential theological logic: Wisdom’s theology is governed by and reflective of the nuclear significance of the protological order σοφία fashioned, sustains and reveals; the theology of Romans is determined by and radiates from the generative and centrifugal significance of the divine act that is the event, impact and proclamation of Jesus Christ.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available