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Title: Discernment in First Corinthians : an eschatological calling into the wisdom of God
Author: Romano, James Dominic
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 8859
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis investigates the conceptual use of discernment in First Corinthians. As a motif, discernment spans many issues in the epistle while forming a key element in Paul’s understanding of the eschatological people of God in Christ and his expectations for them to emerge through the renewing process of the Gospel into their new identity. This identity has its type in the Wilderness Tradition of Israel, with the literary influences of 2TJ Wisdom and the OT scriptures undergirding Paul’s conceptualization in an intertextual matrix. Paul develops the motif through an open, subtle intertextuality that does not rely primarily on overt citation, but reflects a conceptual/theological movement from text/history/type to existential situation/antitype in the new covenant community being formed in the first century context of Pauline communities. Discernment does not recur in random, discrete units, but builds throughout the epistle in consistent applications that contribute in significant ways to the development of the Corinthian community. Part I analyses the Pauline groundwork for wisdom exercised through discernment as a foundational necessity for the ἐκκλησία of Corinth. Part II demonstrates the importance of discernment for the community as it functions within society, with respect to internal and external relationships. Part III studies aspects of discernment in the community gathered for worship, with discernment forming a basis for interactions of the worshipping community. Part IV concludes the study. These aspects are tracked in order through the epistle to follow Paul’s coherent use of the motif even as he addresses the occasional nature of varied issues in the Corinthian community. This study moves the discussion away from a strong focus on the dysfunctional aspect of Corinthian schism toward a more positive theology for and about the community. It also expands on limited or fragmented approaches to issues of judgement/discernment to argue for an additional coherent thread in Paul’s thought. Paul maintains a highly hopeful view for this community as an emerging people of realized eschatological fulfilment, empowered to function at a high level of spiritual wisdom as a manifestation of the body of Christ.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Discernment ; Judgement ; Wisdom ; Apocalyptic ; Epistemology ; Judgment ; Pauline