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Title: Faith as participation : an exegetical study of some key Pauline texts
Author: Hagen, Jeanette Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 5512
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the Pauline conception of faith in 1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. While most studies on this topic focus attention on Galatians and Romans, this thesis begins in letters less commonly explored while also looking beyond the word πίστις to explore conceptual cognates. By expanding the framework in these two ways, this study elucidates disputed passages in Galatians, while casting fresh light on significant debates in Pauline theology. The introductory chapter sets the discussion of faith in the context of contemporary debates on the centre of Pauline theology, the πίστις Χριστοῦ formula, and the relation between divine and human agency. In three chapters on 1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians, respectively, we observe that faith, for Paul, is at once both self-negating and self-involving dependence on Christ. As a surrender to God, it is an active and productive mode of existence. In chapters five and six, on Galatians 2 and Galatians 3–6, we test this definition of faith in a number of important and contested texts, which as a result, elucidates three significant Pauline debates. First, we discover that Paul connects faith to both the concept of participation and the doctrine of justification; faith is an ongoing state of participatory dependence in the Christ-mediated process of salvation, not simply the entry point of justification. Secondly, on the interpretation of πίστις Χριστοῦ, the objective genitive is read in a way that preserves the theological priorities of those who advocate the subjective genitive reading while also conveying the vital role of human faith in Pauline theology. Finally, on questions of agency, we discover that divine and human agency cannot be reduced to a competitive relationship; God’s activity grounds and enables human activity as the believer unites himself or herself in a dependent relationship to Christ. In conclusion, several of the apparent conundrums in recent Pauline scholarship turn out to derive from an inadequate understanding of what Paul means by faith, which is the mode of self-negating participation in the prior gracious work of Christ.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available