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Title: Enslaved under the elements of the cosmos
Author: Clark, Ernest P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 865X
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2018
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When Paul writes ‘we too were enslaved under the elements of the world', he means that the elements that compose the cosmos also compose and compromise the flesh and enslave human persons through their bodies (Gal 4.3). This thesis demonstrates that early Jews used the phrase στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου to refer to the material elements – earth, water, air, and fire – and not to elemental spirits or elementary principles. Greek medical tradition understood the material elements to mediate the stimuli (παθήματα) and desires of the body which enslave the soul, and it prescribed a variety of regimens (including νόμος) as παιδαγωγοί to guide a person to wholeness. In his philosophy according to the cosmic elements, Philo promotes the law of Moses – including circumcision and the calendar – as the effective way to be ‘redeemed from slavery' to the flesh, to attain righteousness, and to live in harmony with the cosmos. Paul's epistle to the Galatians opposes this sort of ‘redemptive nomism'. Paul accepts that weak στοιχεῖα compose the weak σάρξ and that they mediate sinful stimuli and desires that lead to the actions of the flesh. However, he denies that the law can make people alive or righteous. Instead, Paul prescribes crucifixion with Christ and new life with the Spirit as the final cure for sin's infection of the flesh made of weak στοιχεῖα. Through faith, Christ will be formed in believers as the Spirit guides them away from the desires of the flesh and produces his fruit in their lives.
Supervisor: Wright, Nicholas Thomas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cosmos ; Elemental spirits ; Elementary principles ; Elements ; Flesh ; Galatians ; Law ; Paul ; Weak ; st???e??a t??? ??´sµ?? ; BM538.H84C6 ; Human body--Religious aspects--Judaism--History ; Bible. Galatians--Criticism ; interpretation ; etc. ; Four elements (Philosophy)