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Title: Paul, community, economy : thinking communitas through the Biblical Paul
Author: Weaver, Taylor Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 794X
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2019
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In recent decades Paul has had encounters with contemporary philosophers. While his importance in public thought has persisted since Christianity became a political force, the recent interest in, and use of, Paul is striking. Despite initial excitement by Pauline scholars, many were sceptical because of, especially, 'anachronistic' and allegedly naïve assessments and interrogations of Paul's thought. Despite such criticisms, this project utilises a range of conceptual apparatuses taken from Italian philosopher Robert Esposito that are appear immediately useful for re-figuring Pauline community. Paul has had no previous constructive project through an encounter with Esposito. And, such an encounter open a space for continuing to think about Pauline community. Because of this prospect, the project is concerned with the following question: How can contemporary work on the concept of community re-interpret Pauline communitarian efforts and orientations? Or, in order to qualify the question further, it can be asked: In what ways can the Espositoan elaboration of community and attendant concepts clarify and transform readings of Pauline community, and through such a meeting provide crucial material for both historical work, as well as the archives of philosophical communities? Such questions can only be asked after one has an idea of several conceptual landscapes, though most notably Pauline and contemporary philosophical ones. And, in fact, such a base of knowledge also opens up for the development of a broad series of conceptual apparatuses that form an argument. Distilled down, an argument that would answer the initial question would simply be: Esposito's conceptual understanding of community allows for a range of analytic re-arrangements, shifting the filters through which we understand Paul's nascent community. The conceptual tools to be elaborated circulate around communitas and immunitas, which are intertwined with munus, a specific non-remunerative rendering of the gift. What emerges through such a re-arrangement are several things: 1) Pauline communities practice munificent gifting, as seen especially in imagery surrounding the collection project (2 Corinthians 8:1-15); 2) Pauline communitarian body rhetoric (intimately connected to Espositoan communitas) images a community bound up within the complex of individual and community, a binary that often devolves into the problematics of alienation and appropriation (primarily the body rhetoric of Romans 12: 4-5; 1 Corinth 12:12-27) ; 3) and, Paul acts as a type of immunitarian agent for the community, determining the boundaries of the body. Through noting these elements that make up a broad argument, or series of evidences that answer our initial questions, a novel reading of Pauline community is explicated that has implications both for historical work on Paul, as well as analysing Paul from a political philosophical perspective.
Supervisor: Blanton, Ward Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available