Standing at Cameron's Corner with 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Power and Politics in Paul's Corinthian Missionary Maxim

William Gallagher

Research output: ThesisMasters Thesis

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Abstract

The interpretation of Paul’s letters is a difficult task. The fact that modern
interpreters are so far removed from the original production and dissemination of the correspondence make this task more complicated. Even further this interpretive task is a contested space. Methods and reading strategies have arisen to help with this task but this has created competition rather than clarity. This thesis will examine a short passage of the Pauline corpus, known as Paul’s missionary maxim, 1 Cor 9:19-23. It seeks to foreground society wide relational dynamics of a text, as part of a multidimensional interpretative approach that holds “traditional” historical critical method together with other interpretive aproaches, whilst being consistent with the findings and methods of the New Perspectives on Paul.

Firstly the paper will outline a brief survey of literature concerning both 1
Cor 9:19-23, and the impetus behind the political reading of Paul, the writings of the Paul in Politics group of SBL. It will then examine 1 Cor 9:19-23 using the
historical-critical method as well presenting a word study of some of the significant words in the passage. This is word study is important as it establishes the need for further investigation of the passage using alternate reading strategies that point to the politics of the situation.

A chapter of the thesis is devoted to teasing out the need for this contested
political reading strategy in order to determine both its need and relevance. This is done through defining how the broad spectrum of political readings can be focussed and brought to bear on this passage.

The focus of the thesis is then provided through the outlining of a new
interpretation of the missionary maxim by holding Paul’s “Jewishness”,
“Greekness” and “Romanness” in tension. Using this interpretation comments are
then outlined to whether this method can be used for the rest of the Corinthian
correspondence as well as the whole Pauline corpus. The thesis is guided by the
overarching analogy of standing at Cameron’s Corner, that physical place in
Australia where you can be in three states at once. This thesis seeks to show how with Paul’s letters by holding these three, at sometimes competing views together it is possible to produce a balanced nuanced understanding of Paul’s writings.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Theology
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Squires, John, Principal Supervisor
  • Aernie, Jeffrey, Principal Supervisor
Award date01 Aug 2014
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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