MWF 10:30-11:20 am
Cross-listed with THEO 319AX.
Fulfills upper level theology requirement.
Who was the Apostle Paul? Disciple of Jesus or inventor of a new religion? Misogynist or advocate for women? Faithful Jew or zealous convert? Persecutor of the church or its most effective missionary? A man of bewildering paradoxes, Paul of Tarsus has been alternately lionized and demonized both within and without the church. His letters of instruction and encouragement, sent to fledgling Christian communities throughout the Mediterranean basin, were eventually collected and circulated, expanding the apostle's influence throughout the early church. Although written to address specific historical crises, these letters' attempts to grasp the meaning of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection have proven to be of enduring theological significance. Theologians no less noteworthy than Augustine, Martin Luther, and Karl Barth have been profoundly influenced by Paul's theology. Even secular contemporary philosophers have taken a serious interest in Paul as of late. This course aims to give students a grasp both of Paul's life and message and his enduring legacy within the past nearly two millennia of the Christian tradition. Readings will include Paul's letters as well as a variety of ancient and modern Pauline interpreters. Approximately 20-25 pages of writing will be required.