The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle
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The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle

4.25 (28 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Immediately after the Gospels, the New Testament takes up the history of the early Christian Church, describing the works of the twelve disciples, and introducing Paul, the man whose influence on the history of Christianity is beyond calculation. Teacher, preacher, conciliator, diplomat, theologian, rule giver, consoler, and martyr, his life and writings became foundations for Christianity. Paul inspired a vast, serious, and intelligent literature that seeks to recapture his meaning, his thinking, and his purpose.

In his letters to early Christian communities, Paul gave much practical advice about organization and orthodoxy. These treated the early Christian communities as something more than a group of people who believed in the same faith: they were people bound together by a common spirit unknown before. The significance of that common spirit occupied the greatest of Christian theologians from Athanasius and Augustine through Luther and Calvin.

In The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle Albert Schweitzer goes against Luther and the Protestant tradition to look at what Paul actually writes in the Epistles to the Romans and Galatians: an emphasis upon the personal experience of the believer with the divine. Paul's mysticism was not like the mysticism elsewhere described as a soul being at one with God. In the mysticism he felt and encouraged, there is no loss of self but an enriching of it; no erasure of time or place but a comprehension of how time and place fit within the eternal. Schweitzer writes that Paul's mysticism is especially profound, liberating, and precise. Typical of Schweitzer, he introduces readers to his point of view at once, then describes in detail how he came to it, its scholarly antecedents, what its implications are, what objections have been raised, and why all of this matters. To students of the New Testament, this book opens up Paul by presenting him as offering an entirely new kind of mysticism, necessarily and exclusively Christian.

"There is at least one other point that Albert Schweitzer scores here... The hard-won recognition that divine authority and human freedom ultimately cannot be in conflict must never be taken for granted, and the irony that the thought of Paul has repeatedly been invoked to undo that recognition truly does make this insight one of 'the permanent elements.'"-from the Introduction
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Product details

  • Paperback | 440 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 24mm | 612g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • No
  • 0801860989
  • 9780801860980
  • 375,217

Review quote

[The book's] fourteen chapters deal with the distinctive character of Pauline mysticism, wheter it was Hellenistic or Judaic, the Pauline epistles, the eschatological doctrine of redemption,... and the permanent elements in Paul's mysticism. * New Testament Abstracts *
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About Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1952. Although he proved himself highly gifted in science, theology, and music, and as an author, Schweitzer dedicated the later part of his life to medicine and to a hospital he founded in French Equatorial Africa. A true humanitarian, he used his Nobel Prize stipend to expand the hospital and to build a leper colony. His other titles available from Johns Hopkins University Press include The Quest of the Historical Jesus, The Primeval Forest, and Out of My Life and Thought.
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Rating details

28 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 54% (15)
4 25% (7)
3 18% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 4% (1)
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