Suffering as Participation with Christ in the Pauline Corpus

Suffering as Participation with Christ in the Pauline Corpus

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The Pauline letters bear witness to the prominent role that suffering played both in the life of Paul and in the lives of the communities to whom he writes. Startlingly, Paul does not express alarm or frustration at suffering's presence, but instead identifies it as an essential and defining feature for faithful Christ-followers. Paul grounds his account of suffering in the concept of "participation with Christ." This book explores the connection forged between suffering and participation by engaging in close readings of texts, resourcing letters usually dismissed because of doubts about authenticity, and pulling together an overall characterization of "Paul's thought" on the basis of common patterns of reference that emerge. Utilizing a tripartite reading strategy of "exegesis," "canon," and "theology" offers nuance for and yields fresh insight into a central Pauline motif.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 234 pages
  • 160 x 230 x 24mm | 535g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1978703090
  • 9781978703094

Table of contents

Foreword Michael J. Gorman

1. Trajectories

2. Exegesis

3. Canon

4. Theology
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Review quote

Davey joins a growing chorus of voices proclaiming that suffering had deep meaning as part of what it meant to be united with Christ according to Paul. This was not a side topic for the Apostle, but central to the believer's faith in and allegiance to Christ. This book is impressive in scope and depth, demonstrating both careful exegetical analysis as well as synthetic theological analysis. -- Nijay K. Gupta, Portland Seminary Paul's conviction that life `in Christ' entails suffering with him is no more popular with modern Western Christians than it was with the first believers in ancient Corinth - which may explain why exegetes have been slow to explore it. Beginning with well-known passages where Paul insists that to be in Christ means to suffer with him, Davey looks at books normally regarded as pseudo-Pauline, and boldly claims that this belief is characteristic, not only of the central Pauline letters, but of the `canonical' Paul. This timely and significant study will certainly stimulate and challenge its readers. -- Morna D. Hooker, Lady Margaret's Professor Emerita, University of Cambridge Davey joins a community of scholars who address the intersection of participation and suffering in Paul's theology. His voice is unique in this conversation because he not only addresses the undisputed letters but also responds to the persistent sidelining of the disputed Paulines by using a canonical approach to the subject. Exploring the coherence and contingency of the letters across the Pauline corpus, Davey helpfully presents an analysis that rightly holds together Paul's theological and pastoral concerns. -- Ben C. Blackwell, Houston Baptist University There is a great deal to learn from this examination of participatory suffering with Christ in the canonical Paul. Not only scholars, pastors, and Bible readers, but all sufferers will find that this intelligent and wholehearted book will take them deeper into the theo-logic of Paul's astonishing gospel. -- L. Ann Jervis, University of Toronto Davey's study on Paul's participatory vision of suffering with Christ is most welcome. Using an exegetical-canonical-theological approach, Davey listens to the canonical Paul, offers insightful commentary on the relevant texts, and draws together a synthesis that is at once compelling and inspiring. Anyone interested in participation with Christ, a theology of suffering, or simply Paul in general will benefit richly from this contribution. Highly recommended. -- Constantine Campbell, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
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About Wesley Thomas Davey

Wesley Thomas Davey is assistant professor of religious studies at Forman Christian College.
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