Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-07
- Reviewer: Staff
According to acclaimed New Testament scholar Wright (The Resurrection of the Son of God), most works on Paul focus on his ideas of salvation and justification as the centerpiece of Pauline theology. In this magisterial study, the former bishop of Durham passionately challenges those readings of Paul by exploring the ways that Paul’s theology develops out of, and in conversation with, the competing cultural, philosophical, and religious views of his day. In Parts I and II of his provocative book, Wright painstakingly examines the Jewish, Greek, and Roman contexts in which Paul struggled to develop his thought; in Parts III and IV, Wright closely reads Paul’s letters to illustrate how Paul’s theology evolved in response to these influences. Out of this engagement with his world, Paul develops three categories central to his theology: “monotheism, election, and eschatology: one God, one people of God, one future for God’s world.” Wright concludes: “Paul was doing theology because the life of God’s people depended on it, depended on his doing it initially for them, then as soon as possible with them, and then on their being able to go on doing it for themselves. All Paul’s theology is thus pastoral theology.” (Nov.)