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Biblical Studies
 You're here » Christian Books Index » Books » Biblical Studies » The Social Ethos of the Corinthians Correspondence: Interests and Ideology from 1 Corinthians to 1 Clement

The Social Ethos of the Corinthians Correspondence: Interests and Ideology from 1 Corinthians to 1 Clement

Author: David A. Horrell
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       An exemplary study of how sociological perspectives can be used in New Tesament studies and how a sociologically- informed approach to exegesis generally can be developed and employed. The work of social theorist Anthony Giddens provides the basis for a critical discussion of current methods employed in sociological studies of the New Testament and for the presentation of a new approach. The focus of these studies is the Corinthian correspondence, including both the letters written by Paul and the letter known as 1 Clement, sent from Rome to Corinth around the end of the first century. This correspondence provides rich material for a study of the social ethos of early Christian teaching and its development. It allows an assessment of how Pauline Christianity shapes relationships within the Christian community and how the social ethos of the 'symbolic order' changes as it develops through time in a changing context. Throughout David Horrell also explores where and how the different teachings serve to legitimate or sustain the dominant social order and the interests and positions of the socially powerful. Dr Horrell contends that despite the continuity between Paul's corinthian lettters and 1 Clement, a significant change in social ethos coccurs. Paul's letters are seen as more radical than the label 'love patriarchalism', the well-known term of Gerd Theissen, would suggest, whereas Theissen's term does accurately describe the more socially conservative Christianity of 1 Clement which offers ideological support and theological lgitimation to the established social and domestic hierarchy.

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