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Durham e-Theses
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'One Thing': A Structural Comparison of Pauline Ethical Reasoning on Jewish Practices with Stoic Ethical Reasoning on Intermediates

WILSON, ANNALISA,PHILLIPS (2021) 'One Thing': A Structural Comparison of Pauline Ethical Reasoning on Jewish Practices with Stoic Ethical Reasoning on Intermediates. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis offers a structural comparison of Stoic reasoning on the intermediates (the προηγμένα ἀδιάφορα and the καθήκοντα) and Paul’s reasoning on Jewish practices. This is done with the heuristic aim of understanding Paul’s reasoning better, in particular his putative inconsistency on the topic of Torah observance. Accounting for the inconsistency created by Paul’s positive and negative discourse on Jewish practices has presented a persistent scholarly problem for which this thesis offers a new solution. The analysis offered here suggests that there are two discernible patterns of discourse in both Stoic discourse on the intermediates and in Paul’s discourse on Jewish practices. The argument of this thesis is that the similarities between Stoic and Pauline ethical reasoning demonstrate Paul’s concern to establish the orientation to Christ as the singular first-order good in contrast to all other ethical selections and activities, including Jewish practices. His negative discourse on Jewish practices, though, portrays them not as vices but as neutral ethical selections, such that Paul could endorse their selection when compared to other practices of intermediate status. This argument is made by way of a concentrated analysis of Stoic ethics and an exegetical analysis of three Pauline texts regarding Jewish practices (Gal 2, Phil 3, and 1 Cor 8–10). This thesis contributes to Pauline studies by offering the first in-depth comparison of the Stoic intermediate categories with a particular topic in Paul’s reasoning—Torah observance—which has far-reaching significance.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Paul, Stoicism, Adiaphora, Law, Ethics
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:22 Feb 2021 10:28

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