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Death of the Soul in Romans 7 Sin, Death, and the Law in Light of Hellenistic Moral Psychology

Published by Mohr Siebeck
ISBN 10: 3161496124 / ISBN 13: 9783161496127
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Title: Death of the Soul in Romans 7 Sin, Death, ...

Publisher: Mohr Siebeck

Binding: Softcover/Paperback

Book Condition: New

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The monologue of Romans 7 has proved central to the Christian West, where interpreters such as Augustine and Martin Luther have made the text into a paradigm for the plight of mankind, torn between the demands of God's goodness and its own sinful nature. Emma Wasserman argues that the monologue can be better contextualized within certain intellectual discourses alive in Paul's day. In light of certain Platonic traditions about the soul, the monologue emerges as the voice of reason or mind describing its defeat at the hands of passions and desires represented as sin. Especially as developed by Philo of Alexandria, Platonic traditions of representing extreme cases of immorality account for a number of difficult features of the text. Such traditions can account for the metaphors of enslavement, imprisonment, warfare, and death; the representation of the passions as sin and the association with the body, members, and flesh; the Platonic language about mind and the speaker's role in reasoning, reflecting, and judging; the problem of the law in the first part of the monologue (verses 7â"13) and the plight of self-contradiction in the second (14â"25). The reading thus finds that the speaker is reason or mind, recounting its discovery that it cannot put any of its good judgments into action because of the dominance of the passions. Bookseller Inventory # WASDEATHO

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Synopsis: The monologue of Romans 7 has proved central to the Christian West, where interpreters such as Augustine and Martin Luther have made the text into a paradigm for the plight of mankind, torn between the demands of God's goodness and its own sinful nature. Emma Wasserman argues that the monologue can be better contextualized within certain intellectual discourses alive in Paul's day. In light of certain Platonic traditions about the soul, the monologue emerges as the voice of reason or mind describing its defeat at the hands of passions and desires represented as sin. Especially as developed by Philo of Alexandria, Platonic traditions of representing extreme cases of immorality account for a number of difficult features of the text. Such traditions can account for the metaphors of enslavement, imprisonment, warfare, and death; the representation of the passions as sin and the association with the body, members, and flesh; the Platonic language about mind and the speaker's role in reasoning, reflecting, and judging; the problem of the law in the first part of the monologue (verses 7-13) and the plight of self-contradiction in the second (14-25). The reading thus finds that the speaker is reason or mind, recounting its discovery that it cannot put any of its good judgments into action because of the dominance of the passions.

About the Author: Emma Wasserman, Born 1975; 2005 PhD from Yale University; 2006-2008 visiting assistant professor of Religious Studies at Brown University and Reed College; from fall 2008 assistant professor of Religion at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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