After his encounter with the risen Christ, St. Paul had to retell Israel’s story, and in so doing, his own understanding of self and community underwent a profound shift. Is it possible that the strong tie between Paul’s understanding of self, community, and the community’s story is something we should bracket or, as Rudolf Bultmann says, demythologize? Rather, this book asserts that two conversations in philosophy and theology can mutually contribute to our present understanding of the self in community: Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics of the self, and the new perspective debate in biblical studies about the meaning of law, works, faith and justification in St. Paul’s letters. With respect to the first conversation, the chapter places Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics of the self in the context of theological debates about selfhood. With respect to the second conversation, the chapter demonstrates how the book’s interpretation of the Pauline texts draws critically from the new perspective studies within a Lutheran framework that is responsive to critics of the new perspective.
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