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Paul in Israel's StorySelf and Community at the Cross$
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John L. Meech

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306941

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195306945.001.0001

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Rudolf Bultmann's Story of Paul: The Detour Not Taken

Rudolf Bultmann's Story of Paul: The Detour Not Taken

(p.45) 3 Rudolf Bultmann's Story of Paul: The Detour Not Taken
Paul in Israel's Story

John L. Meech

Oxford University Press

Should Paul’s communal sense of self remain in any sense normative for us, or is it simply an outmoded husk we should shell to get at the kernel? This chapter argues, rather, that to embrace Paul as another we must take a final detour to the self through community: We must interpret Paul’s horizon, interpret our own horizon, and narrate the continuity between the two as the historical life of one community. The chapter argues that Rudolf Bultmann’s attempt to avoid this detour on appeal to a transcendental self cannot be sustained. Yet two crucial aspects of Bultmann’s work are retrieved: First, a phenomenological account articulates the transcendence of self and other in the encounter with the risen Lord. Second, a variant of demythologizing bridges the gap between Paul’s context and ours — but a demythologizing that invites greater suspicion of our own framework while affirming the work of the Spirit in our community.

Keywords:   Rudolf Bultmann, Christ, demythologizing, interpretation, St. Paul, phenomenology

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