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Cosmology and Self in the Apostle PaulThe Material Spirit$
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Troels Engberg-Pedersen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558568

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558568.001.0001

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A Stoic Understanding of the Pneuma and Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15

A Stoic Understanding of the Pneuma and Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15

(p.8) 1 A Stoic Understanding of the Pneuma and Resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15
Cosmology and Self in the Apostle Paul

Troels Engberg‐Pedersen

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops the ontology of Paul's notion of pneuma (‘spirit’) by analysing the cosmology that seems to be invoked in his account in 1 Corinthians 15 of the specific (ontological) shape of the resurrection body, the ‘pneumatic’ body. It appears that Paul understood the pneuma as a through and through material, bodily phenomenon. The chapter also situates Paul in relation to Graeco-Roman philosophy of his day. Two Alexandrian Jewish Hellenistic writers who were slightly earlier than Paul, the author of the Wisdom of Solomon and Philo, display a 1st century bce/ce, incipient interest in and influence from Plato that eventually issued in 1st-2nd century ce ‘Middle Platonism’. For Paul himself, however, the basic, philosophical reference point was materialistic and monistic Stoicism — which indeed was importantly present in the two other writers, too — rather than immaterialistic and dualistic Platonism.

Keywords:   Corinthians, resurrection body, Stoic pneuma, wisdom of Solomon, Philo, stoicism, platonism, middle platonism

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