The Weight of Mortality: Pauline Theology and the Problem of Death
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This dissertation addresses a long-standing but rarely discussed problem in Pauline studies: given Paul’s understanding of how God has acted in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to overcome death, how do we explain the ongoing existence of death? Through an examination of the Pauline letters, particularly Romans, this dissertation offers two interrelated explanations, one causal and the other teleological or purposive. From the causal perspective, it is argued that sin in the form of the sinful passions remains connected to the body even of Christians, which allows sin to exercise an ongoing corrupting influence on the body. From the teleological or purposive angle, it is contended that God uses the mortal condition to deepen the divine-human and intrahuman relationships.
Letter to the Romans
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