The Practice of the Body of Christ: Human Agency in Pauline Theology After MacIntyre
This dissertation begins a conversation between "apocalyptic" interpretations of the Apostle Paul and the contemporary revival in "virtue ethics." It argues that the human actor's place in Pauline theology has long been captive to theological concerns foreign to Paul and that we can discern in Paul a classical account of human action that Alasdair MacIntyre's work helps to recover. Such an account of agency helps ground an apocalyptic reading of Paul by recovering the centrality of the church and its day-to-day Christic practices, specifically, but not exclusively, the Eucharist. To demonstrate this we first offer a critique of some contemporary accounts of agency in Paul in light of MacIntyre's work. Three exegetical chapters then establish a "MacIntyrian" re-reading of central parts of the letter to the Romans. A concluding chapter offers theological syntheses and prospects for future research.
Religion, Biblical Studies