Paul as a Problem in History and Culture: The Apostle and His Critics through the Centuries
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Paul as a Problem in History and Culture: The Apostle and His Critics through the Centuries

Baker Academic / 2016 / Hardcover

In Stock
Stock No: WW048838

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Product Description

As one of the most significant figures in the history of Western civilization, the apostle Paul has influenced and inspired countless individuals and institutions. But for some, he holds a controversial place in Christianity. This engaging book explores why many people have been wary of Paul and what their criticisms reveal about the church and the broader culture. Patrick Gray brings intellectual and cultural history into conversation with study of the New Testament, providing a balanced account and assessment of widespread antipathy to Paul and exploring what the controversy tells us about ourselves.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0801048834
ISBN-13: 9780801048838

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Author Bio

Patrick Gray (PhD, Emory University) is associate professor of religious studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the author of Opening Paul's Letters and has coedited several books, including Teaching the Bible through Popular Culture and the Arts.


Many scholars write only for other scholars, and some experts are adept at writing for more general audiences, but only a few can write well with both audiences in mind. Patrick Gray is one of those rare scholars, and his book on reactions to Paul through the centuries is a gem that merits the attention of all readers interested in early Christianity's most controversial apostle.
-John T. Fitzgerald,
professor of New Testament and early Christianity, University of Notre Dame

With much erudition, eloquence, and wit, Patrick Gray sets forth a fascinating two-thousand-year history of anti-Paulinism. Citing both scholarly and popular sources, he exposes the various (and at times bewildering) attitudes, assumptions, and motivations that lie behind the virile dislike of the apostle to the gentiles. This book will challenge both friends and foes of Paul to reflect critically on the relationship between Paul and the one he proclaimed as Messiah and Lord.
-Thomas D. Stegman, SJ,
professor ordinarius and chair of the ecclesiastical faculty, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Every Paul scholar knows that Paul has always been controversial, but I wager that few know the breadth and depth of the animus toward him surveyed by Patrick Gray. Not everyone will agree with Gray's perspectives on all issues, but everyone will benefit from his thorough research and astute insights. I will not be able to resist using this volume in upcoming Paul seminars. It is sure to be a great discussion starter.
-Mark D. Given,
associate professor, department of religious studies, Missouri State University

Gray provides an insightful and accessible overview of the negative reception of the apostle Paul, from the Corinthians to Kazantzakis. An important contribution is the way in which Gray steers a reasonable middle course amid choppy, polemical waters. This book has great potential for sparking lively discussion in a classroom setting.
-David L. Eastman

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