Naming the Powers The Language of Power in the New Testament
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Naming the Powers The Language of Power in the New Testament  -     By: Walter Wink

Naming the Powers The Language of Power in the New Testament

Fortress Press / 1984 / Paperback

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Product Description

thoroughly examines the use for the terms of power in all the relevant New Testament and cognate literature. He hypothesizes that "principalities and powers" are neither demonic nor other-worldy spirits; rather they are the inter- dependent inner and outer poles of any given manifestation of power. It is only when a particular Power becomes idolatrous that the Power becomes demonic.

Product Information

Title: Naming the Powers The Language of Power in the New Testament
By: Walter Wink
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 181
Vendor: Fortress Press
Publication Date: 1984
Dimensions: 6 X 9 (inches)
Weight: 10 ounces
ISBN: 080061786X
ISBN-13: 9780800617868
Stock No: WW1786X

Publisher's Description

The reader of this work will search in vain for a definition of power. It is one of those words that everyone understands perfectly well until asked to define it. Our use of the term 'power' is laden with assumptions drawn from the contemporary materialistic worldview. Whereas the ancients always understood power as the confluence of both spiritual and material factors, we tend to see it as primarily material. We do not think in terms of spirits, ghosts, demons, or gods as the effective agents of powerful effects in the world. Thus a gulf has been fixed between us and the biblical writers. We use the same words but project them into a wholly different world of meanings. What they meant by power and what we mean are incommensurate. If our goal is to understand the New Testament's conception of the Powers, we cannot do so simply by applying our own modern sociological categories of power. We must instead attend carefully and try to grasp what the people of that time might have meant by power, within the linguistic field of their own worldview and mythic systems. "I will argue that the "principalities and powers" are the inner and outer aspects of any given manifestation of power. As the inner aspect they are the spirituality of institutions, the "within" of corporate structures and systems, the inner essence of outer organizations of power. As the outer aspect they are political systems, appointed officials, the "chair" of an organization, lawsin short, all the tangible manifestations which power takes. This hypothesis, it seems to me, makes sense of the fluid way the New Testament writers and their contemporaries spoke of the Powers, now as if they were these centurions or that priestly hierarchy, and then, with no warning, as if they were some kind of spiritual entities in the heavenly places."-from the Introduction

Author Bio

Walter Wink was professor emeritus of biblical interpretation at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City. He also taught at Union Theological Seminary. From 1989 to 1990, he was a Peace Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. He authored several books, including the award-winning Fortress Press trilogy: Naming the Powers, Unmasking the Powers, and Engaging the Powers.

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