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Excerpt: "Since the publication of Gerd Theissen's Psychological Aspects of Pauline Theology, Pauline scholars have taken renewed interest in experiential factors in the formation of Paul's theology, but few have approached the issue in terms of Paul's own faith development in cognitive-critical perspective.I Just when Pauline scholarship had been "liberated" from "psychologizing the text" by Krister Stendahl's analysis of Paul and the "introspective conscience of the west,"2 Theissen's monograph might have been seen to be threatening the "New Perspective on Paul,'' signaled by James Dunn in his essay by that name.3 However, a sustained consideration of the sociological dynamics of Paul's audiences and interests, which "New Perspective" developments have illumined so helpfully, does not preclude the relevance of psychological factors in Paul's own experience and theological development. If anything, these two disciplinary approaches inform each other remarkably if their findings are explored dialogically, and cognitive-critical approaches to other texts and gospel traditions might point the way forward in Pauline studies, as well."


Originally published as a chapter in Anatomies of the Gospels and Beyond; A Festschrift for R. Alan Culpepper, edited by Mikeal Parsons, Elizabeth Struthers Malbon, and Paul N. Anderson, Biblical Interpretation Series (Leuven: E.J. Brill, 2018).

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