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Christian Identity and Paul’s Corinthian epistemology

Elective unit for postgraduates

Paul’s epistles to Corinth are permeated with christological epistemology pertaining to Christian identity, which is articulated through contextual issues, challenges and affirmations that are variously experienced in Christian faith and its continuing expressions. This unit explores the peculiar epistemology of Christian identity and theological perspectives concerning faith, community, eschatology, mission, ethics and freedom that are generated by the textures of Paul’s Corinthian correspondence.

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. Identify and critically evaluate the theological formation of Christian identity by reference to Christian proclamation and its expression by worship, community, ministry and mission;
  2. Formulate and apply critical criteria for evaluating the contemporary use of the Corinthian correspondence in Christian identity and testimony;
  3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of epistemological and hermeneutical issues arising in the interface between Paul’s Corinthian writings and Christian identity;
  4. (3rd level) Engage Christian identity by reference to selected Christian writings and their continuing interpretation.
  5. (postgraduate) Formulate research criteria and methods for engaging Christian identity by reference to selected Christian writings and their continuing interpretation.

: – a foundational unit in CT or BN

Faculty: Stephen Curkpatrick



Undergraduate  level 2
Four 600 word document studies  50%
One 2000 word essay  50%

Undergraduate  level 3
Four 600 word document studies  50%
One 2500 word essay  50%

Four 750 word document studies  50%
One 3000 word essay  50%

Recommended Reading

Edward Adams & David G. Horrell, eds. Christianity at Corinth: The Quest for the Pauline Church, Louisville & London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.
Oswald Bayer, A Contemporary in Dissent: Johann Georg Hamann as a Radical Enlightener, trans. Roy A. Harrisville & Mark C. Mattes, Grand Rapids & Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2012.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sanctorum Communio: A Theological Study of the Sociology of the Church, trans. Reinhard Krauss & Nancy Lukens, Minneapolis: Fortress, 1998.
Rudolph Bultmann, Faith and Understanding, trans. Robert W. Funk, London: SCM, 1969.
Raymond F. Collins, First Corinthians (Sacra Pagina), Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1999.
Kathy Ehrensperger, Paul and the Dynamics of Power: Communication and Interaction in the Early Christ-Movement, London & New York: T&T Clark International, 2009.
James F. Kay, Christus Praesens: A Reconsideration of Rudolf Bultmann’s Christology, Grand Rapids Michigan: Eerdmans, 1994.
Jan Lambrecht, Second Corinthians (Sacra Pagina), Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1999.
Brian Rosner, ed. Understanding Paul’s Ethics: Twentieth Century Approaches, Grand Rapids & Carlisle: Paternoster, 1995.
Timothy B. Savage, Power through Weakness: Paul’s Understanding of the Christian Ministry in 2 Corinthians, Cambridge UK et al.: Cambridge UP, 1996.
Ian W. Scott, Paul’s Way of Knowing: Story, Experience and the Spirit, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 1989.
Anthony Thiselton, 1 Corinthians: A Shorter Exegetical & Pastoral Commentary, Grand Rapids Michigan & Cambridge UK: Eerdmans, 2006.
Francis Watson, Text, Church and World: Biblical Interpretation in Theological Perspective, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1994.
L.L. Welborn, Paul, the Fool of Christ: A Study of 1 Corinthians 1-4 in the Comic-Philosophic Tradition (JSNT SS), London & New York: T&T Clark International, 2005.