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Summer 2013/Phoenix



NS531: PAULINE THEOLOGY. Blaine B. Charette.

DESCRIPTION: This course focuses on the nature of Paul’s thought and introduces the student to the central theological emphases of his letters read within the context of Paul’s life setting and the challenges faced by the communities for which he was writing.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: The apostle Paul has exercised a profound influence on the formation of Christian thought and has significantly shaped the way Christians understand and articulate their faith. It is essential for Christians, especially those in ministry, to understand Paul’s message in order to live out their own calling and to proclaim the faith to others.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students completing this course will have demonstrated the ability (1) to work with the Pauline letters in a manner that takes seriously the particular contexts of their composition and their cumulative contribution to Pauline theology; (2) to identify the key theological emphases of Paul’s teaching and how major interpreters of Paul have explained these emphases; (3) to demonstrate the relationship between Paul’s theology and other important theological voices in the New Testament; (4) to reflect on how Paul’s theology can speak to the questions and problems faced by individuals and faith communities today.

COURSE FORMAT: Lectures and discussion of the Pauline letters and assigned secondary readings. The course will meet in an intensive format, 30 hours over a week and a half.


Eisenbaum, Pamela. Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. 294 pp. ISBN: 978-0-06-134991-1. $25.99.

Thiselton, Anthony C. The Living Paul: An Introduction to the Apostle’s Life and Thought. Downers Grove: IVP, 2009. 162 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8308-3881-3. $20.00.

Thompson, James W. Moral Formation according to Paul: The Context and Coherence of Pauline Ethics. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011. 213 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8010-3902-7. $24.99.

Wright, N. T. Paul: In Fresh Perspective. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005. 181 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8006-6357-5. $20.00.

Zetterholm, Magnus. Approaches to Paul: A Student’s Guide to Recent Scholarship. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009. 248 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8006-6337-7. $20.00.

RECOMMENDED READING: See the course syllabus.


  1. A comparative review of the books by Thiselton and Wright as introductions to Paul’s thought is to be completed by the first class session (approx. 1500 word; 20%);

  2. Two theological reflection papers: the first on the meaning of Gal 2:16 in recent interpretation with reference to Zetterholm’s account of the “new perspective”; the second on the “identity and redemption of Israel” in Rom 9-11 in conversation with the discussion in Eisenbaum (each paper approx. 2000 words; 40%);

  3. An exegetical paper on the Pauline text or a research paper on a Pauline theme (approx. 3500-4000 words; 40%).


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in New Testament Theology (NTT).

NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.