Paul in Ecstasy: The Neurobiology of the Apostle's Life and by Colleen Shantz

By Colleen Shantz

Whereas many readers of Paul's letters realize how very important his event was once to his lifestyles and concept, Biblical students haven't normally addressed this subject head-on. Colleen Shantz argues that they've been held again either through a bias opposed to non secular ecstasy and by means of the boundaries of the Biblical texts: How do you responsibly entry somebody else's event, really event as strange and debated as spiritual ecstasy? and the way do you account responsibly for the position of expertise in that person's idea? Paul in Ecstasy pursues those questions via a number of disciplines - such a lot particularly neuroscience. This examine offers cogent motives for bewildering passages in Paul's letters, outlines a miles better impression of such event in Paul's existence and letters, and issues to its significance in Christian origins.

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G. Stalker (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1971), 21. , Religious geschichtliche Volksbu¨cher fu¨r die deutshce christliche Gegenwart. 1. Reihe, 5/6. Heft. : American Theological Library Association Committee on Reprinting, 1962), 76. Strangely, Wrede makes this comment even though he, like Bornkamm, allows for Paul’s visions as religious experiences and not only theological reflection (Paul, 6–11). T. Johnson, Religious Experience in Earliest Christianity, 126–27. All of the studies he cites were published in the 1970s.

They all share a common characteristic: They base their legitimacy on a polemical devaluation of religion and religious experience. Furthermore, as is clear from shamanism scholarship, adherents to these world views often resort to psychiatric terminology as a powerful technique for the devaluation of such an important human 17 18 19 Vincent Crapanzano and Vivian Garrison, Case Studies in Spirit Possession, Contemporary Religious Movements (New York: Wiley, 1977), 4. Bourguignon, ‘‘Introduction,’’ 11.

As illustrated earlier, Protestant New Testament scholarship has used the term ‘‘mysticism’’ to designate bad or sloppy theological thinking. It has also attempted to describe ritual, magical, and even ecstatic elements in Christianity as Catholic distortions of Christian origins. More than any other contemporary author, Jonathan Z. Smith has drawn attention to the polemics fueling the description of Christian origins. ’’42 In Smith’s own words: 41 42 L. T. Johnson, Religious Experience in Earliest Christianity, 127–28.

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