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Paul the Change Agent

Paul the Change Agent

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This project, like many works that fall within the genre of “dissertation,” begins with the conviction that many of the analyses of Paul as a change agent that have been offered by my predecessors and contemporaries are found wanting. That, however, is only half of the story. To be sure, many interpreters have made great strides in their exegesis and commentary on Paul and his letters. Thus, in this study I will build on what is useful, challenge what I see as questionable, and fill in what I perceive to be a number of gaps concerning the claim that Paul was, in fact, a change agent. I intend to demonstrate in this work that a close analysis of Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, and 1 Corinthians reveals that Paul was a change agent; indeed, he was a change agent of a particular sort in a culture where there was often an enormous resistance to change, and perhaps especially religious change. 

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