Enemies of the Cross of Christ: The Terminology of the Cross and Conflict in Philippians

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Bloomsbury Academic, Nov 15, 2002 - Religion - 278 pages
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'Enemies of the Cross' employs classical rhetorical analysis to examine how Paul structures a deliberative argument using his understanding of the 'cross of Christ'. His goals are to guide/advise the Philippian community through internal and external strife (ch. 2), combat his opponents (ch.3), and develop his notion of the eschatological community (3:18-21). Williams proposes that while Paul has a 'theology of the death of Jesus', of which cross terminology is one of several aspects, this terminology is used almost exclusively in polemical/conflictual contexts. Hence Paul appears to be using 'cross of Christ' not so much as a doctrine but rather as a rhetorical tool, in a context of conflict and strife, to support his understanding of eschatology, apostolic service, the nature of Christian existence, and community among the saints.

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Demetrius Williams is Assistant Professor, Department of Classical Studies, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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