Paul: Life, Setting, Work, Letters. Edited by Oda Wischmeyer . Translated by Helen S. Heron. London: T&T Clark, 2012. Pp. viii + 372. Cloth, $130.00; paper, $39.95.
Article first published online: 7 MAR 2013
© 2013 Rice University
Religious Studies Review
Volume 39, Issue 1, pages 38–39, March 2013
How to Cite
O'Reilly, M. P. (2013), Paul: Life, Setting, Work, Letters. Edited by Oda Wischmeyer . Translated by Helen S. Heron. London: T&T Clark, 2012. Pp. viii + 372. Cloth, $130.00; paper, $39.95. Religious Studies Review, 39: 38–39. doi: 10.1111/rsr.12012_15
- Issue published online: 7 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 7 MAR 2013
This book, divided into three parts, provides a thorough introduction to Paul's life and work. Part 1 locates Paul in relation to various aspects of his cultural context (e.g., political, religious, philosophical), and introduces readers to the apostle's life and missionary activity. Part 2 is the backbone of the book, with chapters analyzing the context, structure, content, audience, and impact of 1 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Philemon, and Romans. It concludes with a chapter on Pauline theology that aims to describe the nature of Paul's theological thinking and introduces a variety of major theological themes (e.g., christology, anthropology, soteriology) that appear in the Pauline corpus. Recognizing that Paul's writings have had substantial impact on the history of Christianity, Part 3 considers the reception of Paul's letters. The earliest centuries figure most significantly in this part, with one chapter devoted to the first century and another to the second. The rest of church history is then considered in the final chapter of the book. Charts and tables throughout give this volume a textbook feel. It is written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and will be most useful in courses on the life and letters of Paul. As an English translation of the German original, another key benefit is that it makes available the perspectives of a number of German scholars to non-German speaking students.