COLLOQUIUM BIBLICUM LOVANIENSE LXII
July 16-18, 2013
PAUL’S GRAECO-ROMAN CONTEXT
The topic of the colloquium is Paul’s relation to Jewish and Greek traditions. Paul the Apostle is an excellent example for the cultural exchange so typical for the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire during the early imperial age. He is a Jew from Tarsus, feels himself, according to his own words, as Hebrew descended from Hebrews, and as Pharisee according to the way of interpreting the law. However, he writes his letters in Greek, showing acquaintance not only with the Greek translations of the Law and the Prophets, but also with contemporary Greek and Roman philosophical concepts and rhetorical style. He lived and worked in several Roman colonies, his letters are specked with metaphors from the military, and according to Acts, he possessed Roman citizenship. Trained in Jewish traditions and raised in Greek, Paul was influenced by different intellectual worlds. He stands at the crossroads of cultural development. The invited contributors of the main lectures have been asked to discuss this phenomenon.
Paul’s life within the cultural encounters of the first century suggests reception of Graeco-Roman traditions. Paul the Jew, believed to be sent to the nations, brought the Gospel to the Graeco-Roman world. To make his letters accessible to the audiences, it would have seemed logical to utilize language and modalities which his addressees could understand. But how does he dress his Jewish-Christian gospel in the garb of the time?
In this colloquium we will focus on the reception and implementation of Graeco-Roman traditions by Paul, who always remained a Jew. Taking his letters as point of departure, Pauline language, concepts, metaphors and style will be investigated within the context of first century Greek literature, including Jewish literature written in Greek. The following questions illustrate the broad range of potentially instructive lines of inquiry. Where do Pauline terms, concepts and strategies come from, how and with which intention does he mix and recast them to express his message and to give instruction to his congregations?
More information and registration: http://theo.kuleuven.be/en/research/centres/centr_collbibl