Monday, 21 January 2008

Swiss Vacation Highlight #4 - Meeting up with my Supervisor


Another highlight of my Swiss vacation is the opportunity to meet up with my PhD supervisor, Bill Campbell and his wife, Kathy Ehrensperger, in Basel. Kathy is originally from Basel, and they were having their Christmas holidays in Kathy's hometown. Both of them have been a real source of encouragement and inspiration for me while I was struggling to complete my PhD thesis.

It was great to catch up with them. I am always amazed by the amount of scholarly publications and research that they are constantly involved in. I just wish that I could have the space, time and resources to do just that.

During our meeting, Kathy presented me with her latest and recently published book, Paul and the Dynamics of Power: Communication and Interaction in the Early Christ Movement, Library of New Testament Studies, London: T & T Clark, 2007.

The description of the book is as follows:

"In this illuminating study Kathy Ehrensperger looks at the question of Paul's use of power and authority as an apostle who understands himself as called to proclaim the Gospel among the gentiles. Ehrensperger examines the broad range of perspectives on how this use of power should be evaluated. These range from the traditional interpretation of unquestioned, taken for granted for a church leader, to a feminist interpretation. She examines whether or not Paul's use of power presents an open or hidden re-inscription of hierarchical structures in what was previously a discipleship of equals. "Paul and the Dynamics of Power" questions whether such hierarchical tendencies are rightly identified within Paul's discourse of power. Furthermore it considers whether these are inherently and necessarily expressions of domination and control and are thus in opposition to a 'discipleship of equals'? In her careful analysis Ehrensperger draws on such wide-ranging figures as Derrida, Michel Foucault and James Scott. This enables fresh insights into Paul's use of authority and power in its first century context."

Thanks, Kathy, for the book, and I look forward to reading it.

On a side note, it is a real honour for me in which Kathy quoted my PhD thesis on several occasions in her book.

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