Thursday, 9 July 2009
Approaches to Paul: New Book by Zetterholm
I have always lamented that there is a lack of a textbook particularly for my postgraduate students who are beginning their research on studies on Paul. How does one plough through all the recent studies on Paul, from the New Perspective on Paul to Paul and Roman Empire; from Feminist to postcolonial interpretation of Paul; and from Paul and Ethnicity to multi-disciplinary approaches to Paul? Even within the New Perspective school, how does one address all the divergent views that emerged within those who subscribe to the New Perspective on Paul?
The task of a beginner in trying to make sense of the complex developments in the studies on Paul in the last two decades or so is a daunting one. There are endless list of works to read, but where can one go and find a clear, concise discussion of the issues, and where the dynamic interaction with all the history of modern Pauline scholarship is clearly presented in a thorough and balanced manner?
I finally find my answer in the new monograph by Magnus Zetterholm from Lund University, which arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Zetterholm's new book, Approaches to Paul: A Student's Guide to Recent Scholarship, is an excellent and indispensable book that every beginning and seasoned student of the studies on Paul should have. Zetterholm not only engages with recent development of the studies on Paul, he also surveys the history of relationship between Paul and Judaism. He also reviews the works of the works of Lyoyd Gaston, Peter Tomson, Stanley Stowers, Mark Nanos, Caroline Johnson Hodge, Frank Thielman, A. Andrew Das, Simon Gathercole, Stephen Westerholm, Neil Elliot, Kathy Ehrensperger, Davina Lopez, amongst others, in a critical, yet balanced manner.
Zetterholm has done a great service to those who wish to have a clear, thorough and yet concise survey of recent scholarship on the studies on Paul. At the same time, those who would like a glimpse on recent development in Pauline scholarship would also find Zetterholm's work extremely beneficial.
This book is highly recommended.