Paul : The Mind of the Apostle (Paperback)

Author: Wilson, A. N.

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Product Overview

A.N. Wilson makes clear in this gripping narrative that Christianity, without Paul, is quite literally nothing. Jesus, with the layers of scholarship stripped away, is a fervent Jew who will lead his followers into a stricter, purer observance of Judaism; it is Paul who will claim divinity for him, who will transform him into the Messiah, center of an entirely new religion.

Specifications

Publisher W W Norton & Co Inc
Mfg Part# 9780393317602
SKU 30291759
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0393317609
Release Date 4/1/1998
Physical
Dimensions (in Inches) 9.75H x 6.25L x 1T
Author Info
A. N. Wilson
A. N. Wilson is the prolific author of several acclaimed biographies including "Tolstoy", "C. S. Lewis", and "Jesus: A Life", as well as several novels.
Praise
"In a worthy companion volume to his 'Jesus: A Life,' novelist-biographer Wilson adeptly recreates the milieu of Christianity's greatest interpreter and missionary. An ex-believer no longer certain about Christianity's historical verities, Wilson is still awed by its power to speak to a broken world. Contrary to the recent, politically correct view of the apostle as a misogynistic, possibly self-hating homosexual, Wilson makes a case for him as 'a prophet of liberty, whose visionary sense of the importance of the inner life aniticpates the Romantic poets more than the rule-books of the Inquisition.' The author works through irony and carefully nuanced suggestion, turning over each shard of broken evidence from the ancient world for a clue as to how Paul's "richly imaginative, but confused, religious genius' developed....Whilson overstates the case for Paul, rather than Jesus, creating the beliefs in the Eucharist and in Christ as savior that form the heart of Christianity, but he eloquently shows why Paul was 'perhaps the greatest poet of personal religion.' "
"Though Wilson has not written a historical novel, he uses to excellent effect his novelist's way of imagining how characters--as distinct from entire religious movements--affect each other. He dares to imagine, for example, how the judicial murder of Jesus may at that time have affected Paul as a fervent, conservative, Diaspora Jew in the employ of the Jerusalem temple....I like the fact that Wilson, who could easily do so, does not invent dialogue or otherwise novelize his account, but I like equally the fact that he does not abstain altogether from exercising his ability to imagine how on man--in a specific and personal way rather than in some generic, impersonal, or merely cultural way--can affect another....With learning and diligence, anyone may understand the world that produced Paul, but only by the exercise of an exceptional imagination can one engage the mind of one of history's most indestructible originals. A.N. Wilson wins only a passing grade on the compulsory exercises of biography (there are footnotes, there is a bibliography, there are words in transliterated Greek), but he pulls ahead in the freestyle finale, infusing the conventional form with the controlled and focused imagination of an artist."
"There has never been anyone quite like St. Paul, to move both men's hearts and heads so irrevocably. One day he will get an inspired biographer. Meanwhile, A.N. Wilson will stir the reader's interest, without wholly satisfying it."
"He writes with flair, elegance, insight and wit, He sets the scene for Paul's life deftly. We get lively pen portraits of strife-torn Palestine, the insensitive cruelties of the Roman occupation, the character of Herod Agrippa and the diamonds of Berenice. He makes history interesting. His text is peppered with sides, which waver between gratitude for useful scholarly endeavor and scornful rejection of historians in favor of common sense....Indeed, the whole bravura performance presents a glittering assortment of opinion, facts and factoids...."
"A.N. Wilson's biography is the work of an investigative journalist out to expose a scandalous misconception and who happens to be equipped with the imagination of a novelist....Biblical scholars tend to write for other biblical scholars. Wilson writes for, and will probably reach, a mass audience. He gives an absorbing account of Paul's missionary journeys. Using the works of historians...he sets Paul in the context of the Roman world of the Near East....For Wilson, Paul is a mystic and 'the first romantic poet hi history'; his wild and confused message is that of a man tortured by the problem of evil, of human unworthiness before the perfection of God. He is perhaps 'the greatest poet of personal religion.'....I write as a non-believer who respects, even envies at times the religious faith of my Protestant and Jewish friends but who finds the Kierkegaardian leap into faith an operation which neither study of the early Fathers nor the works of modern theologians has made possible. Wilson's book, like Dostoevsky's 'The Brothers Karamazov,' has the great virtue for me of explaining what religious experience is--for other people."
From the Publisher
Annotation Drawing upon his comprehensive command of the scholarly and theological literature, including the many explications of Pauline teachings, the author has written the first substantive book for a general audience to present a coherent narrative of Paul's life, and his role in the formation of what we have come to know as Christianity.
Editors Note A.N. Wilson makes clear in this gripping narrative that Christianity, without Paul, is quite literally nothing. Jesus, with the layers of scholarship stripped away, is a fervent Jew who will lead his followers into a stricter, purer observance of Judaism; it is Paul who will claim divinity for him, who will transform him into the Messiah, center of an entirely new religion.
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0274
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
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