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Transformation of the Mind and Moral Discernment in Paul

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the possible connection between two kinds of language in Paul's letters about the way human behavior is directed. The first kind of language is explicitly and obviously religious in character. It aligns human agency with a transcendental spiritual power. The second kind is moral or paraenetic in character. It advocates the practice of virtue and the avoidance of vice. The chapter argues a threefold thesis. First, Paul's Letter to the Romans both presents the problem in the sharpest form and also provides clues to its solving. Second, placing Paul's clues against the backdrop of Aristotle's discussion of ψρόυησις in the Nicomachean Ethics provides a framework that makes them more coherent. Third, the hypothesis thus derived from Romans is supported by evidence drawn from other Pauline letters and is disconfirmed by none of them.

Keywords: Aristotle; Christ; God; Nicomachean Ethics; Paul's letters; Romans



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