Paul is now enshrined in Christian history and dogma, yet few people realize how controversial his original message was. Many of Jesus's first followers were suspicious of Paul and there were fierce debates over his preaching. By a careful inspection of his letters we'll explore these debates and seek to understand the nature of the groups he founded in cities around the Mediterranean. Some of these groups survived, and some disappeared: what held them together - or broke them apart? Why would someone be drawn to Paul and his preaching? What was appealing about the life of these groups? The goal is to understand Paul and his theological ideas in their first-century context.
Satisfies the Philosophical and Religious Perspectives distribution requirement.
This course may be applied towards a Classics major.