Paul and Death: A Question of Psychological Coping, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Paul and Death

A Question of Psychological Coping, 1st Edition

By Linda Joelsson


212 pages

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Hardback: 9781138239616
pub: 2016-11-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315295411
pub: 2016-11-03
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The concept of death, particularly violent death, is prevalent throughout the writings of Paul the Apostle. His letters in the New Testament address this topic from a variety of perspectives, some of which can appear to be almost contradictory. However, this need not be problematic. Paul and Death uses the method of psychological exegesis to show that the different attitudes toward death in Paul’s letters make for a much more coherent discourse if they are seen as an aid to individual and collective psychological coping.

Taking the differences between each of Paul’s letters as its starting point, this study suggests that a variety of coping strategies in relation to death may be beneficial depending on the situation, the person, and the stage of the coping process. Drawing on psychologically-oriented hermeneutic theory, and theories about psychological coping in particular, the author argues that each case of psychological coping must be understood in its historical situation, and as strategies emanating from a specific person’s subjective appraisal.

Combining theology and biblical studies with modern psychology, this book will be of particular interest to academics and students that are studying the relationship between Religion and notions of Death.

Table of Contents

1. Paul and Death: A Question of Psychological Coping

2. Coping with Death in Paul’s Early Letters

3. The Corinthian Correspondence

4. Romans

5. The Prison Letters

6. Conclusions and Prospects for Further Research

About the Author

Linda Joelsson successfully defended her thesis in New Testament Exegesis at Åbo Akademi University in April 2015, with a specialization in Paul and psychological perspectives. She holds a position as senior pastor at Mikaelikyrkan in Stockholm and she teaches in New Testament theology, pedagogy, and cross-disciplinary studies in religion and health at Ersta-Sköndal University, Stockholm. She is the chairof the section Psychological Hermeneutics for Biblical Themes and Texts in Society of the Biblical Literature’s International Meetings and has contributed frequently to national and international scholarly meetings and in various educational settings. Joelsson has previously worked in psychiatric health care and with support for refugees in Värmdö and in Botkyrka.

About the Series

Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Biblical Criticism

The Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Biblical Criticism (RIPBC) series features volumes that engage substantially with Biblical literature from perspectives not traditionally associated with Biblical studies. This series aims at employing the best tools, theories, and insights from the sciences, philosophy, and beyond to yield fresh and demonstrable insights from the Biblical texts and from Biblical criticism itself.

Volumes in this series will typically have a dual emphasis between a field of study and Biblical scholarship, and accomplish at least one of the following:

  • Demonstrate why a particular field of study enables new insights in reading select biblical passages, texts, or corpora
  • Show how Biblical texts have anticipated themes and issues later approached in other disciplines, and can serve as an ancient conversation partner, or prescient critique, of those areas of study
  • Explain how a field of study offers a parallel insight into the methods or findings of Biblical criticism  

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Biblical Criticism & Interpretation / New Testament
RELIGION / Biblical Studies / Exegesis & Hermeneutics
RELIGION / Biblical Studies / Paul's Letters