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Phenomenologies of Scripture$
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Adam Y. Wells

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823275557

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823275557.001.0001

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Split Interpretations of a Split I

Split Interpretations of a Split I

Romans 7:7–25

Chapter:
(p.125) Split Interpretations of a Split I
Source:
Phenomenologies of Scripture
Author(s):

Jean-Louis Chrétien

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823275557.003.0007

In this chapter, Jean-Louis Chrétien tracks various interpretations of Romans 7:7-25, focusing on the use of first person pronouns in the passage. Does the “I/me” refer to Paul in a straightforward autobiographical sense? Is Paul inhabiting someone else’s experience by speaking in character (prosopopoiea)? Does the text reflect both possibilities at once? Chrétien argues that the passage describes, or better creates, a Christian interiority that is inherently agonistic. The “I” is both Paul’s and the reader’s; the varying interpretations ultimately reflect the real existential dilemmas of Christian life.

Keywords:   Biblical interpretation, interiority, Paul, phenomenology, Romans

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