Domination or Empowerment?
A Power Discourse Analysis of 1 and 2 Corinthians
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
220 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.44 in
- Published: September 2023
$31.00 / £25.00 / AU$49.00Buy
- Published: September 2023
$31.00 / £26.99 / AU$45.99Buy
This book argues that Paul, as God's accountable steward, seeks not to dominate the Corinthians but to empower them to mature in their understanding and conduct themselves appropriately under the cruciform authority of Jesus Christ. It invites readers to revisit the merely negative notion of power in deconstructionist power discourses and reconsider the importance of good uses of power in building up a faith community.
Esther G. Cen is an assistant professor of biblical studies at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle.
“This is a fascinating study of Paul’s use of power language in his Corinthian correspondence informed by an extraordinary breadth of resources including Esther Cen’s inspiring autobiography. For students of Discourse Analysis or post-colonial exegesis generally, or for those who are spiritual leaders interested in the disposition of power within a Christian setting, Cen’s monograph is a must read.”
—Robert W. Wall, professor emeritus of Scripture and Wesleyan studies, Seattle Pacific University and Seminary
“Esther Cen is not naive about the role that power plays in society, nor is she unaware that scholarship is itself an exercise of power. She provides a description of Paul’s uses of power in 1 and 2 Corinthians that is theoretically informed and empirically grounded. When she finally offers her own evaluations of Paul, she unfolds important nuances that should give each of us pause as we each seek to arrive at our own understanding.”
—Christopher D. Land, associate professor of New Testament and linguistics, McMaster Divinity College
“Esther Cen makes a convincing case that Paul seeks to empower the Corinthians rather than to dominate them through the development and application of a rigorous and sophisticated methodology based on socio-linguistic criteria. This book is an excellent resource for Pauline studies and for pastoral theology, and it is an invaluable demonstration of the use of methodology in biblical scholarship.”
—Cynthia Long Westfall, associate professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College
“Esther Cen presents a powerful socio-linguistic analysis of Paul’s discourse of authority and power, rooted in an excellent awareness of the social location of thought, ancient and contemporary. She demonstrates in a differentiated way that the Corinthian correspondence is evidence of Paul’s exercise of power through empowering leadership, making a highly relevant contribution to Pauline scholarship and its relevance for society and church today.”
—Kathy Ehrensperger, research fellow, University of Basel