Dewey, Arthur J. Books

Spirit and Letter in Paul
1996 0-7734-9703-X
Although the antithesis of spirit and letter has figured prominently in the history of interpretation, this is the first critical investigation to place Paul's contribution to this conceptual dialectic within the cultural and political debate of the ancient world. Employing a variety of exegetical lenses, including rhetorical analysis, Dewey explores the historical as well as conceptual drama beginning with Galatians 3. After a detailed excursus which presents the interpretive options for spirit and letter in the ancient world, Dewey moves on to II Corinithians 3 as he uncovers Paul's radical political speech. Finally, in an analysis of Romans 2-3, 7-8, Dewey discloses the communal and cosmic dimensions of Paul's developing thought. The entire investigation is itself a hermeneutical experience, demonstrating that theology is more than a static reproduction, inviting the engaged reader to discover what has been long silenced in the Pauline texts.