Fredriksen-Paul’s “righteoused” pagans


According to Paula Fredriksen in Paul, the Pagan’s Apostle, people have misinterpreted Paul partly because they have used the concept of religion. She has absorbed a lot of the ideas of Brent Nongbri who thinks religion doesn’t exist, but is something that modern people have made up.

I haven’t read Nongbri, but I have watched this interview with him.

It isn’t until about 15 minutes in that he gets down to his main idea, which seems to be that religion as a realm that contrasts with another realm—the secular realm—is a modern invention. So to say that religion does not exist is not to say anything about the reality of divine beings. It is more that, particularly in first-century Roman society, it was not a thing separate from political, economic or family life.

I love the idea that Paul was not religious. I do not consider myself religious either…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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