To Know All Mysteries

The Mystagogue Figure in Classical Antiquity and in Saint Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians
by C. Andrew Ballard (Author)
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This book examines the way that Paul presents himself as a guide into mysteries, a “mystagogue,” in 1–2 Corinthians. By describing himself as a type of mystagogue for the community, Paul was following a precedent in both Jewish and non-Jewish sources for invoking mystagogic language to engage in polemics with a rival. In opposition to the precedent, however, Paul understands the mystagogue to be a bi-partite figure—comprised of both foolishness and wisdom simultaneously. C. Andrew Ballard argues that ancient mystagogues were often described in two disparate ways: figures of power, and figures of weakness and foolishness. Paul synthesizes both aspects of the mystagogue in his self-presentation to the Corinthians. The figure of the mystagogue, as a wise-fool, was useful to Paul because it was descriptive not only of his own experience as a suffering yet authoritative apostle, but also of the experience of his deity, the suffering and glorified Christ. By presenting himself as both a powerful and foolish mystagogue, Paul could argue that he was a more authentic imitator of Christ than his opponents in Corinth, who boasted in self-exaltation instead of self-humility. In this way, Paul used the character of the mystagogue as a strategic rhetorical tool in his communication with the Corinthians.

Format
EPUB
Protection
DRM Protected
Publication date
August 31, 2022
Publisher
Collection
Page count
404
ISBN
9781978711112
Paper ISBN
9781978711105
The publisher has not provided information about accessibility.
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