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Suppressing Anger in Early Christianity: Examples from the Pauline Tradition
2007 (English)In: Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies, ISSN 0017-3916, Vol. 47, 307-325 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article builds on the work of classicist William V. Harris and critiques Harris for not distinguishing between the undisputed and deutero-Pauline letters.  Harris analyzes the suppression of anger in terms of four increasing levels of restraint: (1) reining in angry actions and speech; (2) eliminating angry actions and speech; (3) reining in angry feelings; and (4) eliminating angry feelings.  Harris argues persuasively that levels two, three and four were later developments in Greco-Roman antiquity.  Utilizing Harris’s four levels of restraint, this article argues that whereas the apostle Paul’s exhortations correspond to Harris’s level one, the deutero-Pauline authors of Colossians and Ephesians implore the attainment of at least level two.  It is also plausible, if not likely, that the author of First Timothy desires the elimination of all angry actions and speech (level two).  Such development from the undisputed letters to two or three deutero-Pauline letters correlates with Harris’s conclusion that calls for greater and more complete suppression of anger began in the Roman period.  The article also interacts with classic theories of the psychology of anger, asking whether the suppression of anger is a necessary component in the anthropology or theology of any of the NT Pauline literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 47, 307-325 p.
Keyword [en]
apostle Paul, anger, emotions, psychology of religion
National Category
Religious Studies Religious Studies
Research subject
New Testament Exegesis; Psychology of Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-140647OAI: diva2:384151
Available from: 2013-01-17 Created: 2011-01-07 Last updated: 2013-01-17Bibliographically approved

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