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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Virtue, Friendship, and Polis: A Reading of Paul's Letter to the Philippians
by Hsieh, Le Chih Luke, Ph.D., Asbury Theological Seminary, 2012, 366; 3535076
Abstract (Summary)

Virtue requires moral knowledge, moral perception, moral choice, practical wisdom, strong will, moral practice, moral exemplar, moral goal, and moral training. In the Christian community, these elements are either supplied by God, or by Christ, or by fellow-believers. The goal of bringing these elements together is to produce virtuous people who think and act like Christ. Friendship, according to Paul, should be based upon this Christ-oriented virtue. In Philippians, Paul exemplifies this type of virtuous friendship through the friendships of Christ and God, Paul and Timothy, and Paul and Epaphroditus. In Paul's view, the Christian polis can be saved only through the formation of this virtuous friendship. As such, Paul's letter to the Philippians is written as a piece of deliberative rhetoric to persuade the Philippians to save the community through virtuous friendship.

This thesis is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 shows that stasis is one of the most important themes in the Greco-Roman ethical-political discourse. Chapter 2 shows that Greco-Roman authors sought to dispel vice (especially the desires for honor and gain), faction, and stasis through virtue, friendship, and concord. In their understanding, virtue and friendship saves the polis from destruction. Chapter 3 argues that Paul's letter to the Philippians is a deliberative rhetoric on concord. Chapter 4 claims that Paul, like other Greco-Roman authors, intends to promote concord through virtue and friendship.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bauer, David R.
Commitee: Long, Fredrick J., Pasquarello, Michael, III
School: Asbury Theological Seminary
Department: Advanced Research
School Location: United States -- Kentucky
Source: DAI-A 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biblical studies, Ethics, Theology
Keywords: Friendship, Paul the Apostle, Saint, Philippians (Letter to the), Rhetorical criticism, Stasis and concord, Virtue ethics
Publication Number: 3535076
ISBN: 978-1-267-84767-6
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