Friendship and Paul's Letter to the Philippians

STH TN 838

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul gave common Greek and Roman ideas about friendship a distinctively Christian cast in order to address internal and external struggles believers there were experiencing. We will begin read ancients from Aristotle to Dio Chrysostom who talked about friendship to create a set of portraits of elite friendship. We will then read Philippians in light of this common portrait, addressing: the interrelationship of believers as "friends"; the importance of imitation, unity, suffering righteousness, and love, for Christian living; the question of the identity of the Philippians' opponents; and challenges of understanding themselves as a distinctive "commonwealth" within a Roman imperial colony. We will engage modern concerns arising from these emphases throughout the course, as we place them in conversation with the social, ethical, and theological struggles faced by first-century non-Jewish converts who were forming new identities as Christians and seeking to understand both their relationship to Judaism and their place within the Roman Empire. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)

Note that this information may change at any time. Please visit the Student Link for the most up-to-date course information.