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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Paul in Ecstasy: The Neurobiology of the Apostle's Life and Thought
Shantz, Colleen

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009 pp. viii + 267. $80.00


Description: While many readers of Paul's letters recognize how important his experience was to his life and thought, Biblical scholars have not generally addressed this topic head-on. Colleen Shantz argues that they have been held back both by a bias against religious ecstasy and by the limits of the Biblical texts: How do you responsibly access someone else's experience, particularly experience as unusual and debated as religious ecstasy? And how do you account responsibly for the role of experience in that person's thought? Paul in Ecstasy pursues these questions through a variety of disciplines - most notably neuroscience. This study provides cogent explanations for bewildering passages in Paul's letters, outlines a much greater influence of such experience in Paul's life and letters, and points to its importance in Christian origins.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Literature

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Review by Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte
Published 2/1/2011
Citation: Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, review of Colleen Shantz, Paul in Ecstasy: The Neurobiology of the Apostle's Life and Thought, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).


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