James Through the Centuries
Wiley Blackwell Bible Commentaries 1. Aufl.
This unique reception history of the Epistle of James is a prominent addition to the Blackwell Bible Commentaries series. Written by an outstanding New Testament specialist, it chronicles the major theological, political, and aesthetic responses to the text over the centuries, and to James as a historical figure. Surveys the many theological, cultural, literary, political, and artistic uses of the Epistle of James, and the broader influence his letters have had throughout the ages Includes extensive excerpts offering vital historiographical context Examines James’s impact on popular culture, including examples such as Charles Schulz’s Peanuts Unearths a range of neglected writings and opens access to material not readily available elsewhere
List of Plates ix Series Editors’ Preface xii Preface xiv Acknowledgements xviii Introduction 1 James 1:1–11: Trials, Endurance, Wisdom, and the Exalted Poor 63 James 1:12–27: Trials, Endurance, and Doers of the Word 99 James 2:1–13: Deeds of Faith, the Chosen Poor, and the Law of Liberty 143 James 2:14–26: Faith without Works Is Dead 173 James 3:1–12: The Power and Danger of Speech 204 James 3:13–4:12: The Fruits of Wisdom versus Friendship with the World 219 James 4:13–5:6: The Sovereignty of God and God’s Judgment upon the Rich 252 James 5:7–11: The Patience of the Faithful and the Compassion of the Lord 278 James 5:12–20: Speech and Actions in the Community of the Faithful 288 Biographies 317 References 323 Index of Names 331 Index of Subjects 335
"...This commentary offers a fascinating read of the multifarious ways in which James has been interpreted and appropriated through the centuries." - Review & Expositor
David B. Gowler is The Dr Lovick Pierce and Bishop George F. Pierce Chair of Religion at Oxford College, Emory University, USA. He has published dozens of books, articles, book chapters, and book reviews, and since 1991 has served as co-editor of Emory Studies in Early Christianity.
This unique commentary on James by an outstanding New Testament specialist, provides a broad range of original perspectives of how people have interpreted, and been influenced by, this important epistle. The author explores a vast array of interpretations extending far beyond theological commentary, sermons, and hymns , which also embraces the epistle’s influences on literature, art, politics, and social theory. The work includes examples of how successive generations have portrayed the historical figure of James the Just, in both pictorial and textual form. Contextualizing his analysis with excerpts from key documents, including visual and artistic representations of James, the author reviews the dynamic interactions between the James and Jesus traditions and compares James’s epistle with those of Paul. The volume highlights James’s particular concern for the poor and marginalized, charting the many responses to this aspect of his legacy. Drawing on sources as varied as William Shakespeare, John Calvin, Charles Schultz’s Peanuts, and political cartoons, this is an exhaustive study of the theological and cultural debates sparked by the Epistle of James.
“Gowler’s commentary locates James not only at various intersections in the history of learned commentary, from Chrysostom to Kirkegaard, but even more richly in the history of icons, mediaeval woodcuts and other artistic representations, in monastic rules, hymnody, literature, political polemics, and much more. This is a breathtaking survey of the ways, both overt and subtle, that James has become embedded in multiple aspects of Western culture.” —John S Kloppenborg, University of Toronto “In an engaging manner, David Gowler tells the story of the reception of the letter of James through the centuries. Along the way we meet an eclectic group of interpreters, some well-known and others not. The result is that we learn not only about how James was read in scholarly circles, but also among the more marginal, outside of the academy. Such a story is indeed a tribute to the letter of James.” —Alicia Batten, Conrad Grebel University College at University of Waterloo
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