The interrelationship between leadership and identity formation in the Corinthian correspondence : a study of 1 Corinthians 1-4

Sindo, Vuyani Stanley (2018-11)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The leadership aspect in the discourse of 1 Corinthians 1-4 has received significant attention in recent years, by scholars such as Carson (1993), Savage (1996), Hooker (1996), and Clarke (2000, 2006). These scholars have demonstrated that leadership-related issues are pertinent to Paul’s argument in these four chapters of 1 Corinthians. Using socio-historical approaches, many scholars highlight the fact that Paul’s presentation of leadership in these chapters contrasts sharply with the prevailing views regarding leadership in the Greco-Roman world. There is another group of scholars, however, such as Barentsen (2011), Tucker (2010) and Holmberg (1978), who incorporate social-scientific approaches in their analyses, which includes social identity theory. These scholars tend to focus on the power dynamic and identity-related issues in their treatment of leadership issues in 1 Corinthians 1-4. This dissertation will follow along a similar line of thought to these scholars. The present task is to argue that identity discourse is an integral part of the leadership discourse in 1 Corinthians 1- 4, with the aim to closely investigate the interrelationship between leadership and identity. This interrelationship becomes apparent when Paul’s use of the ἐν Χριστῷ and κλῆσις terminologies is considered. Scholarship has observed the prevalence of ἐν Χριστῷ and its associated terminologies (such as ἐν κυρίῳ, ἐν αὐτῳ, δἱα Χριστοῦ, σὐν Χριστῷ, σὐν αὐτῷ) in Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 1-4, concluding that this terminology is not accidental for Paul. Thus, for this dissertation, ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ terminology is the key terminology on which the interrelationship between leadership and identity in 1 Corinthians is established. It will be argued that Paul uses this terminology to frame his discourse in 1 Corinthians 1-4. This terminology helped Paul in two key aspects: Firstly, to get the attention and the hearing of a group of people, some of whom had rejected him as their apostle, due to their preference for one leader at the expense of the other (1 Cor. 1:10-12; 3:4-5). Paul uses the ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ terminology at the beginning of the letter to signal to the group that the subject matter about which he was writing was at the core related to in-group identity. This dissertation will argue that Paul used the ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ terminology to help him in the consensualization process. Secondly, this terminology allowed Paul to present himself as a group prototype. Again, since some members of the community had rejected him due to the Greco-Roman cultural influences on their perception of a leader, Paul counters those cultural influences by using the ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ terminology to remind the in-group members of their salient identity “in Christ”. Thus, Paul, in his use of ἐν Χριστῷ, was in fact “killing two birds with one stone”. Paul also used the ἐν Χριστῷ and κλῆσις terminologies for his group entrepreneur strategy, by reminding the group about how their identity “in Christ” is diametrically opposed to the world’s wisdom and power, the same categories that they were using to judge him. Paul, therefore, used these terminologies to shape (entrepreneur) the group identity, as he was able to demonstrate to the group what behaviour is aligned with the in-group identity.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die afgelope jare het die bespreking van die leierskapsaspek in 1 Korintiërs 1-4 aansienlike aandag gekry, onder meer by geleerdes soos Carson (1993), Savage (1996), Hooker (1996) en Clarke (2000, 2006). Hierdie geleerdes het aangetoon dat leierskapverwante kwessies relevant is vir Paulus se argument in hierdie vier hoofstukke van 1 Korintiërs. Deur sosiohistoriese benaderings te gebruik, beklemtoon baie geleerdes die feit dat Paulus se voorstelling van leierskap in hierdie hoofstukke in skerp kontras staan met die heersende sienings rakende leierskap in die Grieks-Romeinse wêreld. Daar is egter 'n ander groep geleerdes, soos Barentsen (2011), Tucker (2010) en Holmberg (1978), wat met sosiale-wetenskaplike benaderings ook sosiale identiteitsteorie in hul ontledings insluit. Hierdie geleerdes is geneig om te fokus op die krag-dinamiese en identiteitsverwante kwessies in hul hantering van leierskwessies in 1 Korintiërs 1-4. Hierdie proefskrif volg 'n denkwyse soortgelyk aan hierdie geleerdes se benadering. Die taak voorhande is om te argumenteer dat identiteitsdiskoers 'n integrale deel van die leierskapsdiskoers in 1 Korintiërs 1-4 is, met die doel om die onderlinge verband tussen leierskap en identiteit deegliker te ondersoek. Hierdie verwantskap word duidelik wanneer Paulus se gebruik van die ἐν Χριστῷ en κλῆσις terminologieë bestudeer word. Geleerdes het die voorkoms van ἐν Χριστῷ en verwante terminologieë (soos ἐν κυρίῳ, ἐν αὐτῳ, δἱα Χν αὐτῳ, δἱα Χριστοῦ, σὐν Χριστῷ, σὐν αὐτῷ) waargeneem in Paulus se argument in 1 Korintiërs 1-4, en tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat hierdie terminologie nie toevallig gebruik word nie. Dus, vir hierdie proefskrif, is die terminologie die sleutelterme waarop die interverwantskap tussen leierskap en identiteit in 1 Korintiërs gevestig word. Daar sal geargumenteer word dat Paulus hierdie terminologie gebruik om sy diskoers in 1 Korintiërs 1-4 te omraam. Hierdie terminologie het Paulus in twee sleutelaspekte gehelp: Eerstens, om die aandag te kry van 'n groep mense, waarvan sommige hom as apostel verwerp het, as gevolg van hul voorkeur vir een leier ten koste van die ander (1 Kor. 1: 10-12; 3: 4-5). Paulus gebruik die terminologie aan die begin van die brief om aan die groep te toon dat die kern van die onderwerp waaroor hy skryf, verband hou met in-groep-identiteit. Hierdie proefskrif sal argumenteer dat Paulus die ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ terminologie gebruik het in die konsensualiseringsproses. Tweedens, hierdie terminologie het Paulus toegelaat om homself as 'n groep prototipe voor te hou. Weereens, aangesien sommige lede van die gemeenskap hom weens die GrieksRomeinse kulturele invloede op hul persepsie van 'n leier verwerp het, weerspreek Paulus daardie kulturele invloede deur die terminologie te gebruik om die in-groeplede aan die belangrikheid van hul identiteit " in Christus " te herinner. So, Paulus, het in sy gebruik van ἐν Χριστῷ, inderdaad "twee vlieë met een klap" getref. Paulus het ook die terminologieë van ἐν Χριστῷ en κλῆσις gebruik vir sy groep-entrepreneurstrategie deur die groep te herinner aan hoe hul identiteit "in Christus" diametraal gekant is teen die wêreld se wysheid en krag, dieselfde kategorieë wat hulle gebruik om hom te veroordeel. Paulus het dus hierdie terminologieë gebruik om die groepsidentiteit (entrepreneur) te vorm, aangesien hy vir die groep kon demonstreer watter gedrag in ooreenstemming met die in-groep-identiteit is.

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