John and Philosophy

A New Reading of the Fourth Gospel

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Troels Engberg-Pedersen
  • Oxford, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , April
     432 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by J. Thomas Hewitt forthcoming.


John and Philosophy: A New Reading of the Fourth Gospel offers a Stoic reading of the Fourth Gospel, especially its cosmology, epistemology, and ethics. It works through the gospel in narrative sequence providing a "philosophical narrative reading." In each section of the gospel Troels Engberg-Pedersen raises discusses philosophical questions. He compares John with Paul (in philosophy) and Mark (in narrative) to offer a new reading of the transmitted text of the Fourth Gospel. Of these two profiles, the narrative one is strongly influenced by the literary critical paradigm. Moreover, by attending carefully to a number of narratological features, one may come to see that the transmitted text in fact hangs together much more coherently than scholarship has been willing to see. The other profile is specifically philosophical. Scholarship has been well aware that the Fourth Gospel has what one might call a philosophical dimension. Engberg-Pedersen shows that throughout the Gospel contemporary Stoicism, works better to illuminate the text. This pertains to the basic cosmology (and cosmogony) that is reflected in the text, to the epistemology that underlies a central theme in it regarding different types of belief in Jesus, to the ethics that is introduced fairly late in the text when Jesus describes how the disciples should live once he has himself gone away from them, and more.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Troels Engberg-Pedersen is Professor of New Testament exegesis at University of Copenhagen. His publications include Cosmology and Self in the Apostle Paul: The Material Spirit (Oxford University Press, 2010), Paul in his Hellenistic Context (T&T Clark, 2004), and Paul Beyond the Judaism/Hellenism Divide (Westminster John Knox Press, 2001). He is co-editor of Stoicism in Early Christianity (with Tuomas Rasimus and Ismo Dunderberg; Baker,2010) and The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy (with Juha Sihvola; Springer, 2009).

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