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Spirituality of Perfection : Faith in Action in the Letter of James - Patrick J. Hartin

Spirituality of Perfection

Faith in Action in the Letter of James

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Published: 1st July 1999
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Throughout this century the Letter of James has been viewed consistently as a disjointed set of instructions. Father Hartin deviates radically from this approach. He shows that the "call for perfection" provides a unifying meaning for the letter. Examining the concept of perfection against the background of the Greco-Roman world, the Old Testament, and the Septuagint, the author shows that perfection provides a key to define the spirituality of the Letter of James. It offers an understanding of God and of the way one is called "to be in the world." Hartin adopts a fresh approach toward understanding the categories of wisdom, eschatology, and apocalyptic as they illuminate the letter's advice.

Hartin is the leading authority on the Epistle of James, and it is important that he gives us in this new work insight into his understanding of this often neglected New Testament text.James M. Robinson, Director, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University

Prefacep. vii
A Call to Perfectionp. 1
Approaches to the Letter of Jamesp. 1
Aim of This Studyp. 8
A Spirituality of Perfection?p. 11
An Overview of the Concept of Perfection in the Ancient World as a Background to the Letter of Jamesp. 17
The Concept of Perfection in the Classical Greek Worldp. 17
The Distinctive Idea of Perfection in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Septuagintp. 22
The Concept of Perfection in the Wider World of Second Temple Judaismp. 26
An Overview of the Concept of Perfection in the New Testamentp. 32
Conclusionp. 38
The Nature and Purpose of the Letter of Jamesp. 41
The Importance of Genrep. 41
Practical Wisdom Advicep. 42
The Paraenetic or Protreptic Nature of This Wisdom Advicep. 45
Instructions for a New Social Orderp. 49
The Function of the Eschatological in the Letterp. 51
Conclusionp. 55
Faith Perfected through Works: A Context for the Moral Instructions in the Letter of Jamesp. 57
Importance of Perfection in the Letter of Jamesp. 57
In the Tradition of the Biblical Understanding of Perfectionp. 58
Call to Perfection through Enduring Trialsp. 60
Wisdom as the Horizon for Attaining Perfectionp. 65
Perfection and the Lawp. 78
Faith Perfected through Works (2:22)p. 85
Conclusionp. 89
A Spirituality of Authentic Perfectionp. 93
What Constitutes Spirituality?p. 93
Faithp. 95
Faith in Actionp. 101
Conclusion: A Spirituality of Authentic Perfectionp. 124
Perfection in the Letter of James and the Sermon on the Mountp. 129
The Call to Perfection in the Letter of James and the Sermon on the Mountp. 129
Perfection as the Hallmark of the Christian Lifep. 138
The Call to Be Perfect and to Imitate Godp. 140
Implications for Understanding the Emerging Traditions of Early Christianityp. 144
On Reading James Todayp. 149
Introductionp. 149
The Practice of Authentic Christian Existencep. 151
Challenge Addressed to Christian Communities Todayp. 161
Bibliographyp. 171
Index of Scripture Referencesp. 184
Index of Subjectsp. 188
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814658956
ISBN-10: 0814658954
Series: Michael Glazier Books
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 200
Published: 1st July 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.73 x 15.29  x 1.35
Weight (kg): 0.32