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Paul’s Sexual and Marital Ethics in 1 Corinthians 7

An African-Cameroonian Perspective


Alice Yafeh

Paul’s Sexual and Marital Ethics in 1 Corinthians 7: An African-Cameroonian Perspective provides readers with an innovative interpretation of Paul’s pastoral and pedagogical approach and solutions to the multifaceted ethical problems presented to him by the Corinthian community, revealing a wide-ranging, complex, and flexible decision-making process. Alice Yafeh’s analysis also illuminates two different evaluations of the same ethical problem may be simultaneously relevant where operating assumptions diverge: first as a community in pursuance of the goal of undistracted devotion to the Lord, and, second, as individual members who must pursue that goal within the specific lifestyles in which they have been called.
The author argues that Paul’s pastoral and theological approach, which is deeply motivated by a desire to inspire faithful Christian living and witness, can serve as a new model for evaluating pre-conversion polygyny; a model that is oriented toward positive and substantive change in the lives of women and children. Consequently, the implication of Paul’s approach and judgments for contemporary Christian communities suggests the same believing community may adopt different ways of faithfully living out the practical implications of Christian view of marriage extended by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7.
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This book is a revised version of my dissertation. I would like to thank God from whom all blessings flow and because of whom I was able to keep working on this project even when the road was an uphill climb.

I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to my mentor and supervisor, Professor Blount, whose continuous warm encouragement, understanding, and thoughtful guidance during my Ph.D. studies and research helped me complete this investigation. Not only did Professor Blount introduce me to the field of cultural hermeneutics, but his enthusiasm, immense knowledge, and extensive scholarship in the field have had a remarkable influence on me. I owe him immense appreciation.

My deepest gratitude also goes to Professor Ross Wagner, a valuable member of my dissertation committee, whose wide knowledge and attention to details have been of great value for me. This investigation would not have been completed or taken its current shape without Professor Wagner’s constructive comments and excellent advice.

A very special word of thanks goes out to my mentor, Professor Margaret Farley, who agreed to serve on my dissertation committee even though she had numerous projects that demanded her undivided attention. It was under the mentorship of Professor Farley and Letty Russell of blessed memory that I developed my current interest in feminist biblical hermeneutics. I owe ← XIII | XIV → eternal gratitude to Letty and Margaret. Professor Farley’s very detailed comments on all aspects of the investigation helped...

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