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«The Law of the Spirit»

Experience of the Spirit and Displacement of the Law in Romans 8:1-16


John A. Bertone

Paul’s explication of the relationship between the Spirit and Law in Romans 8 has been the subject of protracted scholarly debate. In Romans 7:6 Spirit and Law are set in opposition to each other. However, in Romans 8:4 they appear conjoined, operating in a more harmonious manner. With the use of cognitive dissonance theory, this book proposes that Paul perceived a state of dissonance between covenantal nomism and his post-Damascus cognitions on the Spirit. As a result, he attempts to reduce the qualitative distinction between these two clusters of cognitions by establishing cognitive overlap between them and by striving to achieve social validation for his cognitions within his own fictive family of Roman believers with whom he shared the experience of the Spirit.