This unit will focus on particular texts in the Pauline letters and particular circumstances in the Pauline communities in order to clarify and reflect on the pastoral work of the Apostle Paul and especially the character and work of Paul as a shaper of communities and as a guide in moral formation. The unit will focus on the manner in which Paul relies on, but also transforms, ancient patterns of moral formation.

Unit code: BN2905A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Identify the cultural context of the churches of Thessalonica, Corinth, Philippi and Rome


Explain the contingent circumstances reflected in the churches of Thessalonica, Corinth, Philippi and Rome


Describe the theology that motivated Paul’s pastoral vision


Analyse the impact of Paul’s pastoral vision on the specific circumstances in the churches of Thessalonica, Corinth, Philippi and Rome


Pre-reading, twelve class sessions, with guided readings from the set texts and additional reading resources.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Malherbe, Abraham., Moral Exhortation: A Greco-Roman Sourcebook. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986. (recommended for purchase)
  • Malherbe, Abraham., Paul and the Thessalonians. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1987. (recommended for purchase)
  • Aune, David, The New Testament in its Literary Environment Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987.
  • Meeks, Wayne. The First Urban Christians. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.
  • Mitchell, Margaret. The Heavenly Trumpet: John Chrysostom and the art of Pauline Interpretation. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002
  • Mitchell, Margaret. Paul and the Rhetoric of Reconciliation. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1993.
  • Stambaugh, John E. and Balch, David L. The New Testament in its Social Environment. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1986.
  • Holloway, Paul A. Consolation in Philippians. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004
  • Sampley, J. Paul. Paul in the Greco-Roman World, a Handbook. Harrisburg: Trinity Press, 2003.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 2500 words

0 50.0

Essay 1000 words

0 25.0

Reading Reflection (equivalent of 1000 words)

0 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-02-28 13:50:08 +1100