Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

American Academy of Religion

In Misl AppaveIIed BeIigious TIenes in FIulavcI's MovaIia and Lives I FvedevicI E. BvenI
Beviev I B. E. Aune
JouvnaI oJ lIe Anevican Acaden oJ BeIigion, VoI. 46, No. 4 |Bec., 1978), pp. 582-583
FuIIisIed I Oxford University Press
SlaIIe UBL http://www.jstor.org/stable/1463060 .
Accessed 16/08/2013 1736
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .
http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp
.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of
content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms
of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.
.
Oxford University Press and American Academy of Religion are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve
and extend access to Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
http://www.jstor.org
This content downloaded from 97.119.252.35 on Fri, 16 Aug 2013 17:36:00 PM
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
582 Journal of the American
Academy
of
Religion
RELIGIONS OF WESTERN
ANTIQUITY
Introductory Thanksgivings
in the Letters
of
Paul.
(Supplements
to Novum
Testamentum, XLIX). By
Peter Thomas O'Brien. Leiden: E. J.
Brill,
1977.
xii+309
pages, bibliography,
indices. 76
guilders.
ISBN 90-04-05265-8.
Scholars have
traditionally
viewed the
"thanksgiving" passages
in the letters of
Paul as
peripheral
rather than central to the
message
of those
epistles.
While recent
studies do not ascribe
pivotal importance
to these
passages, they
do
suggest
that
traditional
exegesis
has overlooked
significant
material related to the
thanksgivings.
Peter Thomas O'Brien's
Introductory Thanksgivings
in the Letters
of
Paul is an
exegetical
examination of both the
introductory thanksgiving
and the
prayers
found
within them.
O'Brien states at the outset that Paul's
thanksgivings
and
intercessory prayers
are
evidence of his
"deep
and
apostolic
concern" for the
recipients
of the letters. He also
claims that the
thanksgivings
serve
didactic, paraenetic,
and
epistolary purposes.
The
main sections of the book are devoted to an
exegetical
examination of the relevant
passages.
The first focuses on those
passages
in which
thanksgiving
and
petitionary
prayers
are
co-joined (Phil 1:3-11, Phlm 4-6,
Col
1:3-14).
The second considers
passages
with
thanksgiving passages
alone
(I
Cor
1:4-9),
while a third centers on mixed
categories
of
introductory thanksgivings (I
Thess
1:2ff;
II
Thess
1:3ff, 2:13f;
Rom
1:8ff).
A final
chapter explores
the
introductory
BERAKAH of
II
Cor 1:3ff.
The
purpose
of this
study, prepared originally
as a dissertation for F. F. Bruce at
Manchester,
is to determine the
"place, importance,
and function of the
thanksgiving
passages"
within the Pauline letters and to assess the
significance
of the
prayers
found
within those
passages.
As
such,
it builds
upon
the 1939 work of Paul Schubert.
However,
O'Brien
goes beyond
Schubert in
arguing
that the
thanksgivings
are not
merely literary devices,
but rather
integral parts
of their
respective
letters.
In
exposing
the various sources
(Old Testament, early
Christian
worship,
and
apostolic preaching)
which lie behind the
thanksgivings
and
prayers
O'Brien
enriches
the
study
of those
passages.
Some
may argue
that he carries his conclusions too
far,
but
few will
question
his claim that the
relationship
between these
passages
and the rest of
the
epistles
in which
they
are found merits further
study.
M. Thomas
Norwood,
Jr.
Greenville,
Mississippi
In Mist
Apparelled: Religious Themes
in Plutarch's Moralia and Lives
(Mnemosyne
Supplements, 48). By
Frederick E. Brenk. Leiden: E. J.
Brill,
1977. xiv+306
pages.
64
guilders.
ISBN 90-04-05241-0.
The
corpus
of Plutarch's extant
writings
remains one of the most
important
sources for our
knowledge
of Graeco-Roman
religion
and culture in late
antiquity.
In
this
monograph,
Professor Brenk of
Marquette University
has
provided
what must be
regarded
as the most
comprehensive
recent discussion of a number of
centrally
important religious
and
philosophical
themes in Plutarch. These themes include
Plutarch's
early vegetarian
and
mystical
tendencies
(derived
from
Orphism
and
This content downloaded from 97.119.252.35 on Fri, 16 Aug 2013 17:36:00 PM
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
Book Notices 583
Pythagoreanism),
his view of the nature and role of diamones
(not inherently evil,
but
the souls of human
beings),
his view of the functional
equivalence
of the
concepts
of
daimon and
tyche (particularly
in relation to his
biographical technique),
the nature
and function of omens and
portents,
Plutarch's
religious
and
literary
use of oracular
dreams and the
Delphic
oracle,
and his obsession with th'e theme of divine retribution.
The author's basic concern is the
problem
of Plutarch's intellectual
development
and
the
relationship
of this
development
to the various
philosophical
and
religious
themes
mentioned above. While the dominant view is that Plutarch
began
as an Academic
sceptic
who
gradually
drifted toward more traditional
religious
beliefs and
customs,
Brenk
argues
that his
early scepticism
and rationalism has been
exaggerated.
In
fact,
Brenk's reconstruction affirms little more than an
early Orphic-Pythagorean stage
combined with a
recognizably youthful
rhetoric. The author is fascinated with
Plutarch's combination of
rational,
philosophical principles
with folk beliefs which he
finds difficult to disassociate with
superstition.
The discussions in the book are
fresh,
lively, original
and
well-informed;
scores of footnotes on
tangential
issues in Plutarch
scholarship
are
consistently interesting
and informative. While
many
of Professor
Brenk's conclusions will stimulate debate
among Plutarchists, they
are
consistently
well
argued
and
presented.
D. E. Aune
Saint Xavier
College
This content downloaded from 97.119.252.35 on Fri, 16 Aug 2013 17:36:00 PM
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions