It is always exciting to highlight a much-anticipated book from a well regarded scholar. Christoph Heilig, someone whose work we have discussed in the past (here & here), has released a monograph that he has been working for a number of years now. Published through De Gruyter, the book is entitled, “Paulus als Erzähler?/ Paul as Narrator? A Narratological Perspective on the Epistles of Paul” part of the BZNW series.
On the De Gruyter website they provide the following overview:
In recent Pauline research, the critical importance of implicit narratives for understanding the apostle’s Epistles gained importance. The study examines this in a critical analysis using narrative theory and text linguistics. Heilig’s text analysis lines out a new narratological approach to Pauline exegesis.
The consequence of such a study really throws itself into the middle of the well trodden discussion surrounding the New Perspective on Paul. According to Christoph, his work provides a more theoretically cogent system. Excitingly, Christoph is bringing into discussion the work of Heinrich von Siebenthal, someone he has blogged about before (here). Von Siebenthal’s use of text linguistics has proven a much needed perspective in English speaking scholarship, and therefore will be of great use in further nuancing the relationship between narratology and text-linguistics and especially for topics such as pauline theology.
Christoph states in the forward the book is a comprehensive study, a tome at 17 chapters and a conclusion, totalling 1124 pages, aims to work through a great deal of material. Given the nature of Christoph’s previous scholarship this volume will likely not disappoint and will likely make a welcomed contribution to the guild’s understanding of the narratological structure of Paul’s thought and theology.
For many of you who are turned away by the fact that it is a De Gruyter book will be happy to know that Christoph has made this book open access! You can get access to the digital version here.
Equally, those who are wondering if there will be an English version, the answer is yes. There are current plans to have it published through Eerdmans. That being said, Christoph is currently crowd sourcing funds to accomplish this goal as COVID has continued to wreak havoc on academia some of us are forced to find alternatives to accomplish long standing projects. If you are interested in seeing the english version come to fruition, please consider helping out by joining Christoph on Patreon here.