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Paul's Argumentation in Galatians: A Pragma-Dialectical Analysis
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Paul's Argumentation in Galatians: A Pragma-Dialectical Analysis


T&T Clark 2007

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


This volume approaches Galatians as a polemical letter which contains a substantial amount of argumentative passages. Paul evidently wanted to persuade by using the best arguments possible to convince his addressees. Using a state-of-the-art method from the discipline of argumentation analysis, Hietanen attempts to analyze Paul’s argumentation with a precision that standard exegetical methods cannot provide. The pragma-dialectical method developed in Amsterdam facilitates an analysis which is both descriptive and normative. On the one hand, Paul’s argumentation can be described, such as the relationship between premises and conclusions, the structure of the arguments, and features relating to rhetorical strategy. On the other hand, the method makes it possible to evaluate Paul’s argumentation against a set of rules for sound reasoning. Fallacies and problematic arguments can be described accurately. The spiritual nature of Paul’s theology does not relieve him of rationality, and Paul himself does not argue as if it did.

Paul’s argumentation is seen as problematic in several respects. There is a tension in the text: Paul works a great deal to argue his claims while at the same time giving the impression that he merely wants to declare his standpoints and does not want to carry out an argumentation at all. Many of the conclusions are presented as self-evident, even when they are not. Paul’s style is far from an ideal model of the resolution of a dispute. Paul relies heavily on an argumentative strategy with maximal use of rhetorical devices. The analysis shows that a pragma-dialectical method provides tools necessary to adequately describe and understand both individual arguments and the overarching strategy of the argumentation in this Pauline text.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Save more and get a bigger library of Pauline monographs when you order the T&T Clark Pauline Studies Collection (28 vols).

Key Features

  • Analyzes Paul’s rhetorical strategy using modern methods
  • Showcases the overall strategy of Paul as well as an argument-by-argument breakdown of his claims
  • Reveals weaknesses and strengths in Paul’s methodology and their implications for his theology

Product Details

About Mike Hietanen

Mika Hietanen is an assistant professor in rhetoric at Uppsala University.

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