Cynics, Paul and the Pauline Churches
Routledge – 1998 – 384 pages
F. Gerald Downing explores the teachings of Paul, arguing that the development of Paul's preaching and of the Pauline Church owed a great deal to the views of the vagabond Cynic philosophers, critics of the gods and of the ethos of civic society.
F. Gerald Downing examines the New Testament writings of Paul, explaining how he would have been seen, heard, perceived and understood by his culturally and ethnically diverse converts and disciples. He engages in a lucid Pauline commentary and offers some startling and ground-breaking views of Paul and his Word.
Cynics, Paul and the Pauline Churches is a unique and controversial book, particularly in its endorsement of the simple and ascetic life proffered in Paul's teachings in comparison with the greedy, consumerist and self-promoting nature of today's society.
'Downing writes with an excitement which … is itself persuasive. He also writes with a historian's sensitivity to the fragility of all evidence from so remote a date.' - C.J.A. Hickling, Journal of Theological Studies
'This is a stimulating and thought-provoking book.' - Christopher Tuckett, Theology
F. Gerald Downing is Vicar of the parish of St. Simon and St. Jude, Great Lever, Bolton. He is the author of numerous books including Christ and the Cynics (JSOT/SAC 1998) and Cynics and Christian Origins (T & T Clark 1992).