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Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time Paperback – August 2, 2011
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Paul Among the People
“Ruden offers a wholly fresh reinterpretation of Paul’s most controversial writings.” –Washington Post
“Ruden is winningly intimate as well as impressively scholarly in this superb book.” –Booklist
“The most exciting book of historical analysis I’ve read in ages – indeed the most exciting book period … What makes reading Ruden such a pleasure, aside from the quality of her thinking and her prose, is her willingness to question settled truths, and to do it with such a lightness of spirit.” –Rod Dreher, Beliefnet
“Wonderfully unexpected.” –Christianity Today
“The best translation yet, certainly the best of our time.” –Ursula K. Le Guin
“The first translation since Dryden’s that can be read as a great English poem in itself.” –Garry Wills, The New York Review of Books
“An Aeneid more intimate in tone and soberer in measure than we are used to—a gift for which many will be grateful.” –J. M. Coetzee
“An intimate rendering of great emotional force and purity . . . The immediacy, beauty, and timelessness of the original Latin masterpiece lifts off these pages with gemlike originality.” –Choice
“A perfect Lysistrata for the new millennium: rich apparatus and a sparkling, metrical, accurate translation of this inexhaustible treasure of a play.” –Rachel Hadas, Rutgers University
“Ruden has caught, better than any translator known to me, both the conversational patterns of Petronian dialogue and the camera-sharp specificity and color of the Satyricon’s descriptive pages . . . A quite extraordinary achievement.” –Peter Green, Los Angeles Book Review
“Relying on her excellent knowledge of Latin, her lively feel for contemporary slang and rhythm, and her infectious love of the work, Ruden gives us the full Satyricon . . . Her book, breathing knowledge and affection, is a delight.” –Donald Lyons, The New Criterion
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Top Customer Reviews
Regarding Paul's often-quoted words about homosexuals, Ruden unveils for us a world where slave boys were regularly used (and mostly abused) for sex, where families with money sent a slave along with their sons to school in the hope the sons would not be accosted by a man trying to procure them as sex toys. Ruden, deeply familiar with Greek and Roman literature, makes it clear that the world of Paul's day was not some delightful 1960s sexual paradise love-in, but a world full of disgusting exploitation, in which both women and boys were objectified, regarded as low as animals. Where I find some fault in her fascinating chapter on Paul and homosexuality is that she rather coyly limits herself to pedophilia and tiptoes around the matter of adult males having sex (obviously that did go on in Paul's day). We can appreciate her detail--horrible as it is--about the abuse of boys by adult men, but the book could have been much more interesting had she included data on adult male practices.
Her chapter on Paul and his view of women is superb. Suffice it to say that modern women should be very happy to live in this world instead of Paul's, for the quotations from pagan literature make one wonder if women were truly loved or valued as human beings in that period.Read more ›
Dr. Ruden is both true to her scholarly field, and true to the text of scripture. In the process she skewers her admitted modern academy view of Paul ("I kept Paul in a pen out back") and the narrow traditional view of Paul as a prop for authority of all stripes. The author reads the modern controversial passages from Paul (homosexuality, role of women, marriage, authority) and places them firmly in the context they were written. Unlike the typical academic cherry picking of sources, Dr. Ruden's passion and committement to her field shine in every section. The conclusions should be deeply troubling to both academic and tradionalist alike. Paul's call is much deeper than the straw men both camps stand up. The call is to "deal with the everday world in an exemplary way" - faith that God is bigger than we can imagine and that His love is what makes our tragically incomplete selves fulfilled.
The author does not seek to answer or settle arguments that can't be, nor does she suggest modern technocratic and programatic ways forward. True to her subject she "sees there is only one way to win". If you are looking to have your views confirmed, don't read this book. If you want open yourself up to being cut to the heart, let Dr. Ruden lead you through some of her revelations of Paul's call.
Unfortunately, there's a more serious reason as to why Ruden's short, pithy book would have been a "non-starter" behind the ivied walls. She has an annoying habit of following the evidence wherever it leads, regardless of the expected destination marked out by the PC police. Her chapters on homosexuality and slavery are good examples of this tendency.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really liked the clear references to historical texts and the way they were used to help me meet Paul where he was when he was writing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ian W Daykin
What a great idea to analyze the apostle and his writings by comparing it to the literature of the times. Read morePublished 2 months ago by little lady
This is an amazing little book, full of fresh, scholarly and personal insights. I am not a scholar of the language or history, so I leave it to you to read other reviews from more... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cindy Rinaman Marsch
Bought this as a gift for a pastor as I don't want to let go of my copy. Ms. Ruden writes very clearly and explains her views well. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C. Oliver
Great. Finally a classicist other than C.S Lewis writing on Paul's ideas in the first century. Not what you think it is! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Skeep
Sarah Ruden’s Paul Among The People is a fascinating book. Ruden is an expert on ancient Greek and Roman literature, she is not a New Testament scholar. Read morePublished 11 months ago by David Lindsay
This is Paul as you've never seen him before. Sarah Ruden explains Paul in the spirit of his times rather than trying to judge him by modern standards. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Charles Lewis