St. Paul and the Resurrection Effect: Phenomenological and Pastoral Soundings

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Book Chapter

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St. Paul is an intriguing and fascinating character. He is intriguing because his consciousness of mission is deeply rooted “‘in’ the resurrection”. He is also fascinating because his identity has been transfigured (suddenly changed) and transformed (forever changed) “by the act of God in raising Jesus from the dead”. We may name this the ‘resurrection effect,’ of God colliding into our world, causing accidents; un-heard of, turbulent events of sensitivity and meaning, stirring and upturning and disrupting our worlds with sudden and enduring change. The resurrection effect reflects a ‘diachronic’ and anarchic (immemorial) truth, namely a call and command shocking and anointing us into responsibility through time and from the very beginning of time. Paul’s experience of the resurrection effect is archetypal, teaching us the language of faith, hope and love. “Never close enough,” yet always coming “closer and closer,” Paul, a prisoner in the Lord (Eph 4:1), yearns for the possibility to be touched by Christ (touch-ability); a movement of bodiliness met by the “embrace” of the face of the risen Christ and hope for Parousia.


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