The Politics of Peace: Ephesians, Dio Chrysostom, and the Confucian Tradition Open Access

Lau, Te-Li (2008)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/0c483k26f?locale=en
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Abstract

This dissertation examines the topos of peace in Ephesians by comparison with Colossians, Dio Chrysostom's orations, and the Confucian classics; and shows that Ephesians can be read as a politico-religious letter Concerning Peace within the church.

The study unfolds in six chapters. Beginning with a feasibility study grounded on key exegetical terms and motifs, the first chapter surveys prior research and lays out the task, assumptions, and guidelines of this project. Chapter two compares Ephesians with Colossians, demonstrating how their differences and similarities at both the macro and micro level affirm the prominence of the topic of peace in Ephesians. Building on the work of chapter two, chapter three investigates the political character of Ephesians and summarizes its vision of peace. Together, chapters two and three argue that Ephesians can be read profitably as a political discourse on peace.

Chapter four examines the vision of peace in Dio Chrysostom's orations, and chapter five the Confucian classics. Chapter six then puts the three visions of peace--the Ephesian, Dionic, and Confucian--in conversation with one another, analyzing their understanding of the nature of peace and the elements that undergird their vision. Through comparison with analogous political documents both within and without the cultural milieu of Ephesians, chapters four to six refine our portrait of the Ephesian vision of peace. Chapter six also concludes with a summary exploring the implications of this study.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction to the Task........................................................................................................................ 1 History of Investigation............................................................................................................................... 8 Commentary tradition.................................................................................................................. 10 Eberhard Faust........................................................................................................................ 12 Ann Holmes Redding....................................................................................... 16 The Task................................................................................................................... 19 Assumptions and Guidelines.................................................................................... 27 Ephesians is authentic.................................................................................... 27 Emphasis on the rhetorical character............................................................ 30 Comparison of Ephesians vis--vis Colossians................................................ 31 Comparison of the vision of peace in the orations of Dio Chrysostom and Ephesians .. 34 Comparison of the vision of peace in the Confucian classics and Ephesians 35 Summary and Looking Ahead................................................................................. 4 Chapter 2 Comparison of Ephesians with Colossians................................... 42 Narrative of Alienation and Reconciliation............................................................. 48 Paul's Apostolic Ministry of the Mystery................................................................ 57 The will of God ............................................................ 58 The gospel ............................................................................ 60 The mystery ........................................................................... 61 The "In Christ" Phrase............................................................................................. 64 Body of Christ.......................................................................................................... 72 Use of Scripture in Ephesians.................................................................................. 76 Ephesians 2:17................................................................................................. 77 Ephesians 4:8-10............................................................................................. 79 Ephesians 4:25-26a......................................................................................... 81 Trinitarian Formulas................................................................................................ 83 Love.......................................................................................................................... 89 Summary.................................................................................................................. 92 Chapter 3 The Political in Ephesians.................................................................. 95 Jew-Gentile Reconciliation: One New Humanity................................................... 101 Ethnic tension and enmity between Jews and Gentiles............................... 103 Pauline strategies to relieve ethnic tension................................................. 107 Call to Unity (4:1-16)............................................................................................ 119 Concord and discord in Eph 4:1-16............................................................... 122 Appeals to "ones": The unity of divine beings, and things in common..... 128 Appeals to the political unit as a body and to common advantage............ 131 Ethics and Politics.................................................................................................. 134 Communal ethos........................................................................................... 136 Education and imitation............................................................................... 140 Communal harmony and peace.................................................................... 146 Greed............................................................................................. 146 Justice ........................................................................................... 149 Walk in love ...................................... 151 The Household....................................................................................................... 154 Oikos motif in the Hellenistic-Roman world................................................ 154 Political character of the Ephesian household motif and household code.. 159 Function of the household codes in Ephesians............................................ 164 War and Politics..................................................................................................... 171 Warfare in Ephesians..................................................................................... 174 Martial imagery and politics................................................................ 176 War and peace...................................................................................... 179 Summary and Synthesis........................................................................................ 185 Chapter 4 The Vision of Peace in Dio Chrysostom........................................ 191 The Kingship Orations............................................................................................. 196 Portrayal of the ideal king............................................................................. 200 The education of a king................................................................................ 210 The Kingship Orations and concord............................................................... 215 The Concord Orations Delivered in Bithynia........................................................ 221 Concord between cities................................................................................. 221 Concord within a city.................................................................................... 229 The rationale for concord............................................................................. 234 Synthesis and Overview......................................................................................... 242 Political persona............................................................................................ 242 The nature of concord.................................................................................. 246 Elements in Dio's vision of peace.................................................................. 248 Chapter 5 The Vision of Peace in The Confucian Four Books...................... 253 The Daxue............................................................................................................... 258 The Daxue and the Role of Confucian Education.......................................... 259 Three Guiding Principles............................................................................... 264 Eight Particular Steps................................................................................... 270 Self-cultivation..................................................................................... 274 Governing others.................................................................................. 277 The Zhongyong........................................................................................................ 280 Elements of the Way of Heaven.................................................................... 282 Confluence of the Way of Man and the Way of Heaven.............................. 288 The role of the mind in cultivating the Way...................................... 291 The role of rites in cultivating the Way.............................................. 296 Synthesis and Overview......................................................................................... 306 Brief comparison of the Daxue and the Zhongyong....................................... 306 Confucian understanding of the nature of peace........................................ 308 Elements in the Confucian vision of peace.................................................. 312 Chapter 6 Comparing Visions of Peace............................................................. 320 Three Visions of Peace........................................................................................... 320 Nature of peace............................................................................................. 321 Nature of Dionic peace......................................................................... 321 Nature of Confucian peace................................................................... 323 Nature of Ephesian peace..................................................................... 327 Elements in the three visions of peace......................................................... 332 Appeals for peace and their frame of reference.................................. 333 Sequence for implementing the vision of peace................................. 339 Central operative principle.................................................................. 343 Balancing and reimagining hierarchy.................................................. 347 Implications of this Study..................................................................................... 349 Appendix........................................................................................................................ 361 Bibliography............................................................................................................... 367

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