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A Spiritual Economy$
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Thomas R. Blanton

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300220407

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300220407.001.0001

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Spiritual Gifts and Status Inversion

Spiritual Gifts and Status Inversion

(p.104) Seven Spiritual Gifts and Status Inversion
A Spiritual Economy

Thomas R. Blanton, IV

Yale University Press

This chapter enlists Carole Crumley’s notion of heterarchy as a means of critiquing and refining Wayne Meeks’s notion of status inconsistency as it pertains to Pauline assemblies. The chapter shows that status is to be viewed not only as a multidimensional phenomenon but also as the subject of intense contest, negotiation, and change over time. Paul deploys a discourse of “spiritual gifts”—specifically the idea that the power by which Jesus was raised from the dead was transforming his “inner human being” into a glorious immortal being—in order to propose an inversion of the criteria utilized for the evaluation of social rank, such that he, an impoverished itinerant craftsman, might be evaluated within early Christian assemblies as having a status higher than that of wealthier patronal figures and gifted orators.

Keywords:   status inconsistency, heterarchy, inversion, resurrection of Jesus, inner human being, spiritual transformation, Wayne Meeks, Carole Crumley

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