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Workshop on Late Antiquity

Peter’s ‘Hypocrisy’ and Paul’s: Two ‘Hypocrites’ at the Foundation of Christianity?

Mon, September 12, 2011 | Student Union 3.116 (Texas Governor's Room)

5:00 PM

In an infamous passage in his Letter to the Galatians (2:11-14), Paul called out Peter as a ‘hypocrite.’ This passage, especially when read in light of Paul’s own appeal to himself as ‘all things to all people’ in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, was to cause deep trouble for later Christian interpreters, who sought to defend their movement against charges from outsiders that it had a cracked and unstable foundation in dual ‘hypocrites.’ This lecture will introduce this ‘pagan’ critique and the cultural force it had, and the various solutions to the inherited dilemma from their scriptures that were offered by early Christian authors (Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Jerome and Augustine). In light of this context, we shall turn to a sustained analysis of an untranslated homily by John Chrysostom, hom. in Gal 2:11 (In faciem ei restiti), which addresses not just the hypocrisy of Peter and Paul, but also the sticky problem of the hypocrisy of the Christian who reads this text approvingly as Paul’s "in your face" to Peter.

Sponsored by: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Department of Religious Studies and the Department of HIstory

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