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Metaphor, Morality, and the Spirit in Romans 8:1-17
by William E. W. Robinson
SBL Press, 2016
Cloth: 978-0-88414-187-7 | Paper: 978-1-62837-153-6 | eISBN: 978-0-88414-186-0
Library of Congress Classification BS2665.52.R625 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 227.1066


Engage compelling arguments that challenge prominent positions in Pauline studies

In this innovative book, William E. W. Robinson takes the reader on a journey through Romans 8:1–17 using Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Integration Theory. Robinson delineates the underlying cognitive metaphors, their structure, their function, what they mean, and how Paul’s audiences then and now are able to comprehend their meaning. He examines each metaphor in the light of relevant aspects of the Greco-Roman world and Paul’s Jewish background. Robinson contends that Paul portrays the Spirit as the principal agent in the religious-ethical life of believers. At the same time, his analysis demonstrates that the conceptual metaphors in Romans 8:1–17 convey the integral role of believers in ethical conduct. In the process, he addresses thorny theological issues such as whether Spirit and flesh signal an internal battle within believers or two conflicting ways of life. Finally, Robinson shows how this study is relevant to related Pauline passages and challenges scholars to incorporate these methods into their own investigation of biblical texts.


  • Sustained argument that sheds new light on how Paul communicates with his audiences

  • Substantial contribution to current debates about central theological concepts

  • Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Integration Theory applied to the metaphors in Romans 8:1-17

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