ERIC Number: ED342034
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-1
Paul of Tarsus: The Ancient Model of "Parrhesia" or Freedom of Speech.
The word "parrhesia" is of Greek origin and indicates the right to say anything a person chooses. The Apostle Paul was himself an operational definition of parrhesia, and a term that symbolizes such a controlling force on such a significant figure is worthy of examination and academic study. For Paul, his work as an evangelist and pastor was a calling. He was bent on preaching fully, openly, with courage, no matter what were the odds against him. Paul suffered abuse at the hands of Jews and Gentiles alike. The parrhesia granted to Greek citizens 5 centuries earlier was not firmly established in Paul's time. He possessed Roman citizenship through his father, and that citizenship gained him some civil rights. Living in perpetual danger, Paul was keenly aware that he needed courage to preach the gospel. It is in the courage dimension of parrhesia that a rigorous ethic is visible. Putting one's life on the line goes against all self-protective instincts, as well as against good sense. Parrhesia as boldness interacted with Paul's quality of openness. Paul's candid speaking was the hallmark of his interpersonal relationships. Finally, the audacious Christian message heralded by Paul extracted the last resource he had to offer, his own life, which had functioned as the embodiment of parrhesia. (Thirty-seven endnotes are included; 20 references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).