Original Research

Paulus se versie van "draai die ander wang" - gedagtes oor geweld en toleransie

Andries van Aarde
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 64, No 4 | a97 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v64i4.97 | © 2008 Andries van Aarde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 January 2008 | Published: 16 January 2008

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Andries van Aarde, Universiteit van Pretoria

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Abstract

Paul’s version of “turning the other cheek” – rethinking violence and tolerance

The aim of this article is to argue that Paul’s denunciation of vengeance should be seen as the outcome of a personal transformation from an apocalyptic destructive thinking with regard to those who irate him to a state of mind of tolerance and eventually to the “internalization of eschatological hope”. Instead of rebuking Paul prayed for those who heap burning coals upon his head. This disposition is seen as another version of the Jesus- tradition regarding the turning of the left cheek when an evildoer strikes one on the right one. The article explains Paul’s version and his change in attitude with regard to violence in terms of René Girard’s scapegoat theory and Paul’s rhetoric of mimesis which he consistently conveyed from his first letter to the Thessalonians through his last letter, written to the Romans. For Paul, Jesus Christ forms the model. It is Paul’s gospel about the participation of Jesus’ exemplary conduct, vis à vis iolence that was executed against him, which constitutes the transformative framework of overcoming evil with good.

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