Dear Jerome,

I misspelled the author; it's Garry Wills (two r's). But I thought this
might interest you.

Book Description
Release Date: November 2, 2006 | ISBN-10: 0670037931 | ISBN-13:

A brilliant synthesis of the Apostle Paul’s thought and influence,
written by a "foremost Catholic intellectual" (Chicago Tribune) 

All through history, Christians have debated Paul’s influence on the
church. Though revered, Paul has also been a stone on which many
stumble. Apocryphal writings by Peter and James charge Paul, in the
second century, with being a tool of Satan. In later centuries Paul
became a target of ridicule for writers such as Thomas Jefferson ("the
first corruptor "), George Bernard Shaw ("a monstrous imposition"), and
Nietzsche ("the Dysangelist"). However, as Garry Wills argues eloquently
in this masterly analysis, what Paul meant was not something contrary to
what Jesus meant. Rather, the best way to know Jesus is to discover
Paul. Unlike the Gospel writers, who carefully shaped their narratives
many decades after Jesus’ life, Paul wrote in the heat of the moment,
managing controversy, and sometimes contradicting himself, but at the
same time offering the best reflection of those early times. What Paul
Meant is a stellar interpretation of Paul’s writing, examining his
tremendous influence on the first explosion of Christian belief and
chronicling the controversy surrounding Paul through the centuries.
Wills’s many readers and those interested in the Christian tradition
will warmly welcome this penetrating discussion of perhaps the most
fascinating church father.

>>> Jerome Walsh 11/08/12 2:05 PM >>>


I have not read Wills on Paul, but from the middle-of-the-road critical
position, it is generally held that only about half of the letters
attributed to Paul in the NT are by him. To wit: Romans, 1 Corinthians,
2 Corinthians (generally thought to be a hodge-podge of fragments from
several documents), Philippians, Galatians, Philemon, and 1
Thessalonians. 2 Thessalonians is thought authentic by about half of the
scholars I'm familiar with; Colossians by fewer, Ephesians by still
fewer, and the Pastorals (1-2 Timothy, Titus) by very few indeed.

That is not to say, however, that everything in the "authentic" epistles
is unarguably Paul. Even there, glosses and other sorts of
interpolations are not impossible. The notorious 1 Cor 14:33b-36, for
instance, is often thought to be a later polemical insertion,
particularly in view of the smoothness with which 14:32-33a leads into
14:37, and because seems to contradict what Paul said earlier about the
proper demeanor to be manifested by a person, man or woman, who
prophesies in the congregation (11:4-5). 


From: Nancy Gish 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Thursday, November 8, 2012 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: E's Religion

Dear Tim and All,

I think this is fascinating--and not surprising if he preferred
Paul--but it seems to me one more in a long line of mixed and
contradictory messages. Eliot also said that the Incarnation "divided
the world" or something like that. In any case, the "Ariel Poems" are
largely about both doubt and recognition of Jesus. So I doubt there was
any consistent and single belief.

If Gary Wills is right that much attributed to Paul is really later
interpolation, we have another late irony.

>>> "Materer, Timothy J." 11/08/12 12:12 PM >>>
The TLS review is not available on line, but in looking I came across
Adam Kirsch's review of V. 3.

Below is an excerpt with some acute remarks about Eliot's religion. I
too had been struck by what he wrote to Aldington and also his review of
Murry's book on Jesus. Is Kirsch on the right track? For me, it rather
fits with one of Eliot's key ideas from Bradley, "degrees of truth."

But there is a remarkable admission, so quick you could easily misnot disagree with anything else,” Eliot writes. The editors supply what
Aldington had written: “Moreover, I don’t really like the gospels, and I
don’t much like Christ. I really think Paul was more interesting. He
appears to have been a man; I have suspected that . . . Christ is an
invention.” Just at the time Eliot is about to enter the Church, we find
him apparently saying that he does not believe Christ existed and in any
case that he doesn’t “like” Him.

Add to this what Eliot tells John Middleton Murry, an intellectual
sparring partner who was one of his few real confidants: “You assume
that truth changes – you accept as inevitable what appears to me to be
within our own power. I am, in a way, a much more thoroughgoing
pragmatist – but so thoroughgoing that I am sure there is nothing for it
but to assume that there are fixed meanings, and that truth is always
the same.” Eliot, a product of the Harvard of William James, suggests
that he is drawn to Christianity as a pragmatist – that is, because it
“works” for him, not because he is convinced of its truth as a

On Nov 7, 2012, at 10:47 PM, Chokh Raj wrote:

Oops, I'm so sorry for the typo, it's Gabriel Josipovici. -- CR

From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 11:27 PM
Subject: TLS-LIVE-EDITION ... 02/11/12

There's a review in the Nov 2 Times Literary Supplement of The Letters
of TS Eliot, Vol. 3 by Gabriel Josopovici. Here's a link to the Contents

Thought this might interest you.