XAVIER PAUL B. VIAGULAMUTHU, OFFERING OUR BODIES AS A LIVING SACRIFICE TO GOD. A Study in Pauline Spirituality Based on Romans 12, 1
Romans 12,1 is a very powerful and vibrant exhortation in Paul's paraenesis. The first of the paraenesis in Romans, it also plays a pivotal role in the same letter. All the elements this verse contains are linked to its two major concepts: body and sacrifice. Proposing the concept of belonging as a key to Pauline spirituality, this present work studies "the" spirituality of Paul from the particular perspective of Rom 12,1. The study uses an exegetico-phenomenologico-theological method. Though all the key-words are exegetically studied, four chapters pay particular attention to παρακαλώ, σώμα, παρίσημι-θυσία,
and ζώσαν, άγίαν, εύάρεστον τήν λογικήν λατρείαν
ύμών. The method also takes into account patristic exegesis. This exegetical approach enables one to penetrate Paul's mind on the matter. In accordance with the phenomenological method, this work also studies how Paul offered his body as a sacrifice to God and how the Church understood and lived this Pauline exhortation. The theological method, moreover, permits us to theologically evaluate all the findings gained through the exegetical and phenomenological methods. The fruit is a rich understanding of what the body and its value are, what the sacrifice of the body is, and how and when the human body becomes a living, holy and pleasing sacrifice to God - all vital themes in an authentic spirituality.
XAVIER PAUL B. VIAGULAMUTHU, born in 1951, in Tamil Nadu, India, is a priest in the diocese of Tezpur, in the eastern foothills of Himalayas. Since Iris ordination in 1978, he has been serving Jesus in the missions, in direct evangelisation and in seminary formation. He did his philosophical and theological studies in India, respectively at Christ King College, Shillong, and at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, and his doctoral studies in Spiritual Theology at the Institute of Spirituality of Gregorian University, Rome.
(C) PUG 2004