John Shütz on Power and Authority

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Schütz, John Howard. 2007 [1975]. Paul and the Anatomy of Apostolic Authority (New Testament Library). Louisville: Westminster John Knox. Pp. xxvi+307 (paper). ISBN 0664228127.

I heard about this in Wayne A. Meeks (1983), The First Urban Christians: The Social Life of the Apostle Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press), where Meeks notes:

John Shütz, in his important monograph on Paul’s authority, shows that authority is “the interpretation of power.” The person in authority focuses and directs the power of those who recognize this authority, not under force, but by their acknowledgement that his directives are “right”. Authority is thus “a quality of communication,” which entails the belief that the “rightness” of the communication could be demonstrated if need be. [pp. 122]

Review of Shütz’s Paul is available from the Review of Biblical Literature. It’s interesting to think that Shütz’s book has not been taken up. I’m wondering if it supplies any decent ideas to how power works. (Thinking that it will.) It’s available at the Christopher Center Library, so I’ll probably find out.

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