Harvard Theological Review

Research Article

The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West*

Krister Stendahla1

a1 Harvard Divinity School

In the history of Western Christianity — and hence, to a large extent, in the history of Western culture — the Apostle Paul has been hailed as a hero of the introspective conscience. Here was the man who grappled with the problem “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want to do is what I do …” (Rom. 7:19). His insights as to a solution of this dilemma have recently been more or less identified, for example, with what Jung referred to as the Individuation Process; but this is only a contemporary twist to the traditional Western way of reading the Pauline letters as documents of human consciousness.


* This paper was delivered as the invited Address at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, September 3, 1961; it is a revised and footnoted edition of my article “Paulus och Samvetet,” published in Sweden in Svensk Exegetisk Arsbok 25 (1960), 62–77.