What Is/Is Not Psychobiography? The Apostle Paul needs one

The marvelous William Todd Schultz, a psychobiographer, professor, and most importantly, a blogger, writes:

Psychobiography is the analysis of historically significant lives through the use of psychological theory and research. Its aim is to understand persons, and to uncover the private motives behind public acts, whether those acts involve the making of art or the creation of scientific theories, or the adoption of political decisions.

via What Is Psychobiography? « William Todd Schultz.

But you need to read his post on the matter to find out what is not.

I am really, really interested in writing a psychobiography about the Apostle Paul. It would take place in three parts.

  • The first part would be Paul’s own words. Let’s call this auto-psychobiography.
  • The second part would be reception. This would utilize the Deutero-Pauline New Testament literature.
  • The third and final part would be the reception. This would include Acts and 2 Peter and how Tradition remembered Paul’s defining moments.

But, alas… I am not sure I could easily do it by myself. So, I would need someone to which I would serve as co-author.

But, this is a project far, far in the distance… I suspect.


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One Reply to “What Is/Is Not Psychobiography? The Apostle Paul needs one”

  1. There was a move during the hay-day of Form Criticism to claim that psycho analysis of Jesus was not possible… Famously R.G. Collingwood said otherwise. I think I used the quote in my Historical Jesus (Eerdmans, 2010) somewhere. I think that every historical figure is open to psycho-analysis… but it will always be one of the more precarious endeavors that the historian undertakes.

    my two cents,


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