Paul’s new creation: vision for a new world and community in the midst of empires
In this dissertation, I have raised a question about the Korean ethnic church’s failure of playing a pivotal role of leadership including proposing new visions for Korean immigrants in America, when it was urgently needed during and after the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Through my “inter(con)textual” readings of Pauline “new creation passages” such as Romans 8:18-25, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Galatians 6:15, I have attempted to provide possible answers to this question. By reading Paul’s texts, I have argued that scholars’ conceptualization of Paul’s new creation may ignore or diminish its tangible features, which are clearly shown in Paul’s establishment of an alternative assembly of believers, the ekklēsia, as an embodiment of God’s new creation in the midst of the imperial powers. The concrete features of the new creation also appear in Paul’s collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem through which Paul sought to create an alternative economic system against the exploitative and hierarchical structure of the Roman Empire.