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Courtroom Dramas: A Pauline
Alternative for Conflict Management

C. K. Robertson

The tendency among many in the Episcopal Church today to use litigation or the threat of litigation as a weapon in ongoing conflicts between members is not a new one. Careful examination of 1 Corinthians 6:1-11, an oft-neglected passage, reveals the destructive nature of lawsuits in a first-century Pauline community, as well as a creative alternative for dispute resolution. Combining biblical exegesis with sociological tools such as “the spiral of unmanaged conflict,” this article explores the apostle’s use of familial imagery in reshaping the corporate self-understanding of church members, and the relevance of that approach for Episcopal Christians today.

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