Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society / Edition 1

Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society / Edition 1

by Richard A. Horsley
     
 

Over the centuries, Paul has been understood as the prototypical convert from Judaism to Christianity. At the time of Paul’s conversion, however, Christianity did not yet exist. Moreover, Paul says nothing to indicate that he was abandoning Judaism or Israel. He, in fact, understood his mission as the fulfillment of the promises to Israel and of

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Overview

Over the centuries, Paul has been understood as the prototypical convert from Judaism to Christianity. At the time of Paul’s conversion, however, Christianity did not yet exist. Moreover, Paul says nothing to indicate that he was abandoning Judaism or Israel. He, in fact, understood his mission as the fulfillment of the promises to Israel and of Israel’s own destiny. In brief, Paul’s gospel and mission were set over against the Roman Empire, not Judaism.

This anthology brings together incisive and groundbreaking essays on: 1) "The Gospel of Imperial Salvation," revealing how the imperial cult, by its dominance in urban public space, created a pervasive presence of imperial beneficence and salvation integrated into traditional Greek religion; (2) "Patronage and Power", disclosing the networks of patronage relations that held the empire together, so as to render occupying troops and imperial bureaucracy unnecessary in urbanized areas such as Corinth and Ephesus, key centers of Paul's mission, (3) "Paul's Articulation of an Alternative Gospel", discerning how Paul borrows much of the key language of the imperial religion in preaching his own gospel of a Lord who had been crucified by imperial rulers but vindicated by God as the true universal Lord, (4) "The Assemblies of an Alternative International Society," exploring ways in which the assemblies Paul founded in Asia Minor and Greece were to embody patterns alternative to the hierarchical human relations that dominated Roman imperial society.

Richard A. Horsley is Professor of Classics and Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is author of Galilee: History, Politics, People and Archaeology, History, and Society in Galilee: Social Context of Jesus and the Rabbis, both published by Trinity Press International.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781563382178
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
11/01/1997
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
General Introduction1
1Laus Imperii25
2Who Is the True Prophet?36
3Rituals and Power47
4The Power of Images72
5Patronal Power Relations96
6Patronage in Roman Corinth104
7The Veil of Power126
8God Turned Upside Down148
9Imperial Ideology and Paul's Eschatology in 1 Thessalonians158
10The Anti-Imperial Message of the Cross167
11Romans 13:1-7 in the Context of Imperial Propaganda184
12The Imperial Cults of Thessalonica and Political Conflict in 1 Thessalonians215
13The Praxis of Coequal Discipleship224
141 Corinthians: A Case Study of Paul's Assembly as an Alternative Society242
Index253

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