Paul and the Dialectics of Race
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 288
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
Sechrest describes Pauline Christianity as a nascent ancient racial group, drawing on a Jewish understanding of race in Second Temple Judaism. With analysis of nearly five thousand Jewish and non-Jewish passages about identity from around the turn of the era, the models presented describe ancient Greek and Jewish ethnic and racial identity. Further, these models become resources for examining the racial character of Paul's self-identity and the continuities and discontinuities between the three races in his social world: Jews, Gentiles, and Christians. Using historical and literary methods of exegesis for passages in the Pauline corpus, Sechrest describes Paul as someone who was born a Jew, but who later saw himself as a member of a different race. Analyzing Christian identity in Galatians in terms of membership criteria, membership indicia, and inter-group dynamics, a final section of the book con trasts the portrait of Paul that emerges from this study with those in Daniel Boyarin's A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity and Brad Braxton's No Longer Slaves: Galatians and African American Experience. This section engages all three of these descriptions of community and identity, and illuminates the problems and opportunities contained in a modern appropriation of a racial construction of Christian identity.