Reading Romans with Roman Eyes
Studies on the Social Perspective of Paul
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Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of Pages: 504
Width: 16.1 cm
Height: 22.8 cm
Paul's letter to the Romans has a long history in Christian dogmatic battles. But how might the letter have been heard by an audience in Neronian Rome? James R. Harrison answers that question through a reader-response approach grounded in deep investigations of the material and ideological culture of the city, from Augustus to Nero. Inscriptional, archaeological, monumental, and numismatic evidence, in addition to a breadth of literary material, allows him to describe the ideological "value system" of the Julio-Claudian world, which would have shaped the perceptions and expectations of Paul's readers. Throughout, Harrison sets prominent Pauline themes--his obligation to Greeks and barbarians, newness of life and of creation against the power of death, the body of Christ, "boasting" in "glory," God's purpose in and for Israel--in startling juxtaposition with Roman ideological themes. The result is a richer and more complex understanding of the letter's argument and its possible significance for contemporary readers.