Drawing on the work of anthropologist Mary Douglas, I define purity rules as symbolic expressions of a group‘s identity and core values. Reading Mark 7:1-23 through this lens demonstrates that Jesus and the Pharisees are both concerned about the purity of personal and social bodies, but differ in their assessment of what threatens that purity and how best to preserve the body‘s wholeness and integrity.
In this essay I contend that the Greco-Roman system of patron-broker-client relations shaped early church structures in important ways, even when the language of patronage was not explicitly used. This is especially evident in Ignatius of Antioch‘s letter to the Ephesians in which he ascribes various functions to bishops that most resemble the role of brokers of heavenly goods in a system of divine patronage.
Current notions of nationhood, communal identity, territorial entitlement, and collective destiny are deeply rooted in historic interpretations of the Bible. Interweaving elements of history, theology, literary criticism, and cultural theory, the essays in this volume discuss the ways in which biblical understandings have shaped Western – and particularly European and North American – assumptions about the nature and meaning of the nation.
Considers how, in Vancouver, the sacred texts of different traditions must and can be read through postcolonial hermeneutics, given the ways in which religio-ethnic communities now reside one beside each other along Paradise Highway.
Introduction both to ways women are presented in biblical texts and to methods for interpreting biblical texts. Appropriate for congregational groups or as supplementary reading in college settings.
This is an adult, devotional study on Paul‘s Letter to the Philippians that reflects on four paradoxes that reside within the text (Joyful Sorrow, Individual Community, Masterful Slave, Downward Ascent). Each chapter opens with a contemporary story that connects the reader with the theme of the chapter, and each chapter connects with the one it follows. Using insights from current theological and social-scientific methods to explore Paul‘s letters, as well as issues as contemporary as economic concerns, Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 Presidential race, the authors guide the reader from Paul‘s historical situation to their present reality.