The Politics of Heaven
Women, Gender, and Empire in the Study of Paul
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In this provocative study, Joseph A. Marchal argues that biblical interpretation, but most especially Pauline studies, must engage the full range of critical challenges brought by feminist studies, postcolonial studies, and Roman imperial studies. A feminist, postcolonial analysis requires negotiating the gaps, overlaps, and tensions between these three "strands" by adopting an explicitly multi-axial focus and an interdisciplinary methodology. Using Philippians as a test case, the analysis covers issues of both ancient and contemporary import: from imitation and authority to travel and contact. As a result, Marchal provides strikingly new perspectives on Paul's letters and fresh challenges to the paradigms of Pauline interpretation.