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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter asks the question: What is the relationship between Pauline studies and postcolonial studies? At first glance, it might appear that there is not much of a relationship at all between the two. But expanding the notion of postcolonial approaches shows there has in fact been plenty of work—though of a rather particular kind—on Paul and empire. Thus, depending upon how one classifies and maps postcolonial studies, Pauline interpreters could be cast as relative latecomers, or as having been involved all along, even before the recent vogue for anti-imperial readings. But this chapter also demonstrates an additional layer of complication to this mapping, particularly if one is attempting to grapple with the complex intersections and embodiments of imperial and colonial formations, the sorts of factors that might be characterizing the current, ‘third moment’ space in postcolonial theory. Thus, while there are all sorts of precursors and resources for counter-kyriarchal analyses and uses of Pauline epistles (particularly among feminist and race-critical scholars), it would seem justifiable to argue that these do not yet characterize the landscape of postcolonial approaches to these epistles and interpretations.

Keywords: Paul, postcolonial, theory, empire, intersectionality, race, gender, slavery

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