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date: 25 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

For New Testament and early Christian studies, posthumanism provides a vantage point for contemporary readers to appreciate just how fully contingent ancient texts perceive “the human” to be. This chapter opens by linking the study of gender and sexuality with posthumanism. Situating posthumanism especially in relation to intersectional feminisms, this chapter explores ways that New Testament and early Christian scholarship has engaged posthumanism and might further contribute to this field. Juxtaposing New Testament and non-canonical writings with contemporary critical theory that may be associated with posthumanism, this essay offers new possibilities for reading ancient narratives of human origins such as Genesis 1-3 and its retellings, for identifying non-reproductive kin-making and multispecies mutualisms through rhetoric and ritual, and for reconsidering temporality. A brief case study of Ephesians also shows how biblical interpretation offers a caution to those who view posthumanism’s potential as primarily liberatory.

Keywords: posthumanism, new materialisms, queer theory, feminism, Donna Haraway, Paul, gospels, Ephesians, Nag Hammadi

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