- The Man and the Myth
- Paul the ‘Convert’?
- Paul the Missionary
- Paul the Theologian
- Paul the Apostle
- Archaeology and the Pauline Letters
- Paul among Jews, Greeks, and Romans
- Paul and the Construction of Early Christian Identity
- Paul and Economic Resources
- Paul the Philosopher
- Paul and Religion
- The Pauline Letters in Contemporary Research
- The Deutero-Pauline Letters in Contemporary Research
- Paul the Letter Writer
- Rhetoric and Argumentation in the Letters of Paul
- The Text of the Pauline Corpus
- The Formation of the Pauline Corpus
- Paul and Scripture
- Paul and Jesus
- Justification by Faith
- Participation in Christ
- Grace/Gift in Paul
- Paul and <i>Pistis Christou</i>
- Ethos and Community
- Cosmology and Eschatology
- Social-Scientific Approaches to Paul
- Paul and Ethnicity
- Paul and Politics
- Paul and Postcolonial Studies
- Paul and Feminism
- Paul and Sexuality
- Paul and Theological Interpretation
- Paul and Reception History
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter argues that a theorized and historically contextual approach to ethnicity and race allows us to look critically at these concepts in Paul’s letters and challenges the traditional reading of Paul. After reviewing race and ethnicity in Pauline scholarship, this essay applies these approaches to the Pauline texts. Arguing for an understanding of racial and ethnic identity as both ‘natural’ and malleable, of identity as multiple, and of religion as central to ethnic identity construction, this chapter shows that these discourses, rather than being peripheral or rejected by Paul, are central to his thinking. We see that Paul conceives of central theological issues—such as Paul’s identity as a Jew, Israel’s standing before God, and the invitation to faithful Gentiles-in-Christ—in terms of ethnic reasoning. This approach contributes not only to a more historically situated reading of Paul, but also to modern understandings of racial and religious identity.
Caroline Johnson Hodge is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. She got her PhD at Brown University, her Masters at Harvard Divinity School and her B.A. at Pomona College. She has written a book on Paul: If Sons, Then Heirs: A Study of Kinship and Ethnicity in the Letters of Paul (Oxford University Press, 2007). Her current research focuses on the ancient household and early Christianity, with particular interests in mixed marriage and Christianity as a household cult.
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