Philemon and the Sociology of Paul's Narrative World
Norman R. Petersen
WIPF & STOCK PUBL
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In this groundbreaking work, Norman R. Petersen integrates contemporary literary-critical, sociological, and anthropological insights into the traditional arena of historical-critical methods. he demonstrates how these new approaches can be used to interpret biblical texts, especially Paul's letters. The Letter to Philemon serves as a case study. Yet Petersen focuses on the narrative world of Paul as well, for one cannot be truly understood without the other. This work articulates a ""sociology of letters,"" explores the social structures which underlie the social relations of the actors in Paul's world, and deals with the systems of belief, knowledge, and value that define the identities of these actors and motivate their actions. Here is cutting-edge scholarship. ""It is superb: the recognized validity of the tools used here and there immediate relevance to the text, as well as the illumination they throw, makes this a show-piece application of literary-sociological analysis tot a biblical writing."" --Amos N. Wilder Hollis Professor of Divinity, Emeritus Harvard University ""It combines the two most current and powerful challenges to traditional biblical exegesis: the literary and the social methodology innovations of the last decade. I see in Petersen's work the continuation of the quantum leap we have begun to make in biblical studies."" --Wilhelm Wuellner Professor of New Testament Pacific School of Religion Norman R. Petersen is Washington Gladden Professor of Religion Emeritus at Williams College, and the author of The Gospel of John and the Sociology of Light, and Literary Criticism for New Testament Critics. Since his retirement in 2001, Norman spends much of his time painting. You can view some of his non-representational acrylics at www.seabreezearts.com
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