Was Paul an opponent of imperialism or a participant in the patriarchal social codes of his day? Joseph A. Marchal moves beyond this too-simple dichotomy to examine the language of power and obedience, ethnicity, and gender in Paul s letters, arguing that understanding the way rhetorics of power overlap and intersect requires a nuanced combination of feminist and post-colonial criticism and a "thick description" of colonized space. His analysis of gender and power dynamics in the Roman colony of Philippi is an exemplar of a new approach to reading Paul in his contexts, always attentive to the contexts of the contemporary interpreter as well. The Politics of Heaven offers new clarity and precision in the interpretation of the apostle and the social spaces in which he moved.
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