Paul and Patronage

The Dynamics of Power in 1 Corinthians

By Joshua Rice

Paul and Patronage

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781620325575
  • Pages: 206
  • Publication Date: 7/22/2013
  • Retail Price: $25.00
Web Price: $20.00
Web Price: $20.00

Paul and Patronage

The Dynamics of Power in 1 Corinthians

By Joshua Rice

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781620325575
  • Pages: 206
  • Publication Date: 7/22/2013
  • Retail Price: $25.00
Web Price: $20.00

About-

The question of how leadership and authority functioned in the Pauline church remains one of the most polarizing issues in New Testament scholarship today. On the one side are egalitarian and counterimperial readings that stake their interpretation of the liberating gospel upon a depiction of the Pauline church as radically countercultural with regard to leadership and authority. On the other side are authoritarian readings that just as easily conceive of Paul as fully embedded within the cultural conceptions and structures of leadership and authority in vogue across the Greco-Roman world. This study employs social-science criticism to construct a model of ancient patronage conventions and power-exchange dynamics in the Greco-Roman world, and this model is then applied to 1 Corinthians. This study finds that when Paul addresses his own apostolic relationship to the Corinthians, he tends toward reinscribing traditional hierarchies, but that when Paul addresses relationships between participants of the Corinthian assembly, he tends toward overturning them.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"This engaging and thorough work makes a substantial contribution to ongoing exploration and debate with regard to Roman patronage and early Christian life and practice. Those who are not familiar will be made conversant with the scope of the debate and find helpful points of connection. Those who are will find this a fruitful addition to previous scholarship, as [Rice's] close attention to varying levels of patronage is brought to bear on the convoluted Corinthian community. It will be provocative in the best sense, for all who accept its challenge."
--Alan B. Wheatley, Associate Professor of History, Northwest Nazarene University

"Joshua Rice successfully constructs three models of ancient patronage as contexts for understanding power dynamics in 1 Corinthians. Rejecting conclusions that Paul was either an insecure power monger or a liberal egalitarian, Rice illuminates the dilemma Paul faced as he sought to resocialize his converts into non-dominating relationships with each other. If he acted that way himself, how could he retain authority as their leader? Read this excellent book for an astute and nuanced analysis."
--S. Scott Bartchy, Emeritus Professor of History, UCLA

Contributors-

Joshua Rice

Bio(s)-

Joshua Rice is an adjunct professor of New Testament at Lee University and Pentecostal Theological Seminary (Cleveland, Tennessee).

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