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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Ritualized Revelation of the Messianic Age: Washings and Meals in Galatians and 1 Corinthians
Turley, Stephen Richard

London: Bloomsbury, 2015 pp. ix + 198. $100.99

Series Information
Library of New Testament Studies, 544


Description: Turley begins by surveying the history of the interface between ritual studies and Pauline scholarship, identifying the scholarly gaps in both method and conclusions and a ritual theory adequate to address such gaps. The focus of the work is then on the two rituals that identified the Pauline communities: ritual washings and ritual meals. Turley explores Galatians and 1 Corinthians, two letters that present the richest spread of evidence pertinent to ritual theory. By exploring Paul's reference to ritual washings and meals with a heuristic use of ritual theory, Turley concludes that rituals in early Christianity were inherently revelatory, in that they revealed the dawning of the messianic age through the bodies of the ritual participants. This bodily revelation established both a distinctly Christian ethic and a distinctly Christian social space by which such an ethical identity might be identified and sustained.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Literature, Methods, Social-Scientific Approaches, Anthropology

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Review by Craig L. Blomberg
Published 5/12/2017
Citation: Craig L. Blomberg, review of Stephen Richard Turley, The Ritualized Revelation of the Messianic Age: Washings and Meals in Galatians and 1 Corinthians, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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