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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

ĎAll of You Are Oneí: The Social Vision of Galatians 3.28, 1 Corinthians 12.13 and Colossians 3.11
Hansen, Bruce

New York: T&T Clark, 2010 pp. xiii + 229. $120.00

Series Information
Library of New Testament Studies, 409


Description: Hansen argues that unity formula employed in "Gal 3.28", "1 Cor 12.13" and "Col 3.11" offers equality between competing social groups. Hansen argues against prevalent views that the unity formula employed in "Gal 3.28", "1 Cor 12.13" and "Col 3.11" reflects either a Hellenistic anthropology of ideal androgyny or a modern liberal conception of social equality. Rather, Hansen contends, attention to function and context demonstrates each epistle's vision of social unity. Insights from ethnic theory elucidate how the epistles characterize this unity in terms of a new social identity, and the practices warranted by that identity. Furthermore, Hansen claims that because identity construction is continual, dynamic and discursive, alternate identities (e.g. ethnic, gender, religious, economic) within the new Christian communities, may be seen as influencing one another and may be termed as the collective Christian identity. Hansen employs theories from Ethnic study as tools for assessing how such overlapping identities persist and interact with one another. His analysis thereby demonstrates that the social unity promoted by this formula opposes cultural dominance by any particular group and, conversely reinforces the persistence of marginal social identities within new communities. The issue is then not one of gender equality, but of the equality that Paul wishes to develop between competing social groups. Formerly the "Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement", a book series that explores the many aspects of New Testament study including historical perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and theological, cultural and contextual approaches. "The Early Christianity in Context" series, a part of JSNTS, examines the birth and development of early Christianity up to the end of the third century CE. The series places Christianity in its social, cultural, political and economic context. European Seminar on Christian Origins and "Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus Supplement" are also part of JSNTS.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Deutero-Pauline Epistles, Colossians, Literature

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Review by Kobus Kok
Published 12/24/2010
Citation: Kobus Kok, review of Bruce Hansen, ĎAll of You Are Oneí: The Social Vision of Galatians 3.28, 1 Corinthians 12.13 and Colossians 3.11, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2010).


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