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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity
Parsons, Mikeal C.

Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, 2011 pp. 191. $29.95


Description: Early Christianity developed in a world where moral significance was often judged based upon physical appearance alone. Exploring the manifestations of this ancient science of physiognomy, Parsons rightly shows how Greco-Roman society, and by consequence the author of Luke and Acts, was steeped in this tradition. Luke, however, employs these principles in his writings in order to subvert the paradigm. Using as examples the bent woman (Luke 13), Zacchaeus (Luke 18), the lame man (Acts 3-4), and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8), Parsons shows that the Christian communityboth early and present-dayis established only in the image of Jesus Christ.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Luke, Acts, Literature

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Review by Stephan Witetschek
Published 12/21/2012
Citation: Stephan Witetschek, review of Mikeal C. Parsons, Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).


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