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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Onesimus Our Brother: Reading Religion, Race, and Culture in Philemon
Johnson, Matthew V., James A. Noel and Demetrius K. Williams, editors

Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012 pp. viii + 175. $39.00

Series Information
Paul in Critical Contexts


Description: Philemon is the shortest letter in the Pauline collection, yetóbecause it has to do with a slave separated from his masteróit has played an inordinate role in the toxic brew of slavery and racism in the United States. In Onesimus Our Brother, leading African American biblical scholars tease out the often unconscious assumptions about religion, race, and culture that permeate contemporary interpretation of the New Testament and of Paul in particular. The editors argue that Philemon is as important a letter from an African American perspective as Romans or Galatians have proven to be in Eurocentric interpretation. The essays gathered here continue to trouble scholarly waters, interacting with the legacies of Hegel, Freud, Habermas, Ricoeur, and James C. Scott, as well as the historical experience of African American communities. Contributors include the editors and Mitzi J. Smith, Margaret B. Wilkerson, James W. Perkinson, and Allen Dwight Callahan.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Philemon, Literature

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Review by Emilia Zamfir
Published 10/3/2013
Citation: Emilia Zamfir, review of Matthew V. Johnson, James A. Noel, and Demetrius K. Williams, eds., Onesimus Our Brother: Reading Religion, Race, and Culture in Philemon, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).


Review by Abson Joseph
Published 8/7/2014
Citation: Abson Joseph, review of Matthew V. Johnson, James A. Noel, and Demetrius K. Williams, eds., Onesimus Our Brother: Reading Religion, Race, and Culture in Philemon, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2014).


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