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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Clothing the Body of Christ at Colossae: A Visual Construction of Identity
Canavan, Rosemary

Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012 pp. xii + 247. €69.00

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe, 334

Description: What we think of our bodies and what we wear says something about who we are and how we belong. This was the same in the ancient world. Rosemary Canavan explores the imagery of clothing and body in the first century CE Christian writing, the Letter to the Colossians. Through the use of this imagery in the letter, the writer critiques the way people understood themselves in a particular part of the Greco-Roman world in the Lycus Valley in south western Asia Minor (Turkey). An examination of statuary, funerary monuments and coins in this geographical location contemporaneous with the letter’s writing reveals how clothing and body images were understood. This is then placed in dialogue with the metaphorical use of clothing and body in other texts, especially the Letter to the Colossians. Social identity and rhetorical studies draw on archaeological, epigraphical, iconographical and literary sources to formulate a new approach to biblical interpretation aptly named “visual exegesis”.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Deutero-Pauline Epistles, Colossians, Literature, Methods, Social-Scientific Approaches

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Review by Scott D. Charlesworth
Published 1/4/2015
Citation: Scott D. Charlesworth, review of Rosemary Canavan, Clothing the Body of Christ at Colossae: A Visual Construction of Identity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


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