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Paul in Critical Contexts Series (2 vols.)
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The Paul in Critical Contexts Series offers cutting-edge reexaminations of Paul through the lenses of power, gender, and ideology. The Colonized Apostle provides a study of Paul’s writings from different perspectives of postcolonial criticism. Onesimus Our Brother analyzes religion, race, and culture in Philemon from an African American perspective.

Logos Bible Software dramatically improves the value of the Paul in Critical Contexts Series by enabling you to find what you’re looking for with unparalleled speed and precision. The Logos edition is fully searchable and easily accessible. Scripture passages link directly to your preferred English translation and to the original language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of resources in your digital library.

Key Features

  • Examines Paul and his writings through a postcolonial criticism lens
  • Provides an African American perspective of Paul’s Epistle to Philemon
  • Presents recent Pauline scholarship

Individual Titles

The Colonized Apostle: Paul through Postcolonial Eyes

  • Editor: Christopher D. Stanley
  • Series: Paul in Critical Contexts
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 384

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Although the term “postcolonial” is contested today, not least by scholars who identify themselves as postcolonial interpreters, on any account it involves vital questions about ideology and identity, empire, ethnicity, gender, hybridity, political struggle, and all the overlapping tensions and ambiguities occasioned by the colonial situation. In recent years, postcolonial explorations in biblical studies and theology have intertwined and collided with feminist, liberationist, Marxist, and more traditional historical-critical perspectives. No part of the Bible has received more attention—or been the site of more controversy—than the interpretation of the Apostle Paul, his letters, and the communities in which he moved.

How did Roman imperial culture shape the environment in which Paul carried out his apostolate? How do the multiple legacies of modern colonialism and contemporary empire shape, illuminate, or obscure our readings of Paul’s letters? In The Colonized Apostle, Christopher D. Stanley has gathered many of the foremost voices in postcolonial and empire-critical scholarship on Paul to provide a state–of–the–art guide to these questions.

This volume includes essays introducing postcolonial criticism and applying its insights both to Paul’s context in the Roman world and to the reevaluation of contemporary interpretation.


In terms of its accessibility, breadth, diversity of topics, and generally exegetical focus, it is easy to recommend—including to those not yet acquainted with the academic study of postcolonialism. Any number of essays will interest a given reader, regardless of their political background or theoretical interests. Precisely because so many of the essays were written to provoke, the book’s contents are particularly appropriate for use in a group discussion or seminar setting. . . . Christopher Stanley has done a service in reprinting articles that were previously in more obscure venues as well as collecting new essays that are valuable contributions in their own right. One hopes they spur further interest in this topic.

Journal of Postcolonial Networks

This volume constitutes an important contribution to postcolonial biblical studies. The chapters attest to the field’s diversity, as do their definitions of the field itself, which are ironically but unsurprisingly balkanized. Also encouraging are the range of opinions on postcolonial criticism’s prescriptive aspect and the popularity of Segovia’s ‘postcolonial optic’ and decolonizing goals.

Review of Biblical Literature

Christopher D. Stanley is professor of theology and teaches courses in biblical studies and religion and culture at St. Bonaventure University. He is the author of numerous books and articles in biblical studies, including Paul and the Language of Scripture and Arguing with Scripture: The Rhetoric of Quotations in the Letters of Paul.

Onesimus Our Brother: Reading Religion, Race, and Culture in Philemon

  • Editors: Matthew V. Johnson Sr., James A. Noel, and Demetrius K. Williams
  • Series: Paul in Critical Contexts
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 184

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Philemon is the shortest letter in the Pauline collection, yet—because it has to do with a slave separated from his master—it 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.


  • Allen Dwight Callahan
  • Matthew V. Johnson Sr.
  • James A. Noel
  • James W. Perkinson
  • Mitzi J. Smith
  • Margaret B. Wilkerson
  • Demetrius K. Williams

Matthew V. Johnson is senior pastor of the Good Shepherd Church (Baptist), Atlanta, Georgia.

James A. Noel is the H. Eugene Farlough California Professor of African American Christianity at San Francisco Theological Seminary, coeditor of The Passion of the Lord: African American Reflections, and contributor to True to Our Native Land. He is also convener and founder of the Graduate Theological Union’s Black Church/Africana Studies Certificate Program.

Demetrius K. Williams teaches in the Theology Department at Marquette University and is the author of An End to This Strife: The Politics of Gender in African American Churches.

Product Details

  • Title: Paul in Critical Contexts Series
  • Series: Paul in Critical Contexts
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Volumes: 2
  • Pages: 568