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The Colonized Apostle: Paul through Postcolonial Eyes

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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 the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Resource Experts
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.


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    Digital list price: $27.99
    Save $6.00 (21%)