Beyond identification of the topos of household management: Reading the household codes in light of recent methodologies and theoretical perspectives in the study of the new testament

  • MacDonald M
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Abstract

From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s New Testament scholars produced groundbreaking work illustrating that the household code had its origins in discussions of 'household management' among philosophers and moralists from Aristotle onward. Despite this general consensus, many points of disagreement remained, especially with respect to the function of the codes in particular New Testament documents and what the codes reveal about the relationship of Christians with the wider world. This article revisits some of the initial debates and traces their influence on subsequent scholarship. The recognition of the household codes as a type of 'political' discourse is of particular interest, as well as its impact on subsequent feminist, political and postcolonial interpretation. The conclusion suggests five promising directions, closely tied to the study of early Christian families, for future analysis of the codes leading to a more complete understanding of household management in a house-church setting. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Deutero-Paul
  • children
  • ethics
  • family
  • feminist
  • postcolonial
  • slaves

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Authors

  • Margaret Y. MacDonald

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