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Slavery in Early Christianity$
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Jennifer A. Glancy

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195136098

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195136098.001.0001

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Moral Bodies

Moral Bodies

Ecclesiastical Development and Slaveholding Culture

Chapter:
(p.130) 5 Moral Bodies
Source:
Slavery in Early Christianity
Author(s):

Jennifer A. Glancy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195136098.003.0006

Shaped by the slaveholding culture of the Roman Empire, early Christian ethics reflected the moral perspectives of ancient slaveholders, a slaveholder morality. The Christian body matured in a context in which the ubiquitous availability and vulnerabilities of slave bodies distorted the emotional and ethical development of freeborn persons. The household codes (haustafeln) of New Testament epistles (including Colossians, Ephesians, the Pastoral Epistles, and 1 Peter) and selected extracanonical sources provided a new and powerful ideological tool for slaveholders who sought to create compliant bodies. In a world in which slaves were designated and treated as bodies, perhaps it is not surprising that ascetic Christians came to discipline their bodies as slaves.

Keywords:   1 Peter, Ascetic, Colossians, Ephesians, extracanonical, household, morality, pastoral, Roman Empire, slaveholder

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