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If Sons, Then HeirsA Study of Kinship and Ethnicity in the Letters of Paul$
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Caroline Johnson Hodge

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182163

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182163.001.0001

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 Negotiating Multiple Identities

 Negotiating Multiple Identities

Chapter:
(p.117) 7 Negotiating Multiple Identities
Source:
If Sons, Then Heirs
Author(s):

Caroline Johnson Hodge (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182163.003.0008

This chapter uses a model of multiple identities — in which individuals and groups might embody several ethnic or other identities, situationally emphasizing one while downplaying others — as an interpretive framework for Paul. It argues that we can interpret both Paul's own identity as multiple and shifting and Paul's prescription for gentile salvation in terms of multiple identities. When he begins his mission work, Paul reprioritizes components of his own identity to be a teacher of gentiles, the ethnic and religious other. Paul then must orchestrate similar but much more radical changes for gentiles who are baptized into Christ. Paul's rhetorical task, especially in Romans and Galatians, is to explain to gentile believers how their new composite identity works: how they must rearrange previous components and make room for new ones. This reading challenges the “fusion theory”, which argues (mostly based on Galatians 3:28) that Paul advocates and erasure of identity.

Keywords:   multiple identities, teacher, composite, Galatians 3:28, identity, prioritize, fusion theory, erasure

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