A Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation of the Letter to Philemon in Light of the New Institutional Economics

An Exhortion to Transform a Master-Slave Economic Relationship into a Brotherly-Love Relationship

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Alex Hon Ho Ip
  • Tübingen, Germany: 
    Mohr Siebeck
    , September
     2017.
     246 pages.
     $110.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9783161547287.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

In this study, Alex Hon Ho Ip argues that when Paul wrote to Philemon about Onesimus, his main purpose was not to try and reunite, as is widely held, a runaway slave with his master, but rather to have Onesimus accepted as a beloved brother in Christ. By examining the letter's inner texture, the author shows that Paul's main concern was for Philemon and Onesimus to be reconciled in brotherly love. The inter-textual weave reveals Paul's theological and ethical thoughts on love, which is the basis for the apostle's main argument. By taking a new institutional economics approach to help reconstruct the economic relationship between slave and master, Alex Hon Ho Ip is able to offer a better understanding of the original relationship Paul argued against. With all this in mind, the focus is on re-reading the letter and hearing how Paul's rhetoric exhorts a new relationship between Onesimus and Philemon.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Alex Hon Ho Ip is assistant professor in New Testament, Chung Chi Divinity School, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments