A Spiritual Economy

Gift Exchange in the Letters of Paul of Tarsus

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Thomas R. Blanton
  • New Haven, CT: 
    Yale University Press
    , January
     240 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Sang-il Kim forthcoming.


Thomas Blanton sheds light on the philosophy surrounding gift giving in Paul’s letters and on modern theories of gift exchange through the lens of religion.

The exchange of gifts is a fundamental part of society and a foundational element in Greco-Roman religions. Combining theories of gift exchange, both modern and Greco-Roman, Thomas Blanton reveals how religious discourse—in the guise of “spiritual gifts” believed to come from Israel’s god—is instrumental in the formation of sociopolitical hierarchies and the assignment of honor and prestige. Blanton uses an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates religion, classics, sociology, and anthropology to investigate the economy of gift exchange shown in Paul’s letters.

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

Thomas R. Blanton, IV, is auxiliary professor in New Testament studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He lives in Glendale, WI.

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