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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050

Abstract

JORDAAN, Pierre J.  and  NOLTE, S. Philip. Reading Philemon as therapeutic narrative. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2010, vol.66, n.1, pp. 1-6. ISSN 2072-8050.

This article analysed the different narratives implied in Philemon by utilising the narrative therapeutic approach, as developed by Epston and White (1990). A dominant narrative (the harsh treatment of slaves in the early Christian environment) and a challenging narrative (a more humane conduct of slaves) were clearly distinguished. The article showed Paul's attempt to bridge the gap between these two narratives by using certain pointers, possibly taken from mystery religions and Jesus' example. In conclusion, the narrative therapeutic approach proved to be a new and unique way of looking at Philemon's narrative world.

Keywords : Philemon; narrative therapy; master-slave relations; dominant narrative; Paul.

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