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versión On-line ISSN 2413-3086
versión impresa ISSN 1561-4018


STRIJDOM, Johan. Conservative and liberal, hierarchical and egalitarian: Social-political uses of the concept of "home" in Greco-Roman antiquity and early Christianity. Phronimon [online]. 2015, vol.16, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 2413-3086.

The cognitive linguist George Lakoff has argued that in the human brain two concepts of the family are mapped onto two contrasting political concepts, which reveal two kinds of systemic morality: a hierarchical, strict and disciplining father morality of conservatives on the one hand, and an egalitarian, nurturing parent morality of progressives or liberals on the other. Taking Lakoff s thesis as point of departure, I offer a critical comparison of social-political uses of the concept of "home" in the early Roman Empire and Pauline Christianity. For this case study I engage primarily with the work of John Dominic Crossan, a prominent scholar of early Christianity within its Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. Although "home" does not constitute the focus of his analysis, a close reading of his oeuvre does allow us to identify and highlight this as a crucial theme in his work. The focus will be on the patriarchal home under Greco-Roman imperial conditions as model of the imperial system, the Pauline egalitarian concept of the Christian home and house churches, and the deutero-Pauline return to the imperial model. By comparing these case studies from another epoch and another culture, the validity of Lakoff s thesis will be tested and our understanding of the concepts "liberal" and "conservative" will be enriched.

Palabras clave : Home; politics; conservative and liberal; hierarchical and egalitarian; Greco-Roman antiquity; early Christianity; Paul.

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