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Verbum et Ecclesia

versión On-line ISSN 2074-7705
versión impresa ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.33 no.1 Pretoria  2012 



1 Corinthians 7:17-24. Identity and human dignity amidst power and liminality



Jeremy Punt

Department of Old and New Testament, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa





Paul's concern with identity, and in particular the identity of the believer in relation to Jesus Christ, is an important concern in his writings. In the midst of an important section dedicated to advice and instruction on marriage in his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul encouraged his audience in 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 to remain in the calling by, or position in, which they were called. Concerning these circumstances he refers to circumcision (1 Cor 7:18-19) and slavery (1 Cor 7:21-23) by name. These Pauline instructions are investigated against the backdrop of both the 1st century CE context and post-apartheid South Africa, where issues of identity and marginality rub shoulders with claims to ownership and entitlement, on the one hand, and issues of human dignity, on the other.



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