Abraham as a spiritual ancestor in Romans 4 in the context of the Roman appropriation of ancestors [electronic resource] : some implications of Paul's use of Abraham for Shona Christians in postcolonial Zimbabwe /Show full item record
|Title||Abraham as a spiritual ancestor in Romans 4 in the context of the Roman appropriation of ancestors [electronic resource] : some implications of Paul's use of Abraham for Shona Christians in postcolonial Zimbabwe /|
|Description||Title from dissertation title page (viewed Dec. 11, 2007).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, 2007.
"Dissertation presented to the Faculty of the Brite Divinity School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical interpretation."
Dissertation advisor: David L. Balch.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (electronic thesis) in PDF.
This main focus of this dissertation is on the interpretation of Abraham as a spiritual ancestor in the context of the Roman appropriation of ancestors and the implications of perspective for Shona Christians in postcolonial Zimbabwe. In constructing Abraham as a spiritual ancestor, Paul not only builds upon an apologetic tradition in Hellenistic Judaism, but also interacts with an ideological trend in early Roman imperialism, which sought a basis for reconciliation between Greeks and Romans in the tradition of Aeneas as a common cultural ancestor. Thus, Paul's portrayal of Abraham as an ancestor of Jews and Greeks is an analogous ideological construction to that which was familiar to his Roman audience shaped by the propaganda of the Augustan Age (26 B.C.E. - 68 C.E.).^By asserting that Abraham the Jew, rather than Aeneas the Roman, is the ancestor of the people of faith (fides), Paul constructs a liberating counter-ideology, the effect of which is to subvert the basis of Roman power. Unlike Aeneas, Abraham is an ancestor for all God's people and can be claimed by the Shona people of Zimbabwe on the basis of faith. Abraham is a model for all Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and through him all faith religions are able to establish a unique relationship with God.Drawing upon the Greco-Roman appropriation of Aeneas as a figure of reconciliation between cultures, Paul does something creative within the Abraham tradition. He makes Abraham the spiritual ancestor of "all" those whose lives are characterized by pistis/fides, regardless of whether they are Jews or Greeks.^The paradigm for Paul's attempt to use "Abraham our forefather" as an ideological construct enabling the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles is found in the literature of Greek and Roman writers of the first-century B.C.E., namely Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Virgil, who made Aeneas a vehicle for the reconciliation of Greeks and Romans. Paul was interacting with the intellectual work of Greek and Roman writers, such as Dionysius and Virgil who, in the decades before Paul, had sought a means for reconciling Greeks and Romans in the figure of Aeneas as a source of identity. The dissertation concludes that the construction of Abraham as a spiritual ancestor allows Shona people to claim Abraham as a spiritual ancestor on the basis of faith, and thus reincarnating the gospel in the continent of Africa where ancestor veneration is regarded as a spiritual practice. Abraham is an ideal figure through whom the nations of the world can see each other as sisters and brothers.
|Subject||Abraham (Biblical patriarch)
Paul, the Apostle, Saint.
Bible. Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Bible. Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Bible Hermeneutics Cross-cultural studies.
Abraham (Biblical patriarch) in the New Testament.
Christianity and culture.
Shona (African people) Religion.
Zimbabwe History 1980-
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- Theses and Dissertations