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Vice lists and deviant masculinity: The rhetorical function of 1 Corinthians 5:10–11 and 6:9–10

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the rhetorical function of Paul’s vice lists in 1 Corinthians. This focus is related to the conventional or contextual nature of the lists, but the author takes the discussion one step further by investigating the nature of the vices Paul enumerates and by exploring the function they have in his rhetoric. The chapter argues that the lists are contextual and, as descriptions of deviant masculinity, they are integrally related to ancient gender ideologies. Ideas of what it meant to be a man were woven into the fabric of Greco-Roman culture, omnipresent, yet often invisible in their self-evidence. One structural difference from modern Western perceptions of gender is what Thomas Laqueur has labeled the one-sex model. Modern gender ideology usually considers male and female to be two opposite poles, with distinct characteristics.

Keywords: 1 Corinthians; deviant masculinity; gender ideology; Greco-Roman culture; Paul’s vice lists; rhetorical function



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