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Identity And The Socioreligious Context Of Pre-Christian And Christian Galatians

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reframes socioreligious and colonial contributions in terms of a sociopostcolonial hermeneutics. The epistle to the churches of Galatia was written to people living under imperial/colonial Rome. Paul calls his addressees Galatians (Gal 3:3). Identity construction is a dynamic process with complex subjective criteria. This process of construing identity is reflected in Polybius' writings. He saw in Graeco-Roman conquests an opportunity for intellectual inquiries about other peoples and their lands, resulting in a revisionist historiography designed to appeal to his Greek audience. His characterization of the Celts/Gauls differs considerably from that of Justin's Pompeius Trogus. The Attalids publically displayed Galatians as vanquished in commemoration of Greek cultural supremacy over barbarism. This is the Greek message to the Galatians and non-Greeks. The Apostle Paul, on the other hand, publicly portrayed Jesus Christ as crucified for the Gauls/ Galatians. The chapter then explores the Gallic/Galatian socioreligious context.

Keywords: Apostle Paul; barbarism; Galatians; identity construction; sociopostcolonial hermeneutics; socioreligious context



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