The Colonizers' Idols: Paul, Galatia, and Empire in New Testament Studies

Harker, Christina Clair (2018). The Colonizers' Idols: Paul, Galatia, and Empire in New Testament Studies. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe: Vol. 460. Mohr Siebeck

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In the book, I deconstruct the prevailing treatment of the New Testament as anti-imperial. I do it by contextualizing both New Testament scholarship and the Galatian experience within imperialist discourses that survived the dissolution of conventional 20th c. empires. I critique simplistic/naive treatments of empire as post-imperial (that is, replicating patterns of imperialist ideology, albeit unwittingly) and I propose a new interpretation of Galatians that reworks and complicates the portrait of the Galatians themselves—rather than focusing on Paul. The world that emerges using this approach is a diverse social world peopled by complex individuals with heterogeneous social and cultural identities. Throughout, I show how New Testament scholars who rehabilitate the Bible and Paul as anti-empire perpetuate the same imperialist modes of interpretation they seek to repudiate.

Item Type:

Book (Monograph)


01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Protestant Theology [discontinued] > Institute of Biblical Studies [discontinued] > New Testament [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Harker, Christina Clair


200 Religion > 220 The Bible
200 Religion > 270 History of Christianity
200 Religion > 290 Other religions
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 870 Latin & Italic literatures
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 880 Classical & modern Greek literatures
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)
900 History > 940 History of Europe
900 History > 950 History of Asia
900 History > 960 History of Africa
900 History > 990 History of other areas




Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe


Mohr Siebeck




Christina Clair Harker

Date Deposited:

08 May 2018 15:22

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:12

Uncontrolled Keywords:

postcolonialism, new testament studies, biblical studies, methodological criticism, galatia, galatians, empire, british empire, bible, history of interpretation, empire criticism


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