Although scholarship has noted the thematic importance of peace in Ephesians, few have examined its political character in a sustained manner throughout the entire letter. This book addresses this lacuna, comparing Ephesians with Colossians, Greek political texts, Dio Chrysostom’s Orations, and the Confucian Four Books in order to ascertain the rhetorical and political nature of its topos of peace. Through comparison with analogous documents both within and without its cultural milieu, this study shows that Ephesians can be read as a politico-religious letter “concerning peace” within the church. Its vision of peace contains common political elements (such as moral education, household management, communal stability, a universal humanity, and war) that are subsumed under the controlling rubric of the unity and cosmic summing up of all things in Christ.
Te-Li Lau, Ph.D. (2008) in Religion, Emory University, is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divnity School.
'Lau must be applauded for juggling a huge range of primary and secondary literature in an interesting manner and for offering extensive, helpful footnotes to comparative ancient and other texts, as well as scholarly discussions and additional resources throughout his book. [...] will [be] useful to New Testament scholars or anyone interested in comparative studies of Greek, Jewish, early Christian, and Confucian thought. It complements the discussion of Ephesians’ use of Greco-Roman values by Daniel Darko (2008) and the discussion of ethnic reconciliation by Tet-Lim Yee (2005).' Minna Shkul, RBL 12/2012
All those interested in Pauline studies, the political character of New Testament texts, Dio Chrysostom, Confucian studies, and the comparison of sacred texts.