Toward a Postcolonial Reading of the Epistle of James

James 2:1-13 in its Roman Imperial Context


Toward a Postcolonial Reading of the Epistle of James offers an interpretation of Jas 2:1-13 putting the text in the midst of the Roman imperial system of rank. This study shows that the conflict of the text has more to do with differences of rank than poverty and wealth. The main problem is that the Christian assemblies are acting according to Roman cultural etiquette instead of their Jewish-Christian heritage when a Roman equestrian and a beggar visit the assembly. The members of the assemblies are accused of having become too Roman. From a postcolonial perspective, this is a typical case of hybrid identities. Additional key concepts from postcolonialism, such as diaspora, ‘othering’, naming of oppressors, and binarisms such as coloniser/colonised, centre/margin, honour/shame and power/powerless, are highlighted throughout the study.
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Biographical Note

Ingeborg Mongstad-Kvammen, Ph.D. (2008), School of Mission and Theology, is the General Secretary of the Norwegian Bible Society. This is her first book, written with support from the School of Mission and Theology.


Academic audience(s) of New Testament studies, biblical studies, classical studies and postcolonial studies, academic libraries and post graduate students of theology.