In this brief posting, I will like to point to a new series that were launched a year ago, by Bruce J. Malina, and his colleagues in the social context network.
These works deal with Paul’s coworkers, and so far at least four volumes have been published. The series is called Paul’s social network: Brothers and sisters in Faith, and they share a very specific agenda. The authoras all make use of insights from the Social Sciences as these has been worked out and elaborated on in the Social Contect Group. Readers of the many works by Bruce J. Malina, John J. Pich and several others will know the agenda pretty well. Emphasis is placed upon the individual characters as being not individualistic focused personalities, but part of a culture that put emphasis of the collectivistic cultures in which they were embedded. Their group relatedness become very important, hence also issues as honor and shame, group formations as coalitions, factions and cliques etc etc.
When reading some of the first volumes published, I see there is much overlapping, especially as the various authors present the ideological and social underpinnings of their work. But it probably has to be done in this way if the various books are to be read separately.
The following volumes are published, or soon to be published, all by The Liturgical Press:
Patrick J. Hartin,
Apollos. Paul’s Partner or Rival?
Epaphras. Paul’s Educator at Colossae
Richard S. Ascough
Lydia. Paul’s Cosmopolitan Hostess
Joan Cecelia Campbell, CSM, PhD
Phoebe. Patron and Emissary
Publication Date: November 2009
John J. Pilch
Stephen. Paul and the Hellenist Israelites
Bruce J. Malina, STD
Timothy. Paul’s Closest Associate