Chapter

Moral Bodies

Jennifer A. Glancy

in Slavery in Early Christianity

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780195136098
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834228 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195136098.003.0006
Moral Bodies

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Shaped by the slaveholding culture of the Roman Empire, early Christian ethics reflected the moral perspectives of ancient slaveholders, a slaveholder morality. The Christian body matured in a context in which the ubiquitous availability and vulnerabilities of slave bodies distorted the emotional and ethical development of freeborn persons. The household codes (haustafeln) of New Testament epistles (including Colossians, Ephesians, the Pastoral Epistles, and 1 Peter) and selected extracanonical sources provided a new and powerful ideological tool for slaveholders who sought to create compliant bodies. In a world in which slaves were designated and treated as bodies, perhaps it is not surprising that ascetic Christians came to discipline their bodies as slaves.

Keywords: 1 Peter; Ascetic; Colossians; Ephesians; extracanonical; household; morality; pastoral; Roman Empire; slaveholder

Chapter.  16223 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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