The Son of God in the Roman World: Divine Sonship in its Social and Political Context

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Oxford University Press, Jul 18, 2011 - Religion - 304 pages
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Winner of the 2013 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise Michael Peppard examines the social and political meaning of divine sonship in the Roman Empire. He begins by analyzing the conceptual framework within which the term ''son of God'' has traditionally been considered in biblical scholarship. Then, through engagement with recent scholarship in Roman history - including studies of family relationships, imperial ideology, and emperor worship - he offers new ways of interpreting the Christian theological metaphors of ''begotten''and ''adoptive'' sonship. Peppard focuses on social practices and political ideology, revealing that scholarship on divine sonship has been especially hampered by mistaken assumptions about adopted sons. He invites fresh readings of several early Christian texts, from the first Gospel to writings of the fourth century. By re-interpreting several ancient phenomena - particularly divine status, adoption, and baptism - he offers an imaginative refiguring of the Son of God in the Roman world.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Biblical Scholarship on Son of God
9
2 Divinity and Divine Sonship in the Roman World
31
3 Begotten or Made? Adopted Sons in Roman Society and Imperial Ideology
50
4 Rethinking Divine Sonship in the Gospel of Mark
86
5 Begotten and Adopted Sons of GodBefore and After Nicea
132
Conclusion
173
The Son of God in the Christian World
177

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About the author (2011)

Michael Peppard is Assistant Professor of Theology at Fordham University.

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