Original Research - Special Collection: P.M. Venter Dedication

Empire and New Testament texts: Theorising the imperial, in subversion and attraction

Jeremy Punt
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 1 | a1182 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.1182 | © 2012 Jeremy Punt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 September 2011 | Published: 16 May 2012

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Jeremy Punt, Department of New Testament, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Considering the overt or sublime connections biblical scholars increasingly indicate between biblical texts and empires, this contribution engages the need for the theorisation of empire beyond material depiction. It is suggested that empire is primarily of conceptual nature and a negotiated notion, a constantly constructed entity by both the powerful and the subjugated, to which the concomitant responses of subversion and attraction to empire attest. The discussion is primarily related to the first-century CE context, arguing also that postcolonial analysis provides a useful approach to deal with (at least, some of) the complexities of such research.


Empire; resistance; attraction


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