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By Bruce Hansen

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Extra resources for All of you are one: The Social Vision of Gal 3:28, 1 Cor 12:13 and Col 3:11

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58 His thesis requires that phrase to be merely a rejoinder to the covenant of circumcision’s male focus. 59 In fact, he neither explores the social situation created by circumcision being differentially applied to these pairs nor does he connect 3:28 to Paul’s social vision for the church in Galatians. Nevertheless, one must appreciate Martin’s attempt to frame the saying explicitly within a cultural symbol system while assessing the significance of all three pairs in Gal 3:28 for the broader argument of the epistle.

In the next chapter I will introduce resources from ethnic theory that will aid this assessment of Paul’s construction of identity, and then in subsequent chapters those tools will be brought to bear on close readings of how Paul utilizes the baptismal unity formula in each of the epistles in which it occurs. Gnosticism As both Meeks and Boyarin have demonstrated, similar themes on the reconciliation of opposites both precede and postdate this Pauline baptismal formula. Their religious historical investigations of this motif proceeded on the basis of that observation.

It is this presumed aboriginality of ethnic identity that seems to account for its power. Yet these common origins do not objectively exist but are simply presumed and given an aura of factuality by the group culture. Were the label “ethnicity” to be limited solely to those groups who demonstrably and objectively share common roots, the field would be much simplified. However, as noted above, anthropological, biological and historical investigations have shown that the vast majority of extant, practicing ethnic groups do not fulfill this objective criterion.

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