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Published in: Journal Of Hellenic Religion, , Vol. 3, 69-70.


V. Henry T. Nguyen, Christian Identity in Corinth: A Comparative Study of 2 Corinthians, Epictetus & Valerius Maximus, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, Series 2 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008); ISBN-13: 9783161496660; xii + 272 pp.

This impressive book is the revised version of a doctoral thesis completed at the University of Aberdeen in 2007. It examines the concept of social identity through the term persona/πρόσωπον in the work of Paul, Epictetus and Valerius Maximus. The inspiration for undertaking this study came from the author’s observation of the Pauline usage of the word πρόσωπον in several passages in the Epistles and especially in 2 Corinthians 5.12: ‘ἵνα ἔχητε πρὸς τοὺς ἐν προσώπῳ καυχωμένους καὶ μὴ ἐν καρδίᾳ’. A critique of the superficiality of values amongst the elite of the Greaco-Roman city of Corinth was essential in establishing the Pauline message. Yet in order for us to appreciate the full meaning of this critique, it is necessary to grasp the concept of Roman social identity in the first place, as well as the critique of aspects of this identity from within. That is what the author has done, dedicating the first part of his book to the study of social identity in the work of Valerius Maximus and Epictetus.

Keywords: valerius-maximus,virtues-and-vices,city-of-corinth

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