‘Paul, The Visible (Un)Man? Exploring the Apostle Paul’s Interaction with Hegemonic Masculinity in the Undisputed Epistles’
While Paul’s writings have long been the subject of gender-critical analysis, little attention has been paid to the fact of Paul as a man and, perhaps more importantly, what sort of man. This project will offer an answer to this question by probing Paul’s self-presentation for clues to his masculinity and particularly how he might have ‘measured up’ as a man according to ancient Greco-Roman norms. By focusing on the undisputed epistles, this project will analyse Paul’s presentation of his own body, his defence of his apostleship, his relationship to self-control, and his appropriation of unusual identities (that of mother and slave) to characterise his relationship to his churches as well as to Christ. This exegetical approach will be underpinned by Connell’s theory of hegemonic masculinity, exploring the different dynamics of masculinity at work in Paul’s self-presentation and their interaction with the norms contemporary to his letters.