n Ekklesiastikos Pharos - The discourse of the suffering slave in 1 Peter : research article

Volume 95, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-9556



This paper examines the role of the discourse of the suffering slave in 1 Peter. It argues that this discourse functions as the hermeneutical key for the production of Christian subjectivity in the epistle. It functions on three levels: firstly, the author admonishes real, institutional slaves to be submissive and obedient to their masters, and especially to embrace unjust suffering. The embracing of this type of suffering becomes a form of Christomorphism, since Christ is also depicted as the suffering slave, which is the second level on which the discourse operates. Thirdly, all the suffering Christians 1 Peter addresses are viewed as suffering slaves of God, who should also rejoice in their unjust suffering, whether in martyrdom or in living the Christian life. It illustrates the transparency of the boundaries between institutional and metaphorical slavery, and shows that the oppressive practice of slavery was central to the expression of early Christian subjectivity.

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