David A. Kaden

Matthew, Paul, and the Anthropology of Law

[Matthäus, Paulus und die Anthropologie des Gesetzes.]

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Published in English.
How were relations of power instrumental in forming law as an object of discourse in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Letters of Paul? David A. Kaden explores the social and cultural forces that generate legal discourse. He compares the operation of these forces in early Christianity and early Judaism, Roman law, and modern ethnographies in the field of legal anthropology.
Drawing from Michel Foucault's understanding of power, David A. Kaden explores how relations of power are instrumental in forming law as an object of discourse in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Letters of Paul. This is a comparative project in that the author examines the role that power relations play in generating discussions of law in the first century context, and in several ethnographies from the field of the anthropology of law from Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, and colonial-era Hawaii. Discussions of law proliferate in situations where the relations of power within social groups come into contact with social forces outside the group. David A. Kaden's interdisciplinary approach reframes how law is studied in Christian Origins scholarship, especially Pauline and Matthean scholarship, by focusing on what makes discourses on law possible. For this he relies heavily on cross-cultural, ethnographic materials from legal anthropology.

David A. Kaden Born 1977; PhD from the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto; taught at the University of Toronto and St. Olaf College, and currently Senior Minister at First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Ithaca, NY.


The following reviews are known:

In: Journal for the Study of the NT — 40.5 (2018), S. 33 (Grant Macaskill)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 144 (2019), S. 331–333 (Martin Vahrenhorst)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 61 (2017), S. 332