Decentering Paul, Contextualizing Crimes: Reading in Light of the Imprisoned
Abstract

This paper uses a feminist decentering approach to argue that both the apostle Paul and inmates in modern US prison facilities need to be understood within their broader community systems of struggle and support in order to come to more ethical and historically accurate presentations of their stories and lives. Grounded in the author's experiences of theological school classes held in prisons, this paper focuses on Romans 16 to investigate Paul's rhetoric about imprisonment and begins to envision the complex webs of peoples and goods that are implicit in this rhetoric. This exploration of historical and interpretive possibilities fuels an examination of the discourses and networks surrounding inmates in modern American prisons and urges the envisioning of alternative stories and futures.


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