Cover

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Praise, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

The idea for this book was born while I was reading James Scott’s Domination and the Arts of Resistance and taking doctoral seminars on the book of Daniel and Jewish backgrounds of the New Testament. My colleagues in those seminars proved to...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xviii

This book is not the product of my singular efforts but represents the fruits of those people, organizations, and communities who have supported me from the moment we encountered each other. For this reason there are many people to acknowledge, but...

Abbreviations

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pp. xix-xxii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

Diaspora. Dispersion. Deviancy. Conformity. Foreigner. Resident. Family. The First Letter of Peter has all this in mind from the very beginning when it greets its readers saying, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ; to the elect-foreigners of the Diaspora...

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Part 1. Diaspora through the Lens of 1 Peter

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pp. 15-16

The first three chapters are focused strictly on the New Testament First Letter of Peter and its construction of a diaspora- Christian identity and praxis. The letter leverages diaspora to cast a unique understanding of existing as a distinct people of God...

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1. Chosen Kinship: Imagining Christian Diaspora

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pp. 17-44

One benefit of narrative is its capacity to shape stories, be they fictional or actual, into new ways of knowing—into new stories. Sometimes those stories are for mere entertainment, providing readers an escape from their reality and introducing...

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2. The Cultic Life: Practices of the Christian Diaspora

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pp. 45-60

The previous chapter demonstrates that the image of diaspora shapes the entire First Letter of Peter. The fundamental proposition 1 Peter puts forward to readers is that they are the people of God living temporary existences of dispersion and distance...

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3. Provinces and Households: The Relational Matrix of the Christian Diaspora

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pp. 61-84

Although 1 Peter makes it clear that diaspora Christians cannot participate in both Christian and pagan cultic customs, the letter encourages them to observe both Christian and non-Christian forms of civic interaction and household arrangement..

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Part 2. Diaspora the Way Others Imagine

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pp. 85-86

The next three chapters present a selection of literary moments of diaspora construction extant among Hellenistic Jewish writings that imagine diaspora in terms both similar to and distinct from notions put forward in the New Testament First Letter...

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4. Diaspora Life in Babylon: The Court Tales of Daniel

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pp. 87-116

Up to this point, 1 Peter has been interpreted as a diaspora-focused source that constructs a strategy for existing as the Christian kinship scattered across the Roman world. The letter’s social approach divided diaspora life into two realities and...

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5. Diaspora in Egypt: The Letter of Aristeas

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pp. 117-140

The Letter of Aristeas represents another extant formulation of diaspora experience and thought that has come down to contemporary readers. It is an instance of diaspora imaginings that reflects similar ideas, attitudes, and foci to what is found in 1 Peter...

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6. Diaspora in Alexandria: Philo

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pp. 141-162

Respectively, the First Letter of Peter, the Daniel court tales, and the Letter of Aristeas present visions of what diaspora life is like with its many issues and challenges, rewards and benefits, prescriptions and proscriptions. Each one represents religious...

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Conclusion: Liberating 1 Peter’s Diaspora Vision

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pp. 163-170

What is a thirty-something-year- old southern African American woman, a great-granddaughter and granddaughter of tenant horse farmers and housemaids, doing giving an appreciative reading of 1 Peter? After all, the letter is filled...

Bibliography

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pp. 171-200

Index

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pp. 201-207