Original Research

Mr Paul: Masculinity and Paul’s self-presentation (1 Cor 11–13)

Jeremy Punt
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 2 | a2001 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i2.2001 | © 2016 Jeremy Punt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 June 2015 | Published: 19 October 2016

About the author(s)

Jeremy Punt, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Notwithstanding all the corporeal and gendered language in the Pauline letters, the apostle’s bodiliness and masculinity so far has received little attention. In the 1st-century context masculinity reigned by default and provides the contemporary context for teasing out the corporeal and gendered overtones in the Pauline letters, especially in Paul’s self-presentation. Recent and intersecting masculinity studies, body theology and queer theory provide useful tools for engaging Paul as man and his bodily-focussed, gendered approach in his letters. A focus on both Paul as embodied man and his corporeal, gendered approach enable alternative readings of his letters’ concern with corporeality and the related relationships between bodies, power and life in the communities he addressed.


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