Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - August-Boeckh-Antikezentrum

August-Boeckh-Lecture, Juni 2018

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Laura Nasrallh
(Havard, Divinity School)

Paul’s Letter to the Romans: Between the Obelisks of Psamtik II and Benito Mussolini



Montag, 04. Juni 2018, 18.30 Uhr


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Unter den Linden 6, Raum 2097








This lecture investigates Paul’s Letter to the Romans, foregrounding themes of power, ethnicity, and time. The letter’s language of race and ethnicity has often been used to support Christian supersessionism and anti-Semitism, rather than being read within the context of Paul’s Jewish identity. This lecture instead uses literary,papyrological, and archaeological evidence to reconstruct a historical context of ethnic tensions in Rome and Egypt—including tensions about Jewish ethnicity. Further, we will explore: How might those who first received the Letter to the Romans have understood Paul’s language of ethnicity and time in relation to an obelisk of Egyptian kingPsamtik II that stood as a gnomon or timepiece within Augustus’s Mausoleum complex? And why, centuries later, did Mussolinimodel himself after Augustus and erect his own obelisk in Rome?