The Sodom Tradition in Romans 1:18–32

Esler, Philip F ORCID: 0000-0002-4889-4889 (2004) The Sodom Tradition in Romans 1:18–32. Biblical Theology Bulletin: Journal of Bible and Culture, 34 (1). pp. 4-16.

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Many commentators have made suggestions as to the major allusion in Romans 1:18–32, with recent examples including Adam in Genesis 1–2 and decline of civilization narratives. This article proposes instead that the dominant tradition underlying this passage of the letter is that of Sodom. Yet rather than configuring the discussion as an example of how one or more texts have influenced another text, in this case Romans, it is argued that we must consider how traditions such as this would have been mediated to an audience that was largely illiterate. This suggests that the appropriate model lies in the processes of collective memory rather than the practice of intertextuality. A survey of relevant material in Israelite and Christ-follower writings is then conducted with an emphasis on how the character and fate of Sodom were remembered, understood, and utilized in a residually oral culture. An examination of the argument of Romans 1:18–32 in the light of this discussion reveals so many elements of the collective memory of Sodom as to justify the view that it is the dominant tradition in this passage. The concluding section of the article situates this result in relation to Paul's communicative strategy in the letter.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2016 13:56
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57

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