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Begotten Anew: Divine Regeneration and Identity Construction in 1 Peter

GIRSCH, KATHERINE,ANNE (2015) Begotten Anew: Divine Regeneration and Identity Construction in 1 Peter. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis argues that the divine regeneration metaphor in 1 Peter is fully integrated into the author’s theological goal of constructing Christian identity in ethnic terms. The author grounds Christian regeneration on Christ’s resurrection (Chapter 2, 1:3) and the preaching of the word, through which the imperishable seed is implanted in believers (Chapter 3, 1:23-25). Believers are then socialized into their new identity by feeding on spiritual milk like newborn babes
(Chapter 4, 2:1-3) and being built into a spiritual house and corporate temple (Chapter 5, 2:4-10). All of these images contribute to Christian ethnic identity by activating different aspects of Jewish and Greco-Roman perceptions of what constituted ethnic identity.
Chapter 1 prepares the groundwork for this study by reviewing previous scholarship on Petrine regeneration, metaphor theory, and ancient and modern perceptions of ethnicity. This chapter also maps the letter’s structure to provide a bird’s eye view of the letter as a whole.
The following chapters then examine one Petrine metaphor in light of its Jewish and early Christian precedents. In most cases, 1 Peter is in continuity with Jewish and Christian traditions, though the author of the letter always recasts these traditions for his own purposes. Each of these metaphors link together to bring the reader into the interpretive process as an active participant. These metaphors also relativize the importance of physical familial relationships, heritage, and group belonging in favor of heightened awareness of Christian membership. People acquire ethnic identities through birth and by living according to the group’s values. In 1 Peter, believers acquire their new identity through their divine regeneration, but this regeneration must be fostered, maintained, and developed by living holy lives dedicated to God in order to become his chosen people.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Divine Regeneration, 1 Peter, Ethnicity, Christian Identity
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Dec 2015 09:07

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