We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Marriage made in heaven? The contemporary reception of Ephesians 5:21-33 among women

LOGAN, JOANNE (2018) Marriage made in heaven? The contemporary reception of Ephesians 5:21-33 among women. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis explores the contemporary reception of Ephesians 5:21-33, an ideologically loaded biblical text whose authority is variously assumed or questioned in relation to an important social institution (marriage). The research exposes and assesses a diversity of readings by women – both scholars and non-scholars – in order to answer the following question: in view of the continued use of this text in Christian communities, what are ethically the most responsible and theologically the most fruitful ways in which it can be read? The thesis first considers readings by contemporary female scholars, drawing attention to their hermeneutical framing of the text and the interpretative techniques they employ. Next, readings by non-scholars, gathered during fieldwork carried out among Christian and Muslim women in the South East of England, are similarly assessed. Together these two groups of readings offer a range of interpretative options for the text: while this is not representative of all reading approaches, it indicates interesting possibilities for hermeneutics which meet the criteria of the research question. Informed by these hermeneutics, especially ideas about textual themes other than marriage and the reading practice of Sachkritik, the concluding chapter offers one way of reading Ephesians 5:21-33 which both demonstrates ethical responsibility towards women and is theologically fruitful. This way of reading takes the theological subject matter of the text (or Sache) to be Christ’s empowering love, which constitutes a theme of Ephesians as a whole and is reflected, albeit inconsistently, in the passage at the centre of this enquiry. The conclusion of the thesis is that the particular hermeneutical objectives outlined in the research question show promise of being met when Ephesians 5:21-33 is taken as illuminating themes other than marriage.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:23 Nov 2018 12:40

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter