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Reading Galatians and Empire at the Great Altar of Pergamon

Kahl, Brigitte W.

The Great Altar of Pergamon presents itself as a core monument of Western civilization. Isn't Paul, in his own way, mirroring the imagery of the Great Altar? Isn't he rightly blamed as an early protagonist of Western imperial order with its countless, multiform wars it has imposed on humanity? Looking at the troublesome role that Paul and the Galatians have played throughout the history of Christian occidental interpretation, I was wondering what actually these two, Paul and the Galatians, were wrestling with in their own world and at a time when the empire and imperial religion were not yet Christian. This sent me on a journey to ancient Galatia which became much more eventful than I had anticipated.



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Union Seminary Quarterly Review

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Union Theological Seminary
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September 29, 2011