Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Abject Joy – Paul, Prison, and the Art of Making Do - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Abject Joy: Paul, Prison, and the Art of Making Do

Ryan S. Schellenberg


No extant text gives so vivid a glimpse into the experience of an ancient prisoner as Paul’s letter to the Philippians. As a letter from prison, however, it is not what one would expect. For although it is true that Paul, like some other ancient prisoners, speaks in Philippians of his yearning for death, what he expresses most conspicuously is contentment and even joy. Setting aside pious banalities that contrast true joy with happiness, and leaving behind too heroic depictions that take their cue from Acts, Abject Joy offers a reading of Paul’s letter as both a means and an artifact of his pr ... More

Keywords: Paul, Philippians, prison, joy, abjection, history of emotions, prison writing, prison ethnography, Roman world

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780190065515
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190065515.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ryan S. Schellenberg, author
Associate Professor of New Testament, Methodist Theological School, Ohio