Books of the month
October - 2021
Class Struggle in the New Testament (Lanham, MD, Fortress Academic, 2019, 298 pages, $115), edited by Robert Myles, explores the concepts of “class” and “class struggle” in the biblical studies. Based on the analysis of the texts and traditions that make up the New Testament, the different authors discuss issues such as the usefulness of categories like peasants, servants, and intermediate groups in Jesus' time, collective struggles, the biblical uses of slavery as a metaphor, broader themes like the implications of capitalist ideology on the interpretation of the Bible, among others. The book becomes, in this way, a reference for us to reflect, in a broader way, about the political and economic realities and the social relations and struggles in the Mediterranean of the first century of our era.
In De Escravos a Benfeitores: os libertos e a munificência na Hispania Romana (São Carlos, Pedro & João Editores, 2021, 211 pages, R$30), Filipe Noé da Silva investigates how freedmen in the Roman province of Baetica showed generosity to their cities as a way to ensure another social reputation, breaking with their past of slavery. The study focuses on the first and second centuries CE and has as its corpus both the epigraphic records and some texts of the manuscript tradition, such as the writings of Pliny the Younger and Cicero. This way, the author approaches a practice common to the rich and notable locals of Hellenistic and imperial Roman cities of material investment in their cities to ensure the recognition of the community, but he does this from an original and instigating perspective: that of a subaltern group that, even deprived of full rights, knew how to act to minimise the consequences of their past slavery.