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Title: * Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity
Author: Parsons, Mikeal C
Publisher: Baker Academic; Publication Date: 2006
Paperback; ISBN: 9780801028854
Volumes: 1; Pages: 192
List Price in Paper: $24.00 Our price: $8.99
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In the ancient world, it was commonly believed that outward appearance provided clues to inner character. The "science" relating physical appearance to moral character is called physiognomy. Mikeal Parsons shows how a number of interesting episodes in Luke and Acts draw upon physiognomy only to subvert it. For example, short physical stature was an indicator of small-mindedness. After his encounter with Jesus, Zacchaeus is still short physically; however, his small-mindedness has been healed, and he repays fourfold those he has defrauded. Thus Luke ultimately denies that any direct line can be drawn between physical appearance and moral character.
This pioneering study of the bearing of physiognomy on New Testament interpretation will interest advanced scholars but is also accessible and enlightening for pastors and other students of the Bible.
Table of Contents
Soul and body react on each other: body and character in Greek and Roman literature
The movement of the body is a voice of the soul: body and character in early Jewish and Christian literature
Your eye is the lamp of your body: Luke and the body-soul relationship
Ought not this daugher of Abraham be set free? Getting the story of the bent woman straight
Short in stature, son of Abraham: the height of hospitality in the story of Zacchaeus
His feet and ankles were made strong: signs of character in the man lame from birth
What is to prevent me? Ambiguity, acceptance, and the Ethiopian eunuch.