Cover image for Behaving as a Christ-Believer: A Cognitive Perspective on Identity and Behavior Norms in Ephesians By Rikard Roitto

Behaving as a Christ-Believer

A Cognitive Perspective on Identity and Behavior Norms in Ephesians

Rikard Roitto

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$39.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57506-814-5

364 pages
6" × 9"
2011

Coniectanea Biblica New Testament Series

Behaving as a Christ-Believer

A Cognitive Perspective on Identity and Behavior Norms in Ephesians

Rikard Roitto

The Pauline letter to the Ephesians and other texts of the early Christ-movement present behavior norms that vary considerably from one text to another. Many of these behavior norms were quite conventional in the first-century Mediterranean world and not unique to the Christ-movement. Nevertheless, the norms are typically presented as expressions of the identity as Christ-believers. Why? How was the relation between social identity and behavior norms constructed in the early Christ-movement? How did the Christ-believers in the early Christ-movement experience their identity “in Christ” as both causing and requiring certain behaviors?

 

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
The Pauline letter to the Ephesians and other texts of the early Christ-movement present behavior norms that vary considerably from one text to another. Many of these behavior norms were quite conventional in the first-century Mediterranean world and not unique to the Christ-movement. Nevertheless, the norms are typically presented as expressions of the identity as Christ-believers. Why? How was the relation between social identity and behavior norms constructed in the early Christ-movement? How did the Christ-believers in the early Christ-movement experience their identity “in Christ” as both causing and requiring certain behaviors?

The purpose of this study is twofold: Roitto first discusses how the cognitive sciences can provide a theoretical framework to answer the questions raised above. The aim is to provide an analytical perspective that is founded on cognitive research regarding how human minds handle identities and behavior norms. Second, he applies this framework to the Pauline letter to the Ephesians in order to present a new understanding of the letter, particularly of the relation between identity and behavior norms as expressed in the text. In the analysis of Ephesians, Roitto also discusses the potential group-dynamic effects of Ephesians, assuming hypothetically that its construction of identity and behavior norms was embraced by local communities of Christ-believers. In order to demonstrate the broader relevance of the approach in the ancient Mediterranean context and in the early Christ-movement, Roitto also intentionally takes illustrative examples from ancient sources outside of the Bible.

Introduction

1 USING COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

2 INTRODUCTORY NOTES ON TERMINOLOGY

3 COGNITIVE RESEARCH AND HISTORICAL INVESTIGATION

4 THE CULTURE OF THE EARLY CHRIST-MOVEMENT AS SHARED COGNITION

5 SOCIAL IDENTITIES AND THE SELF IN A COLLECTIVISTIC CULTURE

6 EXPLAINING THE CAUSE OF BEHAVIOR

7 FORMATION OF THE IDENTITY IN CHRIST IN RELATION TO OUTGROUPS

8 INTRAGROUP DYNAMICS IN CHRIST

9 BEING IN CHRIST FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE INDIVIDUAL GROUP MEMBER

10 SUMMARY OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE INGROUP PROTOTYPE

11 NARRATIVE, IDENTITY AND BEHAVIOR NORMS

12 RECAPITULATION

13 THE AIM AND PROGRESSION OF THE ANALYSIS OF EPHESIANS

14 THE TEXT OF EPHESIANS IN RELATION TO A HYPOTHETICAL SOCIAL CONTEXT

15 THE STRUCTURE, RHETORICAL STRATEGY, AND PURPOSE OF THE LETTER 16 THE NARRATIVE RATIONALE OF THE IDENTITY IN CHRIST

17 NARRATIVES ABOUT SOCIAL CATEGORIES IN EPHESIANS

18 A RECONSTRUCTION OF THE INGROUP PROTOTYPE

INDEX OF AUTHORS

INDEX OF PASSAGES

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