Conflict and Identity in Romans

Philip Francis Esler
What is the purpose of Paul's letter to the Romans? Esler provides an illuminating analysis of this epistle, employing social-scientific methods along with epigraphy and archaeology. His conclusion is that the apostle Paul was attempting to facilitate the resolution of intergroup conflict among the Christ-followers of Rome, especially between Judeans and non-Judeans, and to establish a new identity for them by developing a form of group categorization that subsumes the various groups into a new entity.

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