St Paul on identity politics

The apostle must have anticipated the situation in Britain, circa 2019.

In his epistle to the Galatians, who were struggling to reconcile their identities with the new religion, Paul wrote: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I don’t know how faithfully the addressees followed Paul’s prescriptions, but things clearly haven’t quite worked out that way since. That is, the notion of “neither male nor female” has indeed made some headway, but probably not in the way Paul had in mind.

However, perhaps this one day of the year we can set aside our identities, real or imaginary, and remind ourselves that there shines a transcendent equality that can extinguish all crepuscular pseudo-equalities, putting in the shade the petty distinctions that seem so vital to us now.

That this may happen is only a hope. But then the same author, this time writing to the Corinthians, put hope at the centre of the ultimate triad: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three…”

Merry Christmas to all!

3 thoughts on “St Paul on identity politics”

  1. Merry Christmas to you too Mr Boot. Starting every day here in the land downunder by reading your blog and wish it would be compulsary reading for all. And a Happy New Year too.

    1. Thank you very much. And a very Happy New Year to you too (I missed your message at Christmas). However, as a believer in free will, I hope my little scribbles won’t become compulsory. Not that there’s much danger of that.

  2. ” the Galatians, who were struggling to reconcile their identities with the new religion”

    The Galatians. Indo-Europe people living in the Near East. Still remnants found in what we call Syria today. Many Syrian very light skinned.

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