Thursday, 2 July 2015
Contesting Identiy within Groups
Conflict and Identity in Romans: The Social Setting of Paul's Letter,
Philip F. Esler, Fortress Press, 2003, page 27
How do people behave in a group context? What should a healthy group context look like?
When people perceive that they share group membership with other people in a particular context, they expect to agree with those people on issues relevant to the shared identity and actively strive to reach such agreement. The means they adopt include argument, negotiation and persuasion. Rather than assuming, therefore, that group membership results in automatic agreement ... it leads to a shared quest for agreement.
I'm not sure if that is an accurate description of the church, but it certainly sounds like the Jewish world where argument and persuasion - but probably not much negotiation - are the modus operandii.