Bishop's Encyclopedia of Religion, Society and Philosophy

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Scholar Davina Lopez says that we live in a highly visual environment in which we are exposed to a “world of images” (Lopez, 2012: 93). Images incorporate “a series of visual elements that, together, participate in the construction of a reality and vision of social relations…” (Lopez, 2012: 107). Lopez thus suggests the importance of “visual literacy,” the ability to perceive, interpret, and learn from images in their environment (Lopez, 2012: 93). This paper examines the power of images both in the ancient world of the Apostle Paul and within a South African post-apartheid context too.

Images in the Apostle Paul’s Letters

Understanding Paul’s letters and the images he constructs is important (Lopez, 2012: 95-98). Interpretations of Paul’s letters have been used to condone moral evils such as anti-semitism, homophobia, and slavery. However, Paul’s same letters have also been used to oppose such evils. Such conflicting interpretations are suggestive of…

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