HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies (Mar 2010)

Reading Philemon as therapeutic narrative

  • Pierre J. Jordaan,
  • S. Philip Nolte

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 66, no. 1
pp. e1 – e6


Read online

This article analysed the different narratives implied in Philemon by utilising the narrative therapeutic approach, as developed by Epston and White (1990). A dominant narrative (the harsh treatment of slaves in the early Christian environment) and a challenging narrative (a more humane conduct of slaves) were clearly distinguished. The article showed Paul’s attempt to bridge the gap between these two narratives by using certain pointers, possibly taken from mystery religions and Jesus’ example. In conclusion, the narrative therapeutic approach proved to be a new and unique way of looking at Philemon’s narrative world.