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Sexual DisorientationsQueer Temporalities, Affects, Theologies$
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Kent L. Brintnall, Joseph A. Marchal, and Stephen D. Moore

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823277513

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823277513.001.0001

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Unbinding Imperial Time: Chrononormativity and Paul’s Letter to the Romans

Unbinding Imperial Time: Chrononormativity and Paul’s Letter to the Romans

(p.68) Unbinding Imperial Time: Chrononormativity and Paul’s Letter to the Romans
Sexual Disorientations

James N. Hoke

Fordham University Press

Beginning from a feminist and queer de-centering approach, this consideration of Romans 13:1-7 (Paul’s exhortation that everyone submit to ruling authorities) demonstrates that Paul’s reliance on the imperial sex-gender system in Romans 1 anticipates this exhortation to submission. This chapter applies Freeman’s chrononormativity to a first century context and shows how the Roman Empire binds time by setting itself as the eternal “end of history,” thus arranging life through a sex/gender system that fits these political goals. According to this imperial logic, one’s options exist as binary options: either submission (13:1) to all aspects of imperial hierarchies is the only reasonable response, or active, armed rebellion (13:2,4) is the only alternative. This chapter proceeds to disrupt this seemingly “logical” temporality by affirming how Paul’s epistolary voice participated in a conversation and debate within an assembly of diverse voices: the ancientekklēsia of wo/men. In such a context, Freeman’s work on erotohistoriography helps unhinge interpretation of Romans 13 from its binary logic of submission or overt resistance and opens the possibility that the wo/men who gathered in Rome’s ekklēsia might have shared (with us) in pleasurably “queer” sensations at a tempo that was (and is) “out of joint” with imperial chrononormativity.

Keywords:   chrononormativity, de-centering approach, ekklēsia of wo/men, erotohistoriography, feminist, Paul, Romans 13:1-7, Roman Empire, sex/gender

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