QUESTIONING THE ‘PERFECT MALE BODY’: A CRITICAL READING OF EPHESIANS 4:13

Lilly Nortjé-Meyer

Abstract


Many scholars are at great pains to interpret and explain the metaphor of the body
in the letter to the Ephesians “correctly.” From a reader-response criticism point of
view, the notion of a “correct” interpretation is dubious. Metaphors point to
realities beyond themselves. We use them to speak about the invisible, to understand
and explain human affairs and the world of God. But metaphors are also rooted in
the context of the culture and politics that created them. In this paper it is argued
that the metaphor of the “perfect male body” is derived from a culture and politics
that are gender biased and therefore the metaphor cannot serve as a “true,”
“correct” or descriptive image of the church in relationship with the transcendental.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/90-0-1063

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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