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Luke's Worldview: A Study of the Oikoumene in Luke-Acts

JUNG, DEOK HEE (2017) Luke's Worldview: A Study of the Oikoumene in Luke-Acts. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The present study argues that one of the ways Luke redefines the idea of the world is by exploring the meaning of oikoumene, “the inhabited world.” This Greek term was a representative concept to signify the Mediterranean World. Subsequently the term oikoumene was embraced by other cultures which needed a concept to portray the world, such as that of the Romans and the Jews. Each culture adopted the term but distinctively adapted it within its own context. As a result, the term included various meanings—political, cultural, and religious—by the first century CE. These contextual interpretations reflect the fact that each culture established its own subjective worldview, namely a self-centred way of thinking. Subsequently, within the context of various worldviews, it was necessary for the biblical authors to clarify how audiences would perceive the oikoumene they inhabited. Luke employs the term oikoumene eight times in his two-volume book. His usages of the term reflect the various political, cultural, and religious conceptions of the oikoumene in his time. For Luke, the oikoumene is the world ruled by Roman hegemony in terms of politics and the pagan cult in terms of religion, but the oikoumene should be restored by Jesus and then his followers within their eschatological hope. It is remarkable that these views converge within the Acts narrative, thereby drawing an image of the inhabited world. Luke superimposes two contrasting worlds in Acts. Firstly, Luke exploits the prominent discourse of the Greeks about the inhabited world but within this he resorts to the Jewish reliance on an ancestral theme to describe the inhabited world, thereby providing a schematic picture of that inhabited world created by God in terms of geographic features and ethnic origin. Furthermore, Luke attempts to depict the world before his eyes which is, absolutely, the Roman oikoumene. Luke implies that the world portrayed in Acts 2 is established according to the Roman oikoumene, thereby creating a newly constructed oikoumene. Acts is a narrative in which the Roman oikoumene is retrieved into the world that Luke envisages in Acts 2. For Luke, the ideal oikoumene is the newly-restored world founded upon the Roman world.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Biblical Studies (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > History (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.731557
Depositing User: MR DEOK HEE JUNG
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2018 09:16
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:50
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19220

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