Patronage and power : studies on social networks in Corinth
The purpose of this study is to examine the phenomenon of patronage in first century Corinth and its implications for understanding some of the problems in the Christian community there. In chapter 1, a picture of how patronage networks contributed to the structure of social relationships in the society of Roman Corinth and in individual institutions, like the association and the household, is put forward. Against this background, the structuring of relationships in the Christian community in Corinth at the time Paul wrote I Corinthians will be examined in chapter 2. In chapter 3, the problems in the church which involved contacts with the pagan world, including the settling of a dispute before the pagan magistrate, the immoral man's relationship with his stepmother, partaking in idolatrous feasts and the enigmatic rite of baptism for the dead, will be examined in light of the behaviour of the rich and the powerful patrons. In chapter 4, the implication of Paul's instructions in I Corinthians, in particular, encouraging communal action and defending the right of the weak, for the patronage ties in the church will be examined.