Philemon is not just a letter about a first-century master and slave but a window into what applied theology looks like in a Pauline community. In this seminar, Dr. Batanayi I. Manyika unpacks the construction and intention behind this letter, as well as its history of interpretation. He further examines the gospel’s influence on slave-master relationships in the first century and how these findings might be appropriated for a gospel motivated transformation of social orders. In particular, he explores how we may apply Philemon to the relationships between Christian employers and Christian domestic workers.
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Dr. Batanayi I. Manyika is the Coordinator of Faculty Research and Publishing at the South African Theological Seminary (SATS). He holds theological degrees from the University of Wales, Stellenbosch University, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from SATS. For his doctoral research, he focused on Paul’s letter to Philemon where he investigated the gospel’s influence on master-slave relationships in the first century. He appropriated his findings in the relationships between Christian employers and Christian domestic workers in contemporary Southern Africa, advocating a gospel motivated transformation of social orders. Bat has been involved in church leadership in the UK, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. He is married to Vanesha and they live in the north of France