The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode

Ancient Roman Families and Household Models Elucidate the Biblical Book of Philemon

A headshot photo of Susan M. (Elli) Elliott

Dr. Susan M. (Elli) Elliott

An Interview with Elli Elliott, PhD

Paul’s letter to his Roman colleague, Philemon, delicately balances Roman expectations for enslaved people, their masters, and the new egalitarian ideas in the Christ communities. Learning the lifestyle of ancient Rome in families and households, listeners are invited to imagine what Onesimus, Paul’s enslaved friend, must have felt when Paul’s letter was read aloud to his master, Philemon. The tension concerning the authority over a runaway slave is palpable, but not spoken.

Author of Family Empires, Roman and Christian: Volume I Roman Family Empires, Elli (formally Dr. Susan M. Elliott) is a researcher who walks the talk as a social justice advocate. who walks the talk as an environmental and social justice advocate. She is an Online Adjunct Instructor, Religious Studies, College of Professional and Continuing Studies, University of Oklahoma Norman. Visit her page. She is the website manager for Westar’s Bible Search and Rescue.