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The Breaking of Bread and the Breaking of Boundaries

A Study of the Metaphor of Bread in the Gospel of Matthew


Minkyu Lee

This book investigates the Matthean use of bread and the breaking of bread in light of cognitive conceptual metaphor, which are not only intertwined within Matthew’s narrative plots but also function to represent Matthew’s communal identity and ideological vision. The metaphor of bread and its cognitive concept implicitly connect to Israel’s indigenous sense of identity and religious imagination, while integrating the socio-religious context and the identity of Matthean community through the metaphoric action: breaking of bread. While using this metaphor as a narrative strategy, Matthew not only keeps the Jewish indigenous socio-religious heritage but also breaks down multiple boundaries of religion, ethnicity, gender, class, and the false prejudice in order to establish an alternative identity and ideological vision. From this perspective, this book presents how the Matthean bread functions to reveal the identity of Matthew’s community in-between formative Judaism and the Roman Empire. In particular, the book investigates the metaphor of bread as a source of Matthew’s rhetorical claim that represents its ideological vision for an alternative community beyond the socio-religious boundaries. The book also reviews Matthean contexts by postcolonial theories – hybridity and third space – subverting and deconstructing the hegemony of the dominant groups of formative Judaism and the imperial ideology of Rome.
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