Reading Paul in the Shadow of Empire

a one-week intensive course
in Saskatoon
November 7-11, 2022

taught by Sylvia Keesmaat

offered by Mennonite Church Saskatchewan
in collaboration with
Canadian Mennonite University

non-credit and credit options available

in person and virtual
Dedication of Paul and Barnabas-Frank Wesley-large.jpg
Dedication of Paul and Barnabas by Frank Wesley

Information on fees

and registration can be found here.

With a focus primarily on Paul’s letter to the Romans, this course will explore how Paul called followers of Jesus to a life of faithfulness at the heart of the Roman empire.

Reading Romans from below, as a letter written to communities struggling with what it means to be faithful in a context of slavery, poverty and violence, will allow us to reflect on how Paul’s words address the challenges of colonialism, violence and the climate crisis today.

November 7-11, 2022

9am - 4pm

in person and via zoom

this course will not be recorded

This course  is for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the apostle Paul and how his writings speak to our current times . All are welcome, regardless of denominational or religious affiliation. No prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary.

NB: Those seeking a course on Paul that follows the usual format of Bible Remixed courses should register for the course that will be offered by Bible Remixed in 2023. 

Course Format and Requirements

This is a credit course that welcomes the participation of auditors. Class format will include both lecture material and discussion amongst students in a seminar format.


Participation of auditors in discussion will be dependant on class size. Those wishing to participate in class discussion should be familiar with the readings assigned for class.


Syllabus: click here to see the syllabus.

Readings (additional articles may be added by Sept 1):

Baker, Mark D. and J. Ross Wagner, “Reading Romans in Hurricane-Ravaged Honduras: A Model of Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Conversation” Missiology: An International Review, Vol. XXXII, No. 3, (July 2004), 367-383. Reprinted in Navigating Romans Through Cultures: Challenging Readings by Charting a New Course ed. By Yeo Khiok-khng (K.K.). (T&T Clark, 2004) pp. 95-112. (click here for article)

Sylvia C. Keesmaat and Brian J. Walsh, Romans Disarmed: Resisting Empire, Demanding Justice. Brazos Press, 2019.

Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989, Chapter two (pp. 34-83).

Steven J. Friesen, “Poverty in Pauline Studies: Beyond the So-Called New Consensus” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 26.3 (2004) 323-361. (click here for article)

Wagner, J. Ross. Heralds of the Good News: Isaiah and Paul in Concert in the Letter to the Romans. Leiden: Brill, 2003, pp. 341-359. (click here for chapter)