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. 

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.


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)