In this article, Paul's remarks about the Corinthian Lord's Supper in 1 Cor 11:17–34 are discussed from the perspective of ritual studies, specifically from the perspective of ritual failure and ritual negotiation. After outlining the appertaining analytical models, drawing on the thought of Roland Grimes and scholars working in his footsteps, it is argued that 1 Cor 11:17–34 can well be understood as an argument arising from (perceived) ritual failure on the part of the Corinthians that fits a number of Grimesian categories. Next, it is argued that Paul seeks to correct, or rather “renegotiate,” the Corinthian ritual by drawing on the narrative that governs the ritual's significance. By analyzing 1 Cor 11:17–34 from this perspective, it is argued that it is highly likely that Paul's concerns, as he formulates them there, stem from a reconsideration of the meaning of the ritual of the Lord's Supper, prompted by ritual failure and given rise to a renewed formulation of the ritual's meaning and purpose. Thus, this article offers a more refined understanding of how the conflict over the Lord's Supper functions as a conflict over ritual and how Paul's remarks in 1 Cor 11:17–34 relate to specifically the ritual aspects of the Lord's Supper.

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