Symbol, Sacrament or Subversive Ritual

  • Lloyd Pietersen
Keywords: footwashing, liturgy, John 13, baptism, eucharist


This article examines the footwashing pericope in John 13:1-20 and argues that this should be seen as sign, sacrament and subversive ritual. The act is both deeply transformative and subversive - so much so that it could not be sustained in Christian communities for long.

Author Biography

Lloyd Pietersen

I am a member of the Steering Group for the Centre for Anabaptist Studies and am an Honorary Research Fellow at Bristol Baptist College and a Visiting Research Fellow at Newman University. My PhD is in New Testament Studies and my research interests are in Anabaptist biblical interpretation, Anarchist Studies, the Pastoral Epistles, and Social-Scientific biblical interpretation.