By Mark Humphries
Studying resources and case reports, this ebook explores early Christianity, the way it was once studied, the way it is studied now, and the way Judaeo-Christian values got here to shape the ideological bedrock of contemporary western tradition. the varied resource fabrics on hand, from the earliest New testomony texts and the complicated treaties of 3rd century authors corresponding to Lactantius, to archaeology, epigraphy and papyrology, the booklet examines what's had to examine the topic, what materials are to be had, how necessary they're, and the way the examine of the topic should be approached. Case research chapters concentrate on vital difficulties within the examine of early Christianity together with: the ebook of Acts as a textual content revelatory of the social dynamics of towns and as a textual content concerning the inherent tensions in Hellenistic Judaism orthodoxy and association in early Christianity early Christianity and the Roman empire. additionally together with a entire consultant for college kids that lists significant collections of literary and non-literary resources, significant journals and sequence, and significant textual content books, it's an outstanding reduction to the research of Christianity in historical past.
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Additional resources for Early Christianity (Classical Foundations)
Wilson 1990: 572–80). In these cultural contexts, it may be much easier to take the view that religion is an increasingly marginal phenomenon. Yet such a view ignores the demonstrable reality that in many parts of the world religion is not on the retreat at all, but remains an important facet of people’s lives and identities. Studies of religious demographics suggest that while the twentieth century certainly saw an extraordinary rise in the number of people who, for various reasons, might be termed ‘nonreligious’, it has also seen most religions continue to ﬂourish – and even enjoy a resurgence (Geertz 2000: 172–8).
More recently, the phenomenal success of Mel Gibson’s ﬁlm The Passion of the Christ (2004) and the huge crowds that gathered in Rome after the death of pope John Paul II and for the election of Benedict XVI (April 2005) have shown that there remains a 26 W H AT I S E A R LY C H R I S T I A N I T Y ? 7 Against such a background some scholars have been talking about a process of ‘desecularization’, as religions reassert themselves in various arenas, not least politics. It has been argued – even before the events of 11 September 2001 suddenly put religion back at the centre of political debate – that ‘[t]hose who neglect religion in their analyses of contemporary affairs do so at great peril’ (Berger 1999: 18).
Yet their interpretation of these texts is not uncontroversial. It might be objected that the injunctions mentioned in Scripture or in Eusebius and Tertullian (and other early Christian authors: cf. Minucius Felix, Octavius 30) are culturally speciﬁc, reﬂecting assumptions peculiar to the historical contexts in which they were made. It seems that in the early Christian period, for example, such objections might have been raised because of the origin of the blood and meat: it came from animals sacriﬁced to the pagan gods and was tainted for this very reason.
Early Christianity (Classical Foundations) by Mark Humphries