The Early Christian World

The Early Christian World

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Since its publication in 2000, The Early Christian World has come to be regarded by scholars, students and the general reader as one of the most informative and accessible works in English on the origins, development, character and major figures of early Christianity. In this new edition, the strengths of the first edition are retained. These include the book's attractive architecture that initially takes a reader through the context and historical development of early Christianity; the essays in critical areas such as community formation, everyday experience, the intellectual and artistic heritage and external and internal challenges; and the profiles on the most influential early Christian figures. The book also preserves its strong stress on the social reality of early Christianity and continues its distinctive use of hundreds of illustrations and maps to bring that world to life. Yet the years that have passed since the first edition was published have seen great advances made in our understanding of early Christianity in its world. This new edition fully reflects these developments and provides the reader with authoritative, lively and up-to-date access to the early Christian world. 25% of the text is entirely new and the remaining essays have all been carefully revised and updated by their authors. Some of the new material relates to Christian culture (including book culture, canonical and non-canonical scriptures, saints and hagiography and translation across cultures). But there are also new essays on: Jewish and Christian interaction in the early centuries; ritual; experience of the supernatural via angels, demons, miracles and magic; Manichaeism; Pachomius the Great and Gregory of Nyssa. This new edition will serve its readers for many years to come.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 1475 pages
  • 174 x 246mm
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 1138904236
  • 9781138904231

Review quote

This new edition is a goldmine of up-to-date information for anyone interested in the development of early Christianity. The contributors represent an international collection of top-flight scholars, and the range of topics covered is expansive; yet the essays are written in an accessible style and could certainly be used in a classroom setting at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of particular note is the way in which the essays situate Christianity within its broader cultural contexts, rather than treating it as if it developed in a "holy vacuum." You will want this book on your shelf as a standard reference work for the study of early Christianity. - Professor David Eastman, Ohio Wesleyan University, USA The second edition of this valuable collection will be welcomed even by those who already own the first edition. This thoroughly updated edition preserves the structure and comprehensiveness of the first, as well as its important focus on social history and everyday experience. It also adds both depth and breadth through the inclusion of new topics and current approaches. This volume will be a boon to instructors looking for current and provocative readings to challenge their students, and indeed to anyone interested in early Christianity in its historical, social and cultural contexts. - Professor Adele Reinhartz, University of Ottawa, Canadashow more

About Philip Francis Esler

Philip F. Esler is the Portland Chair in New Testament Studies and Director of the International Centre for Biblical Interpretation in the University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK. His previous positions include Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2005-2009) and Principal of St Mary's University College, Twickenham, London (2010-2013). His research focus lies primarily in the social-scientific of biblical and extra-biblical texts and ancient legal papyri, and he also writes on the Bible and the visual arts and on New Testament theology. His latest monograph is Babatha's Orchard: The Yadin Papyri and An Ancient Jewish Family Tale Retold (2017) and before that he published Sex, Wives and Warriors: Reading the Old Testament With Its Ancient Audience (2011).show more

Table of contents

Dedication List of Illustrations Preface List of Abbreviations I THE CONTEXT 1. The Mediterranean Context of Early Christianity Philip F. Esler 2. Emperors, Armies and Bureaucrats 68-430 CE Jill Harries 3. Greek and Roman Philosophy and Religion Luther Martin 4.Jewish Tradition and Culture James Aitken II CHRISTIAN ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT 5. Jesus in His World Douglas Oakman 6.Early Jewish Christianity Edwin Broadhead 7.Paul and the Development of Gentile Christianity Todd Klutz 8.The Jesus Tradition: The Gospel Writers' Strategies of Persuasion Richard Rohrbaugh 9.The Second and Third Centuries Jeffrey S. Siker 10.From Constantine to Theodosius and Beyond Bill Leadbetter 11.Jewish and Christian Interaction from the First to the Fifth Centuries Anders Runesson III COMMUNITY FORMATION AND MAINTENANCE 12.Mission and Expansion Thomas Finn 13.The Development of Office in the Early Church Mark Edwards 14.Christian Regional Diversity David Taylor 15.Monasticism Columba Stewart OSB IV EVERYDAY CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE 16.Reading the New Testament in Roman Britain Richard Cleaves 17.Sex and Sexual Renunciation I Teresa Shaw 18.Sex and Sexual Renunciation II: Developments in Research since 2000 Elizabeth Castelli 19.Women, Children and House Churches Mona LaFosse 20.Worship, Practice and Belief Max Johnson 21.Ritual and the Rise of the Early Christian Movement Risto Uro 22.Communication and Travel Blake Leyerle V CHRISTIAN CULTURE 23.Christian Realia: Books, Papyri and Artefacts Giovanni Bazzana 24.Scriptures in Early Christianity Hanne von Weissenberg and Outi Lehtipuu 25.Saints and Hagiography Mark Humphries 26.Translation and Communication across Languages Malcolm Choat VI THE INTELLECTUAL HERITAGE 27.The Apostolic Fathers Carolyn Osiek 28.The Apologists Anders-Christian Jacobsen 29.Early Theologians Gerald Bray 30.Later Theologians of the Greek East Andrew Louth 31.Later Theologians of the West Ivor Davidson 32.Creeds, Councils and Doctrinal Development Piotr Ashwin-Siejkowski 33. Biblical Interpretation Oskar Skarsaune VII THE ARTISTIC HERITAGE 34.Early Christian Architecture: The First Five Centures L. Michael White 35. Art Robin Jensen 36.Music John Arthur Smith 37.Imaginative Literature Richard Bauckham VIII EXTERNAL CHALLENGES 38.Political Oppression and Martyrdom Candida R. Moss 39. Graeco-Roman Philosophical Opposition Michael Simmons 40. Popular Graeco-Roman Responses to Christianity Craig de Vos IX INTERNAL CHALLENGES 41. Internal Renewal and Dissent in the Early Christian World Sheila McGinn 42. Gnosticism Alistair Logan 43. Montanism Christine Trevett 44. Donatism Jakob Engberg 45. Arianism David Rankin 46. Manichaeism Jason BeDuhn X PROFILES 47. Origen Thomas Scheck 48. Tertullian Geoffrey D. Dunn 49. Perpetua and Felicitas Shira L. Lander and Ross S. Kraemer 50. Constantine Bill Leadbetter 51. Antony the Great Columba Stewart OSB 52. Pachomius the Great James E. Goehring 53. Athanasius David Gwynn 54. John Chrysostom Wendy Mayer and Pauline Allen 55. Gregory of Nyssa Elena Ene D-Vasilescu 56. Jerome Dennis Brown 57. Ambrose Ivor Davidson 58. Augustine Carol Harrison 59. Ephrem the Syrian Kathleen McVey 60. Julian the Apostate Michael Simmonsshow more