Roman Faith and Christian Faith

Roman Faith and Christian Faith : Pistis and Fides in the Early Roman Empire and Early Churches

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Description

This study investigates why 'faith' (pistis/fides) was so important to early Christians that the concept and praxis dominated the writings of the New Testament. It argues that such a study must be interdisciplinary, locating emerging Christianities in the social practices and mentalites of contemporary Judaism and the early Roman empire. This can, therefore, equally be read as a study of the operation of pistis/fides in the world of
the early Roman principate, taking one but relatively well-attested cult as a case study in how micro-societies within that world could treat it distinctively.

Drawing on recent work in sociology and economics, the book traces the varying shapes taken by pistis/fides in Greek and Roman human and divine-human relationships: whom or what is represented as easy or difficult to trust or believe in; where pistis/fides is 'deferred' and 'reified' in practices such as oaths and proofs; how pistis/fides is related to fear, doubt and scepticism; and which foundations of pistis/fides are treated as more or less secure.

The book then traces the evolution of representations of human and divine-human pistis in the Septuagint, before turning to pistis/pisteuein in New Testament writings and their role in the development of early Christologies (incorporating a new interpretation of pistis Christou) and ecclesiologies. It argues for the integration of the study of pistis/pisteuein with that of New Testament ethics. It explores the interiority of Graeco-Roman and early Christian
pistis/fides. Finally, it discusses eschatological pistis and the shape of the divine-human community in the eschatological kingdom.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 640 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 35mm | 952g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 019880105X
  • 9780198801054
  • 498,445

Table of contents

1: Introduction: Approaching pistis and fides in the Graeco-Roman world, Hellenistic Judaism, and early churches
2: Greek and Roman Pistis and Fides I: domestic and personal relations
3: Greek and Roman Pistis and Fides II: structures of state
4: Pistis and Fides in Graeco-Roman Religiosity
5: Pistis in the Septuagint
6: Pistis and the Earliest Christian Preaching
7: Pistis in Galatians, Romans, Philippians, and Philemon
8: Pistis in Non-Pauline Letters
9: Pistis in the Synoptic Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles
10: Pisteuein and its Relations in the Johannine Corpus
11: Relationality and Interiority in Pistis and Fides
12: Pistis, Fides and the Structure of Divine-Human Communities
Conclusion
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Review quote

[I]t is to be hoped that its conclusions cascade through the layers of modern Christianity to refresh more than just the thirst of professional scholars. * Cally Hammond, Church Times * This is a significant and magisterial study. One cannot read it without benefiting from the insights contained on every page * Paul Foster, Expository Times * This is a wonderful and refreshing book that offers insights for classicists, New Testament scholars, and those who bridge both fields * Alicia J. Batten, Bryn Mawr Classical Review * It is impossible to do justice to the richness and depth of this study, let alone its many astute exegetical observations, in a single review * David Horrell, Ecclesiology * This book will be the fundamental text on this issue for a long time to come. * Peter Oakes, Theology * Among studies on faith in the New Testament, Teresa Morgans distinctive and valid approach is that we best understand in the NT by locating it in the language and culture of the early Principate. * Ilaria L. E. Ramelli (Catholic University-Angelicum-Princeton), The Journal of Roman Studies Vol.107 * an enriching and incomparably prodigious treasure from which scholars can draw among numerous lines of inquiry. It is, quite simply, one of the most remarkable and necessary works in New Testament studies available today. I strongly recommend it for graduate studies and comprehensive exam reading lists and for the shelves of technical audiences and scholars in classics, New Testament, and systematic theology alike. * Timothy Milinovich, Catholic Biblical Quarterly *
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About Teresa Morgan

Teresa Morgan is Professor of Graeco-Roman History in the Faculty of Classics, Oxford University, and Nancy Bissell Turpin Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at Oriel College. She is a historian of Graeco-Roman and early Christian culture and mentalite; previous books include Literate Education in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds (1998), and Popular Morality in the Early Roman Empire (2007). She is a self-supporting priest in the Parish of Littlemore, Oxford.
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