Modelling Early Christianity: Social-Scientific Studies of the New Testament in its Context

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9780415129800: Modelling Early Christianity: Social-Scientific Studies of the New Testament in its Context

Modelling Early Christianity explores the intriguing foreign social context of first century Palestine and the Greco-Roman East, in which the Christian faith was first proclaimed and the New Testament documents were written. It demonstrates that a sophisticated analysis of the context is essential in order to understand the original meaning of the texts.
The contributors examine social themes such as early Christian group formation, the centrality of kinship and honour and the economic setting. They offer a wealth of novel and socially realistic interpretations which make sense of the texts. At the same time, Modelling Early Christianity contains significant new ideas on the relationship between social-scientific and literary-critical analysis, the theoretical justification for model-use and the way these new approaches can fertilise contemporary Christian theology.

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"One does not need to share this groups canonical bias nor its theological motivations to profit from this volume's wisdom (and splendid bibliography) for the project of redescribing early Christianity as processes of social formations...Permits and deserves a wide and diverse readership.."
-" Religious Studies Review, Vo. 23, No. 1, January 1997
"Attention to the sorts of questions these authors raise and seek to answer should make the reader more sensitive to and aware of the very real human and social pressures, drives, and goals which were operative in the early churches and the surrounding society."
-"Ashland Theological Journal

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