Why This New Race

Author: Denise Kimber Buell
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231133359
Size: 63.26 MB
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Why This New Race from the Author: Denise Kimber Buell. Denise Kimber Buell radically rethinks the origins of Christian identity, arguing that race and ethnicity played a central role in early Christian theology. Focusing on texts written before the legalization of Christianity in 313 C.E., including Greek apologetic treatises, martyr narratives, and works by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Justin Martyr, and Tertullian, Buell shows how philosophers and theologians defined Christians as a distinct group within the Roman world, characterizing Christianness as something both fixed in its essence and fluid in its acquisition through conversion. Buell demonstrates how this view allowed Christians to establish boundaries around the meaning of Christianness and to develop the kind of universalizing claims aimed at uniting all members of the faith. Her arguments challenge generations of scholars who have refused to acknowledge ethnic reasoning in early Christian discourses. They also provide crucial insight into the historical legacy of Christian anti-Semitism and contemporary issues of race.

Ethnic Negotiations

Author: Eric D. Barreto
Publisher: Mohr Siebeck
ISBN: 9783161506093
Size: 77.36 MB
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Ethnic Negotiations from the Author: Eric D. Barreto. Biblical scholarship has recently begun to explore the complex notions of race and ethnicity. Focusing on Acts 16, Eric D. Barreto inquires as to the function of ethnic identities in Luke's composition. The current study of Acts curtails a full appreciation of Luke's expansive theological vision by either neglecting racial and ethnic categories or construing them as relatively static designations. Instead, race and ethnicity were theologically vital yet flexible notions in Acts. Luke does not imagine the creation of a new ethnicity of Christians; instead, he projects an interstitial ethnic space between the competing and overlapping ethnic claims of Jews, Romans, Greeks, and the other peoples that populate the pages of Acts. Luke does not erase ethnic difference but employs the flexible bounds of ethnicity in order to illustrate the wide reach of the early church movement.

Defining Jewish Difference

Author: Beth A. Berkowitz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107013712
Size: 78.85 MB
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Defining Jewish Difference from the Author: Beth A. Berkowitz. This book traces the interpretive career of Leviticus 18:3, a verse that forbids Israel from imitating its neighbors. Beth A. Berkowitz shows that ancient, medieval and modern exegesis of this verse provides an essential backdrop for today's conversations about Jewish assimilation and minority identity more generally. The story of Jewishness that this book tells may surprise many modern readers for whom religious identity revolves around ritual and worship. In Leviticus 18:3's story of Jewishness, sexual practice and cultural habits instead loom large. The readings in this book are on a micro-level, but their implications are far-ranging: Berkowitz transforms both our notion of Bible-reading and our sense of how Jews have defined Jewishness.

Christians As A Religious Minority In A Multicultural City

Author: J├╝rgen Zangenberg
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9780826466709
Size: 69.20 MB
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Christians As A Religious Minority In A Multicultural City from the Author: J├╝rgen Zangenberg. Imperial Rome truly was one of the most "multicultural" cities in antiquity. Syrians, Africans, Gauls, Egyptians, Jews and other groups flocked into the city and formed their communities┬Śas well as Christians. The essays here examine questions such as: How did these ethnic and religious minority groups maintain and develop their identity? How did the "cultural majority" react towards these sometimes exotic groups? The first section gives a general survey about living conditions in early Christian Rome and how Christians, Jews and Egyptians related to their urban context. The second part focuses on the interaction between majorities and minorities in the early Christian community of Rome on the basis of New Testament texts and traditions. The third and final part follows the development of the post-New Testament Christian community into the second and third centuries.

Christian Responses To Roman Art And Architecture

Author: Laura Salah Nasrallah
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521766524
Size: 55.15 MB
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Christian Responses To Roman Art And Architecture from the Author: Laura Salah Nasrallah. Laura Nasrallah argues that early Christian literature is best understood when read alongside the archaeological remains of Roman antiquity.

Corporal Knowledge

Author: Jennifer A. Glancy
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195328159
Size: 70.46 MB
Format: PDF
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Corporal Knowledge from the Author: Jennifer A. Glancy. At the heart of the Christian proclamation is the problematic body of Jesus: problematic because His crucified form conveyed shame rather than glory, problematic because Christian communities argued about whether Jesus' body shared in the corruptible and tactile qualities of other human bodies. Jesus' message-bearing body is not the only storytelling body we encounter in early Christian writings. Paul, for example, invited recipients of his letters to read the gospel story in his scarredbody. In the second and early third centuries, Christians argued about the perpetual virginity of the body of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and those on both sides of the question saw Mary's body as a meaningful, expressive matrix. Jennifer Glancy argues that ordinary Christians, like others in the Roman Empire, saw all human bodies as expressing such things as social status and gender, honor and abjection. All human bodies were matrices of communication. Glancy draws on a variety of theoreticalapproaches, particularly the practice-oriented theory of Pierre Bourdieu and the corporal phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, to explore what early Christians understood bodies to communicate. Among the specific examples she considers are those of Jesus, Mary, and Paul, those of the entire class of people held in slavery, and those subjected to torture.

Beyond Gnosticism

Author: Ismo O. Dunderberg
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231512597
Size: 75.65 MB
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Beyond Gnosticism from the Author: Ismo O. Dunderberg. Valentinus was a popular, influential, and controversial early Christian teacher. His school flourished in the second and third centuries C.E. Yet because his followers ascribed the creation of the visible world not to a supreme God but to an inferior and ignorant Creator-God, they were from early on accused of heresy, and rumors were spread of their immorality and sorcery. Beyond Gnosticism suggests that scholars approach Valentinians as an early Christian group rather than as a representative of ancient "Gnosticism"-a term notoriously difficult to define. The study shows that Valentinian myths of origin are filled with references to lifestyle (such as the control of emotions), the Christian community, and society, providing students with ethical instruction and new insights into their position in the world. While scholars have mapped the religio-historical and philosophical backgrounds of Valentinian myth, they have yet to address the significance of these mythmaking practices or emphasize the practical consequences of Valentinians' theological views. In this groundbreaking study, Ismo Dunderberg provides a comprehensive portrait of a group hounded by other Christians after Christianity gained a privileged position in the Roman Empire. Valentinians displayed a keen interest in mythmaking and the interpretation of myths, spinning complex tales about the origin of humans and the world. As this book argues, however, Valentinian Christians did not teach "myth for myth's sake." Rather, myth and practice were closely intertwined. After a brief introduction to the members of the school of Valentinus and the texts they left behind, Dunderberg focuses on Valentinus's interpretation of the biblical creation myth, in which the theologian affirmed humankind's original immortality as a present, not lost quality and placed a special emphasis on the "frank speech" afforded to Adam by the supreme God. Much like ancient philosophers, Valentinus believed that the divine Spirit sustained the entire cosmic chain and saw evil as originating from conspicuous "matter." Dunderberg then turns to other instances of Valentinian mythmaking dominated by ethical concerns. For example, the analysis and therapy of emotions occupy a prominent place in different versions of the myth of Wisdom's fall, proving that Valentinians, like other educated early Christians, saw Christ as the healer of emotions. Dunderberg also discusses the Tripartite Tractate, the most extensive account to date of Valentinian theology, and shows how Valentinians used cosmic myth to symbolize the persecution of the church in the Roman Empire and to create a separate Christian identity in opposition to the Greeks and the Jews.


Author: Gil Anidjar
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231537255
Size: 45.85 MB
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Blood from the Author: Gil Anidjar. Blood, in Gil Anidjar's argument, maps the singular history of Christianity. A category for historical analysis, blood can be seen through its literal and metaphorical uses as determining, sometimes even defining, Western culture, politics, and social practices and their wide-ranging incarnations in nationalism, capitalism, and law. Engaging with a variety of sources, Anidjar explores the presence and the absence, the making and unmaking of blood in philosophy and medicine, law and literature, and economic and political thought, from ancient Greece to medieval Spain, from the Bible to Shakespeare and Melville. The prevalence of blood in the social, juridical, and political organization of the modern West signals that we do not live in a secular age into which religion could return. Flowing across multiple boundaries, infusing them with violent precepts that we must address, blood undoes the presumed oppositions between religion and politics, economy and theology, and kinship and race. It demonstrates that what we think of as modern is in fact imbued with Christianity. Christianity, Blood fiercely argues, must be reconsidered beyond the boundaries of religion alone.

In Adam S Fall

Author: Ian A. McFarland
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781444351651
Size: 46.43 MB
Format: PDF
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In Adam S Fall from the Author: Ian A. McFarland. This engaging and scholarly book offers refreshingly original insights into the contemporary relevance of the Christian doctrine of original sin ÔÇô one that has inspired fierce debate for the last two millennia. Challenges the many prevailing opinions about the Christian doctrine of original sin, arguing that it is not only theological defensible, but stimulating and productive for a life of faith Shows how it is possible to affirm the universality of sin without losing sight of the distinct ways in which individuals both participate in and suffer the consequences of sinful behavior Balances historic and contemporary criticism with original theological arguments; combining the substance of a traditional Augustinian doctrine of sin with the pastoral and social concerns of contemporary contextual theologies Provides a depth and range of engagement with contemporary criticism of traditional doctrine that is lacking in other recent treatments of the topic

Ethnic Identity

Author: Lola Romanucci-Ross
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
ISBN: 9780759109735
Size: 22.24 MB
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Ethnic Identity from the Author: Lola Romanucci-Ross. In this thought-provoking reader of mostly new chapters, an international group of scholars link ethnicity to language, nationalism, localism, religion, and other issues in various crucial areas around the globe. Ethnic identities are examined in countries around the globe, including Africa, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, the U.S., Thailand, and the former Yugoslavia. The fourth edition of Ethnic Identity is an excellent teaching tool for courses in race and ethnic relations, and anthropology and ethnic studies.