Early Christian Literature: Christ and Culture in the Second and Third Centuries

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $145.42
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 3%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (2) from $145.42   
  • New (1) from $145.42   
  • Used (1) from $149.62   

More About This Textbook


"In this thoroughgoing study, Helen Rhee shows how the forms of classical genre were adapted to present the superiority of Christian monotheism; the superiority of Christian sexual morality; and Christian (dis)loyalty to the Empire. These propagandistic writings shaped the theological, moral and political trajectories of Christian faith and contributed largely to the definition of orthodoxy." This work of scholarship explores issues of cultural identity in an area which has hitherto lacked definition. In clear prose the author presents arguments that will be of equal interest to the student of early Christianity and of Greco-Roman literary culture and civilization.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

1 Second-century Christian literature in its historical-cultural context 9
Christianity in the mid-second and the early third centuries 9
Christian interaction with Greco-Roman society 12
Literature of the second century : the apologies, apocryphal acts, and martyr acts 20
Triangular relationship 47
2 The superiority of Christian monotheism 49
Apologies : Christianity as true philosophy 50
Apocryphal acts : Christianity as true power 71
Martyr acts : Christianity as true piety 88
3 The superiority of Christian sexual morality 106
Asceticism in general : the controlling paradigm 106
Asceticism : sexual chastity and renunciation 108
Chastity, marriage, and family in Greco-Roman society : ideology and practice 109
Marriage and celibacy in the New Testament 113
Apologies : harmony with the established social order 117
Tatian and encratism 123
Apocryphal acts : antithesis of the social ideal and resistance to the social order 125
Martyr acts : renunciation of social mores 143
4 Christian loyalty to the empire 159
Imperial cult : unity of religion and politics 159
Apologies : Christian loyalty to the empire 164
Apocryphal acts : Christian subversiveness to the empire 171
Martyr acts : Christian resistance to the empire 179
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)