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

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

by Helen Rhee
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415354889

ISBN-13: 9780415354882

Pub. Date: 06/28/2005

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Helen Rhee’s outstanding work is the first book to bring together The Apologies and the semi-fictional Apocryphal Acts and Martyr Acts in a single study. Filling a significant gap in the scholarship, she looks at Christian self definition and self representation in the context of pagan-Christian conflict.

Using an interdisciplinary

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Overview

Helen Rhee’s outstanding work is the first book to bring together The Apologies and the semi-fictional Apocryphal Acts and Martyr Acts in a single study. Filling a significant gap in the scholarship, she looks at Christian self definition and self representation in the context of pagan-Christian conflict.

Using an interdisciplinary approach; historical, literary, theological, sociological, and anthropological, Rhee studies the Christians in the formative period of their religion; from mid first to early third centuries. She examines how the forms of Greco-Roman society were adapted by the Christians to present the superiority of Christian monotheism, Christian sexual morality, and Christian (dis)loyalty to the Empire.

Tackling broad topics, including theology, asceticism, sexuality and patriotism, this book explores issues of cultural identity and examines how these propagandist writings shaped the theological, moral and political trajectories of Christian faith and contributed largely to the definition of orthodoxy.

This thorough study will benefit all students of early Christianity and Greco-Roman literary culture and civilization.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415354882
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Series:
Routledge Early Church Monographs Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
284
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

1Second-century Christian literature in its historical-cultural context9
Christianity in the mid-second and the early third centuries9
Christian interaction with Greco-Roman society12
Literature of the second century : the apologies, apocryphal acts, and martyr acts20
Triangular relationship47
2The superiority of Christian monotheism49
Apologies : Christianity as true philosophy50
Apocryphal acts : Christianity as true power71
Martyr acts : Christianity as true piety88
3The superiority of Christian sexual morality106
Asceticism in general : the controlling paradigm106
Asceticism : sexual chastity and renunciation108
Chastity, marriage, and family in Greco-Roman society : ideology and practice109
Marriage and celibacy in the New Testament113
Apologies : harmony with the established social order117
Tatian and encratism123
Apocryphal acts : antithesis of the social ideal and resistance to the social order125
Martyr acts : renunciation of social mores143
4Christian loyalty to the empire159
Imperial cult : unity of religion and politics159
Apologies : Christian loyalty to the empire164
Apocryphal acts : Christian subversiveness to the empire171
Martyr acts : Christian resistance to the empire179

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