Religious Experience In Earliest Christianity

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In three fascinating probes of early Christianity - examining baptism, speaking in tongues, and meals in common - Johnson illustrates how a more wholistic approach opens up the world of healings and religious power, of ecstasy and spire - in short, the religious experience of real persons. Early Christian texts, he finds, reflect lives caught up in and defined by a power not in their control but engendered instead by the crucified and raised Messiah Jesus.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800631291
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/29/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Table of Contents

1 What's Missing from Christian Origins 1
The Language of Religious Experience 4
What Escapes the Scan of Scholars 12
The Case of Jonathan Z. Smith 26
2 Getting At Christian Experience 39
Assessing Experience 46
Troubles with Religious Experience 53
A Working Definition of Religious Experience 60
Religious Experience in Early Christianity 67
3 Ritual Imprinting and the Politics of Perfection 69
Reconstructing the Ritual 71
How Many Initiations? 78
Initiation in the Mysteries 86
Mysterious Initiation in Judaism 89
Ritual Initiation and Status Elevation 94
Jewish and Christian Practice 97
The Character of Paul's Response 99
Religion Trumps Theology 102
4 Glossolalia and the Embarrassments of Experience 105
The Nature of the Phenomenon 107
The Pervasiveness of the Phenomenon 117
Evaluations of Glossolalia by New Testament Writers 118
The Ambiguous Character of Glossolalia 124
Glossolalia and Deviance 133
5 Meals are Where the Magic is 137
Evidence Concerning Christian Meals 138
Meals within the Historical Paradigm 141
Meals in Revisionist History 146
Fellowship with the Dead or the Living (One)? 163
Epilogue 181
Index of Biblical References 187
Index of Persons and Subjects 197
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