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The Urban World and the First Christians

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In the tradition of The First Urban Christians by Wayne Meeks, this book explores the relationship between the earliest Christians and the city environment. Experts in classics, early Christianity, and human geography analyze the growth, development, and self-understanding of the early Christian movement in urban settings.

The book’s contributors first look at how the urban physical, cultural, and social environments of the ancient Mediterranean basin affected the ways in which early Christianity progressed. They then turn to how the earliest Christians thought and theologized in their engagement with cities. With a rich variety of expertise and scholarship, The Urban World and the First Christians is an important contribution to the understanding of early Christianity.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Examines the relationship between the early church and their urban setting
  • Discusses the influence of cultural and societal factors on early Christianity


  • Cities as More Than “Scenery”
  • Early Christianity in Its Ancient Urban Setting(s)
    • “Complicating the Category of Ethnos toward Poliscentrism,” by Anthony Le Donne
    • “Paul, Pentecost, and the Nomosphere,” by Matthew Sleeman
    • “Paul’s Caesarea,” by Joan E. Taylor
    • “Early Christianity in Its Colonial Contexts in the Provinces of the Eastern Empire,” by David W.J. Gill
    • “Diaspora Jewish Attitudes to Metropoleis,” by Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer
    • “Paul’s Mission Strategy in the Urban Landscape of the First-Century Roman Empire,” by Volker Rabens
    • “‘Outside the City Gate’,” by Cédric Brélaz
    • “The City as Foil (Not Friend nor Foe),” by Helen Morris
    • “Engaging—or Not Engaging—the City,” by Paul R. Trebilco
    • “Urbanization and Literate Status in Early Christian Rome,” by Chris Keith
    • Alexandria ad Aegyptum,” by Piotr Ashwin-Siejkowski
  • Early Christian Thinking about Cities
    • “City of God or Home of Traitors and Killers? Jerusalem according to Matthew,” by Anders Runesson
    • “Heavenly Citizenship and Earthly Authorities,” by Steve Walton
    • “Spiritual Geographies of the City,” by Paul Cloke
    • “Re-Placing 1 Peter,” by David G. Horrell
    • “Repairing Social Vertigo,” by Wei Hsien Wan
    • “Cities of Revelation,” by Ian Paul
  • “Research on Urban Christian Communities,” by David W.J. Gill and Paul Trebilco
  • Title: The Urban World and the First Christians
  • Authors: Steve Walton, Paul R. Trebilco, David W. J. Gill
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2017
  • Logos Release Date: 2019
  • Pages: 403
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Church history › Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600; Cities and towns › Religious aspects--Christianity
  • ISBNs: 9780802874511, 0802874517
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T02:34:37Z

About the Editors

David W.J. Gill is professor of archaeological heritage and director of heritage futures at the University of Suffolk.

Paul R. Trebilco is professor of New Testament studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Steve Walton is professor in New Testament at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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    Digital list price: $42.99
    Save $9.00 (20%)