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Neither Jew nor Greek? Constructing Early Christianity

Format: Digital
Publisher:
, 2002

Overview

A ground-breaking study in the formation of early Christian identity, by one of the world's leading scholars.In Neither Jew Nor Greek, Judith Lieu explores the formation and shaping of early Christian identity within Judaism and within the wider Graeco-Roman world in the period before 200 C.E.

Lieu particularly examines the way that literary texts presented early Christianity. She combines this with interdisciplinary historical investigation and interaction with scholarship on Judaism in late Antiquity and on the Graeco-Roman world.The result is a highly significant contribution to four of the key questions in current New Testament scholarship: how did early Christian identity come to be formed? How should we best describe and understand the processes by which the Christian movement became separate from its Jewish origins? Was there anything special or different about the way women entered Judaism and early Christianity? How did martyrdom contribute to the construction of early Christian identity?

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Key Features

  • An essential resource for the study of Christian identity in the Early Church
  • Seeks to understand how Christians formed their theological identity relative to Judaism
  • Provides detailed historical analysis supplemented with the best contemporary scholarship

Contents

  • Introduction: Neither Jew nor Greek? Constructing Early Christianity
  • Part I: Disappearing Boundaries
    • 'The Parting of the Ways': Theological Construct or Historical Reality?
    • Do God-Fearers make Good Christians?
    • The Race of the God-Fearers
    • Ignoring the Competition
  • Part II: Women and Conversion in Judaism and Christianity
    • The 'Attraction of Women' in/to Early Judaism and Christianity: Gender and the Politics of Conversion
    • Circumcision, Women and Salvation
  • Part III: Theology and Scripture in Early Christian Views of Judaism
    • History and Theology in Christian Views of Judaism
    • Accusations of Jewish persecution in Early Christian Sources
    • Reading in Canon and Community: Deut. 21.22-23, A Test Case for Dialogue
  • Part IV: The Shaping of Early 'Christian' Identity
    • The Forging of Christian Identity and the Letter to Diognetus
    • The New Testament and Early Christianity
    • 'I am a Christian': Martyrdom and the Beginning of Christian Identity

Praise for the Print Edition

Anyone interested in early Christian origins would be well advised to read this text. Lieu is a very careful biblical historian, marshaling a range of evidence while also able to acknowledge the limitations and ambiguity of some of this evidence.

—Mary Coloe, Australian Catholic University, Australia

This is a helpful collection which focuses on a broadly coherent theme. The essays are wide-ranging and show up their author's broad and detailed knowledge of both primary and secondary material. One is given a strong sense of the complexity of the subjects under discussion, not least because of the difficulty we encounter in dealing with texts (and it is texts with which Lieu is primarily concerned) with such a heavy rhetorical aspect- in fact much of what Lieu presents us with are a gradual unveiling of problems. We should, however, be grateful to have this erudite collection so easily available to us, not least because of the many issues and problems with which it presents its reader.

—James Carleton Paget, Journal of Jewish Studies

[A] wonderfully learned volume, Judith Lieu's capacity to hold together biblical, Jewish and patristic material commands respect, and she is an authority on the borderland between early Christianity and Judaism.

—Stuart G. Hall, former professor of ecclesiastical history at King's College, London, UK

Product Details

About Judith M. Lieu

Judith M. Lieu studied at Durham and Birmingham Universities and has taught at The Queen's College, Birmingham, King's College London (where she was Professor of New Testament Studies, 1999-2006), and Macquarie University, Sydney. She is on the editorial board of a number of journals and series and was previously Editor of New Testament Studies and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2014. Professor Lieu's current research is on letters in Early Christianity, exploring their changing function through their reception and embedding in new contexts, as well as the production of letter-like writings.