Enslaved persons were ubiquitous in the first- and second-century CE Roman Empire, and early Christian texts reflect this fact. Yet the implications of enslaved presence in religious practices are under-examined in early Christian and Roman history. Enslaved Leadership in Early Christianity argues that enslaved persons' roles in civic and religious activities were contested in many religious groups throughout ancient cities, including communities connected with Paul's legacy. This power struggle emerges as the book examines urban spaces, inscriptions, images, and literature from ancient Ephesos and its environs. Enslaved Leadership breaks new ground in analyzing archaeology and texts-asking how each attempts to persuade viewers, readers, and inhabitants of the city. Thus this book paints a complex picture of enslaved life in Asia Minor, a picture that illustrates how enslaved persons enacted roles of religious and civic significance that potentially upended social hierarchies privileging wealthy, slave-holding men. Enslaved persons were religious specialists, priests, and leaders in cultic groups, including early Christian groups. Yet even as the enslaved engaged in such authoritative roles, Roman slavery was not a benign institution nor were all early Christians kinder and more egalitarian to slaves. Both early Christian texts (such as Philemon,1 Timothy, Ignatius' letters) and the archaeological finds from Asia Minor defend, construct, and clarify the hierarchies that kept enslaved persons under the control of their masters. Enslaved Leadership illustrates a historical world in which control of slaves must continually be asserted. Yet this assertion of control raises a question: Why does enslaved subordination need to be so frequently re-established, particularly through violence, the threat of social death, and assertions of subordination?
This study illuminates the social, political, economic, and religious lives of those to whom the apostle Paul wrote. It articulates a method for bringing together biblical texts with archaeological remains.
"This is the story of how the church sought to establish norms for slave ownership on the part of ecclesiastical institutions and personnel and for others' behavior towards such slaves. The story begins in the New Testament era, when the earliest Christian norms were established and continues through the Late Roman Empire, the Germanic kingdoms, and the Carolingian empire, to the thirteenth-century establishment of a body of ecclesiastical regulations (canon law) that would persist into the twentieth century. Along with an analysis of the various policies and statutes, chronicles, letters, and other documents from each of the various historical periods provide insight into the situations of these unfree ecclesiastical dependents. The book stops in the thirteenth century, which was a time of great changes, not only in the history of the legal profession, but also in the history of slavery as Europeans began to reach out into the Atlantic. Although this book is a serious scholarly monograph about the history of church law, it has been written in such a way that no specialist knowledge is required of the reader, whether a scholar in another field or a general reader interested in church history or the history of slavery. Historical background is provided and there is a short Latin lexicon"--
Over several decades, scholarship in New Testament and early Christianity has drawn attention both to the ways in which ancient Mediterranean conceptions of embodiment, sexual difference, and desire were fundamentally different from modern ones and also to important lines of genealogical connection between the past and the present. The result is that the study of "gender" and "sexuality" in early Christianity has become an increasingly complex undertaking. This is a complexity produced not only by the intricacies of conflicting historical data, but also by historicizing approaches that query the very terms of analysis whereby we inquire into these questions in the first place. Yet at the same time, recent work on these topics has produced a rich and nuanced body of scholarly literature that has contributed substantially to our understanding of early Christian history and also proved relevant to ongoing theological and social debates. The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Sexuality in the New Testament provides a roadmap to this lively scholarly landscape, introducing both students and other scholars to the relevant problems, debates, and issues. Leading scholars in the field offer original contributions by way of synthesis, critical interrogation, and proposals for future questions, hypotheses, and research trajectories.
This volume brings together two important historical studies by Professor Hengel, Acts and the History of Earliest Christianity, and Property and Riches in the Early Church. Together they give a vivid and clearly written picture of life and values in the first days of Christianity. 'Remarkably easy reading and well within the reach of those who are shy of works of scholarship' (Expository Times). Martin Hengel was Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism in the University of Tubingen.