Christian Identity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman World

By Judith M. Lieu | Go to book overview

Preface

The seeds of this book were sown when I was asked to give a paper for a seminar on 'Identities in the Eastern Mediterranean in Antiquity' in honour of Fergus Millar, held at the Australian National University, Canberra (November 1997: the papers from the seminar were later published as Mediterranean Archaeology 11 (1998)). The challenge to reflect on my own specialism, early Christianity, in the company of historians of the ancient world, a challenge I had already encountered among my colleagues in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University, marked the beginning of an exciting journey from some relatively naive thoughts about identity to an awareness, if no less naive, of the complexities of the endeavour. I am grateful to initial respondents to that paper, those at the seminar and elsewhere, including, especially, Mark Brett (Melbourne) and Kath O'Connor (Sydney), for hints that were to prove very fruitful. Since then there have been many who, in response to papers on 'work in progress' or in conversation, have further stimulated my thinking; chief among these are colleagues and students in Ancient History at Macquarie University, and more recently those in Theology and Religious Studies at King's College London, and to them I also record my thanks. The anonymous readers for Oxford University Press also gave valuable advice. Yet this project also builds on my earlier interests, on the interaction between Jews, Christians, and their polytheistic neighbours, however we label them, both socially and in their representations of each other. I am fortunate in having had access to a range of good libraries in Sydney and London, without whose commitment to real books in a world of Information Systems and virtualia little of this could have been done. Particularly important have been the friends and colleagues outside the academic world whose interest and encouragement have confirmed me in my belief that seeking to understand Christian identity in the earliest centuries really

-v-

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Christian Identity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Christian Identity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman World iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: Text and Identity 27
  • 3: History, Memory, and the Invention of Tradition 62
  • 4: Boundaries 98
  • 5: The Grammar of Practice 147
  • 6: Embodiment and Gender 178
  • 7: Space and Place 211
  • 8: The Christian Race 239
  • 9: 'The Other' 269
  • 10: Made Not Born: Conclusions 298
  • Bibliography 317
  • Index of Ancient Authors and Sources 351
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