Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World

Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World

Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World

Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World

Synopsis

Based upon a series of detailed case studies of associations such as early synagogues and churches, philosophical schools and pagan mystery cults, this collection addresses the question of what can legitimately be termed a 'voluntary association'.Employing modern sociological concepts, the essays show how the various associations were constituted, the extent of their membership, why people joined them and what they contributed to the social fabric of urban life. For many, those groups were the most significant feature of social life beyond family and work. All of them provided an outlet of religious as well as social commitments.Also included are studies of the way in which early Jewish and Christian groups adopted and adapted the models of private association available to them and how this affected their social status and role. Finally, the situation of women is discussed, as some of the voluntary associations offered them a more significant recognition than they received in society at large.

Excerpt

Most of the essays in this volume originated as contributions to a seminar on voluntary associations sponsored by the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies during the period 1988-1993. All but one of the contributors were attached to Canadian universities as faculty or graduate students and were involved in the work of the seminar. When, through the wonders of electronic mail, it was discovered that Torrey Seland had been working on voluntary associations and Philo, the editors invited him to contribute his essay, which was so obviously pertinent.

The book is dedicated to three past Presidents of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, all of whom reached the traditional age of retirement at the time we decided to collect and publish the essays. In addition to serving as President, each has contributed enormously to the Society over the years, and it is particularly fitting that we are able to honor them with a book of essays by a number of their friends and colleagues. The individual tributes provide some sense of the high regard in which they are held.

John Kloppenborg would like to thank the Collegium of the University of St. Michael’s College for granting a research leave, during which time much of the editing on this volume was completed. He also gratefully acknowledges the Theological Scholarship and Research Award granted by the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada which made the sabbatical possible. The editors would like to thank Mr. Richard Ascough who rendered various services during the final editorial stages.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.