Engaging Early Christian History: Reading Acts In The Second Century
Dupertuis, Rubén R. and Todd Penner, editors
Durham: Acumen, 2013 pp. xii + 274. $99.95
Edited by Philip R. Davies and James G. Crossley
Description: The book of Acts has traditionally been situated within a first-century setting, offering an apparently straightforward account of the origins and spread of Christianity. Engaging Early Christian History presents a significant departure for Christian origins studies by setting aside the explicitly historical questions commonly asked of the Acts of the Apostles and, instead, situating the text within the context of second-century history and culture. The volume extends scholarly debate beyond the analysis of pure historical debates and concerns to focus on the associations between Acts and the diverse contemporaneous texts, writers, and broader cultural phenomena in the second-century world of Christians, Romans, Greeks, and Jews. Examining the reception of Acts—and of Christian myth-making more generally—the volume explores the second century as a formative epoch for Christian storytelling, historical reimaginings, and reconfigurations of religious and social identities.
Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Acts, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, New Testament Apocrypha, Greco-Roman Literature, Early Christian Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches
Review by Christopher Stroup
Citation: Christopher Stroup, review of Rubén R. Dupertuis and Todd Penner, eds., Engaging Early Christian History: Reading Acts In The Second Century, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).
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