In Search of the Early Christians

Selected Essays

Wayne A. Meeks; Edited by Allen R. Hilton and H. Gregory Snyder

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May 11, 2002
352 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300091427
Cloth

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A central figure in the reconception of early Christian history over the last three decades, Wayne A. Meeks offers here a selection of his most influential writings on the New Testament and early Christianity. His essays illustrate recent changes in our thinking about the early Christian movement and pose provocative questions regarding the history of this period.

Meeks explores a fascinating range of topics, from the figure of the androgyne in antiquity to the timeless matter of God’s reliability, from Paul’s ethical rhetoric to New Testament pictures of Christianity’s separation from Jewish communities. Meeks’ introduction offers a retrospective on New Testament studies of the past thirty years and explains the intersection of these studies with a variety of exploratory and revisionist movements in the humanities, embracing social theory, history, anthropology, and literature. In an epilogue the author reflects on future directions for New Testament scholarship.

Wayne A. Meeks, Woolsey Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, is also the author of The First Urban Christians and The Origins of Christian Morality, both published by Yale University Press. H. Gregory Snyder is assistant professor of religion at Davidson College. Allen Hilton is assistant professor of New Testament at the Yale Divinity School and theologian in residence at the New Canaan Congregational Church.

“Meeks’s essays are individually erudite, insightful, and even ground-breaking; many of them are seminal works. This is an important book for scholars of the field of New Testament and for all others who want a sense of how the field has developed during an enormously rich and productive period.”—Bart D. Ehrman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In Search of Early Christianity makes available the ground-breaking essays of Wayne Meeks, one of the most esteemed scholars of early Christian history. This volume is an invaluable resource for anyone who is interested in the study of early Christianity and the methodological issues it raises. I highly recommend it.”—Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Krister Stendahl Professor of Scripture and Interpretation

In Search of Early Christians makes available the ground-breaking essays of Wayne Meeks, one of the most esteemed scholars of early Christian history. This volume is an invaluable resource for anyone who is interested in the study of early Christianity and the methodological issues it raises. I highly recommend it.”—Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, The Divinity School, Harvard University

“Here are some of the classic essays of today’s greatest scholar of early Christianity. Reading them over, one has, of course, the pleasure of their individual insights—wonderful, eye-opening investigations that regularly leave the reader saying, ‘Of course!’ Precious as the individual essays may be, however, there emerges from this collection something larger—an overall approach, a way of thinking about scholarship and what it has to do with the things that matter most in life. This is still more precious.”—James Kugel, Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature, Harvard University


“Here are classic essays from today’s greatest scholar of early Christianity. Reading them over, one has the pleasure of their individual insights—wonderful, eye-opening investigations that regularly leave the reader saying, ‘Of course!’”—James Kugel, Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature, Harvard University

"This is a must-have collection of widely cited exegetical and historical studies, together with some perhaps less widely known, but stunningly insightful hermeneutical studies. It should be mandatory reading for all graduate students (and their professors) who seek to carry early Christian studies forward from the multidimensional and complexly influenced legacy of the past into the fresh contexts of the twenty-first century."—Margaret M. Mitchell, University of Chicago

“Wayne Meeks is justly famous for his blockbuster books (First Urban Christians, The Origins of Christian Morality). But scholars also know him as a masterful essayist. This is a must-have collection of widely cited exegetical and historical studies, together with some perhaps less widely known, but stunningly insightful hermeneutical studies. In his concluding ‘Afterword’ Meeks defines the field of New Testament studies with his characteristic penetration, honesty, historical savvy and theological sensitivity. It should be mandatory reading for all graduate students (and their professors) who seek to carry early Christian studies forward from the multidimensional and complexly influenced legacy of the past into the fresh contexts of the twenty-first century.”—Margaret Mitchell, University of Chicago

"These previously published essays exhibit impeccable scholarship. . . . An outstanding collection of important writings by one of the US’s foremost religious thinkers."—Choice

"This volume is . . . both a record of a generation of study and a challenge to the next generation of scholars. It deserves—and will get—wide reading."—Edgar Krentz, Currents in Theology and Mission

“A collection of twelve seminal essays, published over the last thirty years, which will be valued, studied and re-read by students and scholars the world over. . . . These classic essays offer an agenda which could occupy many generations to come.”—John Barclay, Expository Times

“Meeks . . . here offers a selection of twelve papers, most of which were as influential as his book The First Urban Christians.”—International Review of Biblical Studies


"There is no way to do justice to the richness of the individual essays that constitute the book"—Jason David BeDuhn,
Journal of the American Academy of Religion

The First Urban Christians
The Social World of the Apostle Paul, Second Edition

Wayne A. Meeks; With a new introduction by the author

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The Origins of Christian Morality
The First Two Centuries

Wayne A. Meeks

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