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By Philip A. Harland

This examine sheds new mild on id formation and upkeep on this planet of the early Christians through drawing on overlooked archaeological and epigraphic proof bearing on institutions and immigrant teams and by means of incorporating insights from the social sciences. The study's distinct contribution relates, partially, to its interdisciplinary personality, status on the intersection of Christian Origins, Jewish reports, Classical reports, and the Social Sciences. It additionally breaks new flooring in its completely comparative framework, giving the Greek and Roman facts its due, now not as mere historical past yet as an indispensable consider figuring out dynamics of identification between early Christians. This makes the paintings fairly compatible as a textual content for classes that objective to appreciate early Christian teams and literature, together with the recent testomony, relating to their Greek, Roman, and Judean contexts.

Inscriptions bearing on institutions offer a brand new attitude of imaginative and prescient at the ways that participants in Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues skilled belonging and expressed their identities in the Greco-Roman global. the numerous different teams of immigrants during the towns of the empire offer a very applicable framework for realizing either synagogues of Judeans and teams of Jesus-followers as minority cultural teams in those related contexts. additionally, there have been either shared technique of expressing id (including fictive familial metaphors) and peculiarities with regards to either Jews and Christians as minority cultural teams, who (like different "foreigners") have been occasionally characterised as risky, alien "anti-associations". by way of paying shut consciousness to dynamics of identification and belonging inside institutions and cultural minority teams, we will achieve new insights into Pauline, Johannine, and different early Christian communities.

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The term “social network” refers to the webs of ties and interactions among actors (individuals, groups, communities) within a social structure. , new religious movements, sects, and churches). 24 Subsequent sociological studies, including those by Rodney Stark and William S. 27 Although such networks were overlapping, there are cases when certain groups drew membership primarily from one or another of these five important areas. There were associations that drew membership primarily from social connections associated with (1) the household; (2) the neighbourhood; (3) the workplace; (4) the sanctuary or temple; and (5) common geographical origins or a shared sense of ethnic identity.

On these conflicts see Barclay 1996, 48–59; Schäfer 1997, 163–69. Associations and Group Identity among Judeans and Christians 39 a writing titled the Embassy to Gaius. There he appeals to the positive actions of Gaius’s great-grandfather, Augustus himself, as a precedent for Gaius to follow in siding with the Judeans of Alexandria over against the Greeks.

44. IJO II 26 = DFSJ 31 = Robert 1960c, 261 (first cent. bce, according to Ameling 2004, in IJO). 45. IJO II 44 (Smyrna), 206 (Hierapolis). Also see the discussion in Noy, Panayatov, and Bloedhorn 2004, 109–10, regarding the phrase “farewell to the people” at Larissa in Thessaly (IJO I Ach 1–4, 8–14, 25; probably third or fourth cent. ce). On the connection with the “people of God,” see Robert 1960c, 260–61. 46. Williams 1994b, 174. For the repeated reference to “the synod,” see lines 4, 8, and 16.

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