Introduction: The Emergence Of Christian Identity

Judith Lieu

in Christian Identity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman World

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780199262892
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602818 | DOI:
Introduction: The Emergence Of Christian Identity

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How can we imagine what the sense of being ‘a Christian’ might have conveyed? We only have texts to guide us. Indeed, despite low levels of literacy, early Christianity can be viewed as a textual construct as can also Judaism and other self-understandings in the Graeco-Roman world. This allows identity and its analysis, although a modern concept, to be creatively applied to the ancient world, including early Christianity. To do so will provoke new perspectives on familiar questions concerning the rise of Christianity, its relationship with Judaism within the context of the Graeco-Roman world, and whether it is possible to speak of the essence of Christianity.

Keywords: Christianity; diversity; egalitarianism; ethnicity; identity; Judaism; literacy; social context; texts

Chapter.  10318 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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