Susan Ashbrook Harvey and David G. Hunter

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199271566
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology


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The section divisions in this Handbook offer broad ways of organizing early Christian studies. After Part I, Part II considers types of evidence crucial for establishing early Christian history. Part III looks at specific religious identities that have long been the foils against which the meaning of the term ‘Christian’ took shape. Part IV examines the huge geographical expanse of early Christianity. Part V draws out fundamental social structures and ecclesiastical authorities by which ancient Christians organized their lives, whether institutionally, politically, or domestically. Part VI looks at the array of literary forms by which Christians articulated their concerns, identities, interests, debates, memories, practices, and teachings. Part VII considers those expressions through their implementation as activities both collective and individual. Part VIII takes up perennially vibrant areas of theological discussion that have been much affected by the scholarly shifts charted in the Handbook as a whole.

Keywords: Christian studies; Christian history; ecclesiastical authorities; theological discussion; social structures

Article.  1222 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity ; Philosophy of Religion ; Religion in the Ancient World

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