The East (2): Egypt and Palestine

David Brakke

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

The East (2): Egypt and Palestine

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  • Religion in the Ancient World



Few if any regions in which ancient Christianity thrived capture the modern imagination in the same way as Palestine and Egypt, whose famous cities and equally famous desert regions provided the settings for Jesus and his first followers, and later, for innovative theologians and legendary monks. This article focuses on problems or themes that shape the current study of both of these regional varieties of ancient Christianity. Despite the numerous significant differences between Egypt and Palestine, and between the courses that Christianity took in them, the churches in these areas shared common features. In both cases, forms of Christianity originated as forms of Judaism. The formidable Origen spent his career and left his mark in both Egypt and Palestine, which were later troubled by disputes over ‘Origenism’. Monasticism took root in both areas, where it contributed in different ways to reconfigurations of sacred space and to processes of Christianization.

Keywords: ancient Christianity; Palestine; Egypt; Jesus; Judaism; Origen; monasticism

Article.  9219 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity ; Religion in the Ancient World

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