Journal Article

Leadership Patterns and the Development of Ideology in Early Christianity

David Horrell

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 58, issue 4, pages 323-341
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Leadership Patterns and the Development of Ideology in Early Christianity

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Gerd Theissen opened up important questions concerning the conflict in earliest Christianity between “charismatic” and “community organizer” forms of itinerant leadership. This paper focuses upon the equally significant distinction between itinerant leadership and leadership from resident members of the community, examining evidence for the development from the former to the latter in early Christianity and evidence of the conflicts and difficulties caused by this transformation. It is also suggested that this change may be closely related to the development of more socially conservative patterns of instruction, such as those found in the “household codes.” These forms of instruction are increasingly ideological insofar as they provide (often theological) legitimation and naturalization of the dominant social order. In this particular trajectory — dominant at least within the New Testament itself — the transformation of leadership patterns and the development of increasingly ideological forms of instruction are inextricably interconnected.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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