Engaging Early Christian History: Reading Acts in the Second Century (BOK)
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The book of Acts has traditionally been situated within a first-century setting, offering an apparently straightforward account of the origins and spread of Christianity. "Engaging Early Christian History" presents a significant departure for Christian origins studies by setting aside the explicitly historical questions commonly asked of the Acts of the Apostles and, instead, situating the text within the context of second-century history and culture. The volume extends scholarly debate beyond the analysis of pure historical debates and concerns to focus on the associations between Acts and the diverse contemporaneous texts, writers, and broader cultural phenomena in the second-century world of Christians, Romans, Greeks, and Jews. Examining the reception of Acts - and of Christian myth-making more generally - the volume explores the second century as a formative epoch for Christian storytelling, historical reimaginings, and reconfigurations of religious and social identities.