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  • Cited by 9
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2019
Print publication year:
2019
Online ISBN:
9781108647052

Book description

Despite novel approaches to the study of Early Christianity – New Historicity, New Philology, Gender and Queer Studies; many turns – Material, Linguistic, Cultural; and developments in Reception History, Cultural Transfer, and Entangled History, much scholarship on this topic differs little from that written a century ago.  In this study, Markus Vinzent challenges the interpretation of the sources that have been used in the study of the Early Christian era.  He brings a new approach to the topic by reading history backwards. Applying this methodology to four case studies, and using a range of media, he poses radically new questions on the famous 'Abercius' inscription, on the first extant apologist Aristides of Athens, on the prolific Hippolytus of Rome, and on Ignatius and the first non-canonical collection of letters. Vinzent's novel methodology of a retrospective writing thus challenges many fundamental and anachronistic assumptions about Early Christian history.

Reviews

'… learned and original … this is a book that no student of second-century Christianity can afford to leave unread.'

Mark Edwards Source: Church Times

‘Vinzent’s work pushes scholars of early Christianity to reflect more deeply on the philosophical and historiographical methodologies that undergird their historical writings. Such considerations are an ongoing need both for the discipline as a whole and for individual participants within the guild. This book will not be the last word on retrospection as a methodology and on the four retrospective case studies that he includes, but it is an important word on both fronts … historians, philosophers of history, scholars of early Christianity, and the libraries that support such individuals will want to make regular reference to this book.’

Jonathon Lookadoo Source: The Heythrop Journal

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