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Sociology Of Early Christianity

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Chapter Summary

The Christian church that eventually attracted the attention of Constantine was an entity that had developed from a long historic process of doctrinal evolution and organizational growth. To better understand the character of early Christian communities, it is important to determine what kinds of people were attracted to the Jesus movement and the social makeup of these congregations. The subject of early Christian communities has been the focus of a great deal of research produced over the past thirty years. Many of these scholars have tried to place Christian groupings within the context of the environment of the Hellenistic cities in which they arose. The writings of the New Testament itself allow us to gain some insight into the social basis of the Jesus movement. Nor is it reasonable to assume that the church would have been averse to evangelizing Roman military personnel.

Keywords: Christian church; Christian communities; Constantine; Hellenistic cities; Jesus movement; New Testament; Roman military

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