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The Concept of “Community” and the History of Early Christianity

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image of Method & Theory in the Study of Religion

Abstract The pervasive assumption that all Christian literature and history in the first one hundred years or so sprang from and mirrored communities inhibits historical explanation by social and psychological theory that is normal for the rest of the academy. A community in this sense is a highly coherent social formation with commonality in thought and practice. The idea that the Christian movement began with these communities derives from Christianity’s own myth of origins, but has been taken as historical reality. The myth can be traced to Paul, Acts and Eusebius.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religious Studies, Brown University Providence, RI 02906 USA Stanley_Stowers@brown.edu

10.1163/157006811X608377
/content/journals/10.1163/157006811x608377
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/content/journals/10.1163/157006811x608377
2011-01-01
2016-12-06

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