Introduction to the reception of Jesus in the first three centuries

Book chapter


Barclay, John M.G. and Crabbe, Kylie. (2021). Introduction to the reception of Jesus in the first three centuries. In In Barclay, John M.G. and Crabbe, Kylie (Ed.). The reception of Jewish tradition in the social imagination of the early Christians pp. 1-11 Bloomsbury T & T Clark.
AuthorsBarclay, John M.G. and Crabbe, Kylie
EditorsBarclay, John M.G. and Crabbe, Kylie
Abstract

[Excerpt] Th e essays collected in this volume stand at the interface between two related questions. First, how were Jewish traditions and texts received (taken up, adapted and altered) within communities that expressed loyalty to the person of Jesus and came to identify themselves, over time, as ‘Christians’? Second, how did these early Christians think of themselves as a social phenomenon? Th e two questions are interlinked, because the reception of Jewish tradition took place within communities, not just in individual minds and lives, and because that process of reception inevitably kept raising the question of the identity and purpose of the communities involved. Th e ideas, practices and terminology with which Christians constructed their identities were in most cases heavily dependent on – indeed, directly derived from – the Jewish tradition that they inherited and reworked. But in that reception, they also subtly reimagined themselves as its heirs: they altered not just its accents but also its reference , and reconfi gured ancient traditions as in some sense properly their own . Th us the social imagination of the early Christians – the way they confi gured their social identity – was essentially intertwined with their reception of Jewish tradition, and the varied forms and processes of this reception are an index of the ways in which the fi rst Christians forged their new, but derivative, identity. Th is social phenomenon turns out to be a classic case of reception, and one with far-reaching consequence for the Western cultural tradition.

Page range1-11
Year2021
Book titleThe reception of Jewish tradition in the social imagination of the early Christians
PublisherBloomsbury T & T Clark
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9780567696007
9780567696021
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All rights reserved
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2021
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Oct 2021
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