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

in Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



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.

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

in Method & Theory in the Study of Religion



Edward Adams and David G. Horrell (eds), Christianity at Corinth: The Quest for the Pauline Church, (Westminster John Knox, Lousiville 2004).

AtranScottMedinDouglas, The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature, (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA 2008).

BairdWilliam H., History of New Testament Research: Volume One: From Deism to Tübingen, (Fortress, Minneapolis 1992).

BauckhamRichard, The Gospels for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences., (William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI 1998).

BercovitchEytan, 'The altar of sin: Social multiplicity and Christian conversion among a New Guinea people', in Susan L. Mizruchi (ed), Religion and Cultural Studies, (Princeton University Press, Princeton 2001) 211-35.

BrodieThomas L., The Quest for the Origins of John’s Gospel, (Oxford University Press, New York 1993).

BrubakerRogers, Ethnicity without Groups, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA 2004).

BurkeSean, The Death and Return of the Author: Criticism and Subjectivity in Barthes Foucault and Derrida, (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 1989).

CameronRonMillerMerrill P., Redescribing Christian Origins, (Brill, Leiden 2004).

CameronRonMillerMerrill P., Redescribing Paul and the Corinthians, (Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta 2011).

ComaroffJean, Body of Power Spirit of Resistance: The Culture and History of a South African People, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1985).

ComaroffJeanComaroffJohn, Of Revelation and Revolution Vol I: Christianity Colonialism and Consciousness in South Africa, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1991).

DamasioAntonio, Descartes’ Error: Emotion Reason and the Human Brain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1994).

EslerPhilip F., Community and Gospel in Luke-Acts. SNTSMS 57, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1987).

EslerPhilip F., 'Community and gospels in early Christianity: A response to Richard Bauckham’s Gospels for All Christians' (1998) 51(2) Scottish Journal of Theology: 235-248.

FrazerElizabeth, The Problem of Communitarian Politics: Unity and Conflict, (Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999).

FodorJerry A., Modularity of Mind, (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA 1983).

FurnessElizabeth, 'Resistance, coercion, and revitalization: The Shuswap Encounter with Roman Catholic missionaries, 1860-1900' (1995) 42(2) Ethnohistory: 231-263.

GazzanigaMichael, 'Forty-five years of split brain research and still going strong' (2006) 6 Nature Reviews Neuroscience: 653-659.

GigerenzerGerd, Adaptive Thinking: Rationality in the Real World, (Oxford University Press, Oxford 2000).

HansonKennith C., 'Greco-Roman studies and the social-scientific study of the Bible: A classified periodical bibliography (1970-1994)' (1994) 9(1-2) Forum.

HerderJohann Gottfried, Vom Geist der ebräischen Poesie: Eine Anleitung für die Liebhaber derselben und der ältesten Geschichte des menschlichen Geistes, (Herder, Dessau 1782-3) 3rd ed. 1822 2 vols. 3rd ed. Marburg.

HerderJohann GottfriedMarshJames, The Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, (Edward Smith, Burlington, Vt. 1833).

HirschfeldLawrenceGelmanSusan A., Mapping the Mind: Domain Specificity in Cognition and Culture, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1994).

HorrellDavid G., The Social Ethos of the Corinthian Correspondence: Interests and Ideology from 1 Corinthians to 1 Clement. SNTW, (T&T Clark, Edinburgh 1996).

HorrellDavid G., Solidarity and Difference: A Contemporary Reading of Paul’s Ethics., (T&T Clark, London 2005).

HorsleyRichard A., Sociology and the Jesus Movement, (Continuum, New York 1994).

HorsleyRichard A., '1 Corinthians: A case study of Paul’s alternative society', in Edward Adams and David G. Horrell (eds), Christianity at Corinth: The Quest for the Pauline Church, (Westminster John Knox, Lousiville 2004) 227-237.

KnustJennifer Wright, Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity, (Columbia University Press, New York 2006).

KoesterHelmut, History and Literature of Early Christianity, (Fortress, Philadelphia 1982).

KümmelWerner Georg, The New Testament: The History of the Investigation of its Problems, (Abingdon, Nashville 1970).

KurzbanRobertAktipisAthena, 'Modularity and the social mind: Are psychologists too selfish?' (2007) 11(2) Personality and Social Psychology Review: 131-149.

LundWilliam R., 'Communitarian politics and the problem of equality' (1993) 46(3) Political Research Quarterly: 577.

LundWilliam R., 'Politics, virtue, and the right to do wrong: Assessing the communitarian critique of rights' (1997) 28(3) Journal of Social Philosophy: 101-22.

LuomanenPetriPyysiäinenIlkkaUroRisto, Explaining Christian Origins and Early Judaism: Contributions from Cognitive and Social Science, (Brill, Leiden 2008).

LuzUlrich, Studies in Matthew, (Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI 2005).

MackBurton L., The Christian Myth: Origins Logic and Legacy, (Continuum, New York 2001).

McIntoshJanet, Cognition and power. Paper delivered at the Society for Literature and Science Meetings, , Pittsburgh (McIntosh:%20Cognition%20and%20Power.webarchive).

MalherbeAbraham J., Social Aspects of Early Christianity, (Lousiana State University Press, Baton Rouge 1977).

MooreStephen, Literary Criticism and the Gospels: The Theoretical Challenge, (Yale University Press, New Haven 1989).

NongbriBrentPaul without religion: the creation of a category and the search for an apostle beyond the new perspective.Yale University Dissertation2008

RouseJoseph, 'Practice theory', in Stephen Turner and Mark Risjord (eds), Philosophy of Sociology and Anthropology, (Elsevier, Oxford 2007) 639-682.

SandosJames A., Converting California: Indians and Franciscans in the Missions, (Yale University Press, New Haven 2004).

SmithJonathan Z., Relating Religion: Essays in the Study of Religion, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2004).

StowersStanley, 'The ontology of religion', in Willi Braun and Russell T. McCutcheon (eds), Introducing Religion: Essays in Honor of Jonathan Z. Smith, (Equinox, London 2008) 434-49.

StowersStanley, 'The history of ancient Christianity as the study of religion' A paper presented at the North American Association for the Study of Religion section at the Annual National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, , New Orleans.

StowersStanley, 'Jesus as teacher and Stoic ethics in the Gospel of Matthew', in Ismo Dundenberg, Troels Engberg-Pedersen and Tuomus Rasimus (eds), Stoicism in Early Christianity, (Hendrickson, Peabody, MA 2010).

StowersStanley, 'The religion of plant and animal offerings versus the religion of meanings, essences and textual mysteries', in Jennifer Knust and Zsuzsa Varhelyi (eds), Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice: Images Acts Meanings, (Oxford University Press, Oxford 2011).

StowersStanley, 'Kinds of myth, meals, and power: Paul and the Corinthians', in Ron Cameron and Merrill P. Miller (eds), Redescribing Paul and the Corinthians, (Brill, Leiden 2011).

TolbertMay Ann, Sowing the Gospel: Mark’s World in Literary-Historical Perspective, (Fortress, Minneapolis 1989).

TönniesFerdinand, Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, (Fues Verlag, Leipzig 1887) with eight editions and several reprintings.

WhitehouseHarvey, Modes of Religiosity: A Cognitive Theory of Religious Transmission, (AltaMira, Walnut Creek, CA 2004).

WhitehouseHarveyMartinLuther H., Theorizing Religions Past: Archeology History and Cognition, (AltaMira, Walnut Creek, CA 2004).


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 28 28 10
Full Text Views 89 89 68
PDF Downloads 8 8 4
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0