From Jesus to his First Followers: Continuity and Discontinuity

Anthropological and Historical Perspectives


From Jesus to His First Followers examines to what extent early Christian groups were in continuity or discontinuity with respect to Jesus. Adriana Destro and Mauro Pesce concentrate on the transformation of religious practices. Their anthropological-historical analysis focuses on the relations between discipleship and households, on the models of contact with the supernatural world, and on cohabitation among distinct religious groups. The book highlights how Matthew uses non-Jewish instruments of legitimation, John reformulates religious experiences through symbolized domestic slavery, Paul adopts a religious practice diffused in Roman-Hellenistic environments. The book reconstructs the map of early Christian groups in the Land of Israel and explains their divergences on the basis of an original theory of the local origin of Gospels’ information.

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Adriana Destro, Cultural Anthropologist (University of Bologna), has published books on Middle-East, Cultural Complexity, Anthropology of Religions including Villaggio Palestinese (Milano, 1977); Antropologia e religioni (Brescia, 2011); I volti della Turchia (Roma, 2012).

Mauro Pesce, Historian (University of Bologna), has published on Early Christianity, History of biblical interpretation including: Le parole dimenticate di Gesù (Milano 2004); Da Gesù al cristianesimo (Brescia 2011).

Co-authored books by Adriana Destro and Mauro Pesce: Antropologia delle origini cristiane (Roma, 2008); Come nasce una religione (Roma, 2000); Translations in other languages: Encounters with Jesus (Fortress Press, 2011); La muerte de Jesús (Estrella, 2015); Le récit et l'écriture (Génève, 2016).

All interested in the Historical Jesus, early Christianity, Jews and Christians in Antiquity, Gospels and memory. Anyone concerned with methodological relations between History and Cultural Anthropology of religion and space.
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