The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians

Essays in Honor of L. Michael White


This volume contains fifteen essays in honor of L. Michael White, whose work has been influential in exploring the social histories of ancient Jews and Christians within the Graeco-Roman world. Following an introduction that highlights some of White’s main scholarly contributions, the essays are grouped into three topic areas: Paul and his Legacy, Social Relations, and Material Culture. The essays are united by an interest in reconstructing the social worlds of ancient Jews and Christians through careful analysis of literary sources and material culture in their most precise ancient contexts.

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Jaimie Gunderson, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow of Teaching and Research in the Religious Studies Department at George Mason University. Her published work focuses on embodiment and emotion in early Christian texts.
Tony Keddie, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins (Cambridge, 2019).
Douglas Boin, Ph.D., Classics, is Associate Professor of History at Saint Louis University. His is the author, most recently, of Alaric the Goth: An Outsider’s History of the Fall of Rome (W. W. Norton, 2020).
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors
Jaimie Gunderson, Tony Keddie, and Douglas Boin

Selected Publications of L. Michael White

Part 1: Paul and His Legacy

1 Are Paul’s Moral Teachings Designed for Ordinary Humans?
Stanley Stowers

2 Gods and Non-Gods in Galatians: Reconsidering Paul’s Stoicheia
Emma Wasserman

3 Crisis Management and Boundary Maintenance
Gentile Christ-Followers, Multiple Identities, and Sacrificial Practices in Corinth
Richard A. Wright

4 Corinthian PDA
Medea Monuments, 2 Corinthians, and the Negotiation of Grief
Jaimie Gunderson

5 The Function of Paul’s Grief in Romans 9:1–2 in Light of Hellenistic Moral Philosophy
Transforming Gentiles’ Misunderstanding and Boasting
Jin Young Kim

6 Reading between Two Worlds
Philippians and the Formation of Pauline Letter Collections
Angela Standhartinger

Part 2: Social Relations

7 Dining in Martial’s World
John T. Fitzgerald

8 The Pliny-Trajan Correspondence about Christians as Epistolary Fiction
Tony Keddie

9 Did Paganism’s First Intellectual Encounter with Christianity Include a Jew?
Celsus and Philo
Gregory E. Sterling

10 Social Relations between Jews and Christians in the Mediterranean Diaspora in Late Antiquity
Ross S. Kraemer

Part 3: Material Culture

11 Greek Tragedy, Pompeian Amphitheater Art, and Christian Martyrs in Nero’s Gardens
1 Clem. 6.2 and Tacitus, Ann. 15.44
David L. Balch

12 Putting Gods in Their Place
Terracotta Figurines Discovered in the Synagogue Complex at Ostia
Mary Jane Cuyler

13 The Production of Late-Antique Lamps with Jewish Symbols in Rome and Ostia
Letizia Ceccarelli

14 The Archaeology of Two Early Gospels
P.Oxy. 1 and 2 and the Trash Mounds of Oxyrhynchus
Geoffrey S. Smith

15 The Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment
“Life to the Reader, Forgiveness to the Scribe, Salvation to the Possessor”
Clare K. Rothschild

Index of Ancient Sources
Index of Subjects
This volume will appeal to students and scholars specializing in areas related to the study of the New Testament and ancient Mediterranean religions through its comprehensive approach to the social histories of ancient Judaism and Christianity.
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