This work gives a detailed survey of the rise and expansion of Christianity in ancient Lycaonia and adjacent areas, from Paul the apostle until the late 4th-century bishop of Iconium, Amphilochius. It is essentially based on hundreds of funerary inscriptions from Lycaonia, but takes into account all available literary evidence. It maps the expansion of Christianity in the region and describes the practice of name-giving among Christians, their household and family structures, occupations, and use of verse inscriptions. It gives special attention to forms of charity, the reception of biblical tradition, the authority and leadership of the clergy, popular theology and forms of ascetic Christianity in Lycaonia.
Anthropological and Historical Perspectives
Adriana Destro and Mauro Pesce
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.