Corinth in Context

Comparative Studies on Religion and Society


This volume is the product of an interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Texas at Austin. Specialists in the study of inscriptions, architecture, sculpture, coins, tombs, pottery, and texts collaborate to produce new portraits of religion and society in the ancient city of Corinth. The studies focus on groups like the early Roman colonists, the Augustales (priests of Augustus), or the Pauline house churches; on specific cults such as those of Asklepios, Demeter, or the Sacred Spring; on media (e.g., coins, or burial inscriptions); or on the monuments and populations of nearby Kenchreai or Isthmia. The result is a deeper understanding of the religious life of Corinth, contextualized within the socially stratified cultures of the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

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Steven J. Friesen, Ph.D. (1990) in the Study of Religion, Harvard University, is the Louise Farmer Boyer Chair in Biblical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. His publications include Twice Neokoros: Ephesus, Asia, and the Cult of the Flavian Imperial Family (Brill, 1993), and Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins (Oxford University Press, 2001).

Daniel N. Schowalter, Th.D (1989) in New Testament and Christian Origins, Harvard Divinity School, is Professor of Classics and Religion at Carthage College, and is Co-Director of the Omrit Archaeological project in Northern Israel. His research focuses on archaeological evidence for the religions of the Roman Empire

James C. Walters, Ph.D. (1991) in Religious Studies, Boston University, is Associate Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Boston University. His publications focus on the urban social contexts of the Apostle Paul's mission and letters including Ethnic Issues in Paul's Letter to the Romans (Trinity Press International, 1993)
...this is a very valuable collection...
Peter Oakes, Journal for the Study of the New Testament 33 (5)

...this volume collects a rich assortment of thoughtful, stimulating and often innovative contributions to the contextual study of religion and society in ancient Corinth. All Corinthian scholars will find material of interest here.
Amelia R. Brown, University of Queensland, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.08.49

'This volume is highly valuable precisely because it brings archaeology and the study of ancient societies and religions (including Christianity) together, such that the extensive and up-to-date archaeological work can inform (and correct)—and hopefully be informed by—the work undertaken in other fields. It is also notable that a number of chapters make sophisticated use of theoretical resources regarding hybridity, identity, cultural complexity, and so on. [...] Overall, this is a diverse, wide-ranging volume offering a number of important and stimulating studies that scholars will need to consult and take into account. It is richly illustrated and generally well presented.
David G. Horrell, University of Exeter, Journal of Theological Studies', October 2013
Introduction: Context, Comparison
Steven J. Friesen


The Social and Ethnic Origins of the Colonists in Early Roman Corinth
Benjamin Millis

Asklepios in Greek and Roman Corinth
Bronwen Wickkiser

The Emperor in a Roman Town: the Base of the Augustales in the Forum at Corinth
Margaret Laird

Greek Heritage in Roman Corinth and Ephesos: Hybrid Identities and Strategies of Display in the Material Record of Traditional Mediterranean Religions
Christine Thomas


Image and Cult: The Coinage of Roman Corinth
Mary E. Hoskins Walbank

Ceres, Κόρη, and Cultural Complexity: Divine Personality Definitions and Human Worshippers in Roman Corinth
Jorunn Økland

The Wrong Erastus: Ideology, Archaeology, and Exegesis
Steven J. Friesen

Where Have all the Names Gone? The Christian Community in Corinth in the Late Roman and Early Byzantine Eras
Michael Walbank
Appendix: The Corinthian Census


Seeking Shelter in Roman Corinth: Archaeology and the Placement of Paul’s Communities
Daniel Neal Schowalter

Paul and the Politics of Meals in Roman Corinth
James Walters

The Sacred Spring: Landscape and Traditions
Guy Sanders

Religion and Society at Roman Kenchreai
Joseph Rife

Religion and Society in the Roman Eastern Corinthia
Timothy E. Gregory

All those interested in religions of the Greco-Roman world, Christian origins, the Roman colony of Corinth, Roman archaeology, Classical studies, and the history of religions.