Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity by Luke Timothy Johnson

By Luke Timothy Johnson

Luke Timothy Johnson does it back. This so much artistic and realized interpreter of latest testomony and early church historical past demanding situations his readers to exploit 4 new interpretive different types to discover Jewish, Christian, and Gentile faith. Scales fall from readers' eyes as they see popular texts in fascinating and significant new methods. for instance, why may still it's marvelous that new converts in Galatia desired to upload circumcision to baptism? finally, the non secular practices with which they have been ordinary invited deeper degrees of initiation.

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Additional info for Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)

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54 CE), in the full expectation that they would recognize this Aramaic prayer as well as its implications-that Beginning a New Conversation Jesus is the risen one capable of returning in power (1 Cor 16:22). 8 Again, there is no need to invoke a Greco-Roman Mystery cult to explain the usage. Despite these obvious flaws, the argument enjoyed considerable favor and influence, because it appeared to provide a way of making sense of the available data. The biggest blow to the reconstruction came from the acquisition of new knowledge concerning the relations of Judaism and Hellenism in the first cen­ tury, knowledge suggesting that the neat alignment of geography and culture was far too simple.

Power tends to organize existence; ultimate power tends to organize all of existence. " Moses and Siddhartha located the power to which they responded quite differently, and the organization of life that followed from each experience was also distinct, but what is significant is that in each case the organization followed appropriately from that experience of power. This is im­ portant precisely because it is from the organization of life-the way time and space is divided between sacred and profane, for example, or the way certain practices purport to mediate a share in the ultimate powerl8-that we are able to make guesses concerning the location and character of the power that orga­ nizes it.

Understandings of religion as essentially indi­ vidualistic and personal are Western and recent-as are the notions of privacy and individualism themselves. 9 Religion was correspond­ ingly woven into the social fabric from top to bottom, rather than, as so often in contemporary Christian and post-Christian countries, relegated to interior dis­ positions and an occasional and relatively anonymous Sunday worship service. Public time and public space alike were religiously organized. l0 A given month was punctuated by the festivals that created pauses in profane ac­ tivity and enabled communion among gods and humans through rest, ritual, and public feasting.

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