Writing the history of early Christianity : from reception to retrospection
Cambridge University Press 2019EISBN 9781108647052
Despite novel approaches to the study of Early Christianity - New Historicity, New Philology, Gender and Queer Studies; many turns - Material, Linguistic, Cultural; and developments in Reception History, Cultural Transfer, and Entangled History, much scholarship on this topic differs little from that written a century ago. In this study, Markus Vinzent challenges the interpretation of the sources that have been used in the study of the Early Christian era. He brings a new approach to the topic by reading history backwards. Applying this methodology to four case studies, and using a range of media, he poses radically new questions on the famous 'Abercius' inscription, on the first extant apologist Aristides of Athens, on the prolific Hippolytus of Rome, and on Ignatius and the first non-canonical collection of letters. Vinzent's novel methodology of a retrospective writing thus challenges many fundamental and anachronistic assumptions about Early Christian history.