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The Religion of the Earliest Churches : Creating a Symbolic World - Gerd Theissen

The Religion of the Earliest Churches

Creating a Symbolic World

Paperback Published: 1st November 1999
ISBN: 9780800631796
Number Of Pages: 392

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In these distinguished Oxford lectures, Theissen picks up where he left off in The Historical Jesus (1998). Employing the notion of religion as a "cultural sign language which promises a gain in life by corresponding to an ultimate reality," he plots the emergence of Christianity as a religion, with elements of myth, ritual, ethics, and an emergent symbolic system. He expands upon the historical, social, and theological analysis of his earlier works to cover such issues as the relationship of Jesus to the earliest churches, power, possessions, interpretations of Jesus' death, and the separation of the church and synagogue. Theissen's most complete and systematic treatment of early Christianity to date Traces the gradual emergence of the most important beliefs about Jesus Encompasses beliefs, ethics, ritual, and the origin of the New Testament canon in one synthesis

Translator's note
Introduction: The Programme of a Theory of Primitive Christian Religionp. 1
Myth and History in Primitive Christianityp. 19
The Significance of the Historical Jesus for the Origin of Primitive Christian Religion: The Revitalization of the Jewish Religion by Jesusp. 21
How Did Jesus Come to be Deified? The Transformation of the Jewish Sign System by Post-Easter Belief in Christp. 41
The Ethics of Primitive Christianityp. 61
The Two Basic Values of the Primitive Christian Ethic: Love of Neighbour and Renunciation of Statusp. 63
Dealing with Power and Possessions in Primitive Christianity. Ethical Demands in the Light of the Two Basic Values: Ip. 81
Dealing with Wisdom and Holiness in Primitive Christianity Ethical Demands in the Light of the Two Basic Values: IIp. 100
The Ritual Sign Language of Primitive Christianityp. 119
The Origin of the Primitive Christian Sacraments from Symbolic Actionsp. 121
The Sacrificial Interpretation of the Death of Jesus and the End of Sacrificep. 139
Primitive Christian Religion as an Autonomous Sign Worldp. 161
The Way from Primitive Christian Religion to an Autonomous Sign World: From Paul to the Synoptic Gospelsp. 163
The Gospel of John: The Internal Autonomy of the Primitive Christian Sign World is Brought to Consciousnessp. 185
The Crises and Consolidation of Primitive Christianityp. 207
The Crises of Primitive Christianityp. 209
Plurality and Unity in Primitive Christianity and the Origin of the Canonp. 249
Conclusion: The Construction and Plausibility of the Primitive Christian Sign Worldp. 286
Bibliographyp. 308
Notesp. 323
Index of References to the Bible and Other Ancient Textsp. 375
General Indexp. 386
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780800631796
ISBN-10: 080063179X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 1st November 1999
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 16.3  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.54

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