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Slavery in Early Christianity
Glancy situates Christian slavery in its broader cultural setting, arguing that modern scholars have consistently underestimated the pervasive impact of slavery on the institutional strutures, ideologies, & practices of the early churches.
Paperback, 203 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Fortress Press
(first published 2002)
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Very good book, a wealth of information. Jennifer Glancy is at times hindered in her analysis by assuming too much purported differences between different authors of Scripture, and this gets in the way at times. She doesn't reason with any expectation that Scripture harmonizes. At the same time, she provides an amazing amount of detail on slavery in the New Testament era, not to mention the early centuries of the church. She is particularly strong in showing how much slavery plays a surprising r ...more
Because slaves are not part of the typical modern person's everyday life, slavery becomes only a metaphor when reading the Bible, yet slavery was an all-too-real part of life for people in Biblical times. What I found most interesting reading this was how easy it is to glance over stories with slaves in them in the Biblical text without really stopping to think about the reality of the life of people in bondage. For example, in the story of the Prodigal Son there is a father and two sons, but th ...more
Jul 10, 2012 Amy Hughes rated it liked it
Very thought provoking, especially the work on Biblical passages. Glancy insists that slavery had a much larger impact on early Christianity than most scholars consider. Some of her conclusions that she seems quite certain of are not as convincing to me as I would like them to be. This is still a service, however, since it promotes a fresh look at sources. Even with arguments from silence we have to be in the habit of making sure our assumptions do not go unquestioned.
Most of this work is locat ...more
Most of this work is locat ...more
Apr 29, 2016 James rated it really liked it
Makes some ambitious claims at times (esp. about the composition of Paul's community at Corinth), but the analysis is deeply informed by the ancient context of slavery, and she does a superb job of introducing readers to the reality of ancient slavery and its pervasive impact on the New Testament (without judging the ethical implications of that impact). It continually produces persuasive readings alternative to the more standard readings of Biblical studies scholars. A fascinating read.
This book helps modern readers understand the practice of slavery in Early Christianity. This book shows the prevalence of slaves and slaveholders among early Christians, in the Roman Empire and how scriptures regarding sexuality, being submissive to ones master had a tremendous, and not necessarily positive impact on early believers.
Jennifer A. Glancy's research interests include the cultural history of early Christianity, corporeality and Christian anthropology, women’s history in antiquity, gender theory, and comparative slavery studies. She has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions grant program to develop an interdisciplinary Core course, “What does prayer do?” In all her cours ...moreMore about Jennifer A. Glancy...