Early Christian Encounters with Town and Countryside

Newsmeldung: Dekanat

Early Christian Encounters with Town and Countryside
International Colloquium in Leiden and Essen
Ever since Jesus walked the hills of Galilee and Paul travelled the roads of Asia Minor and Greece, Christianity has shown a remarkable ability to adapt itself to various social and cultural environments. Recent research has demonstrated that these environments can only be very insufficiently termed as "rural" or "urban". Neither was Jesus' Galilee only rural, nor Paul's Asia only "urban".

On the background of ongoing research on the diversity of social environments in the Early Empire, the double conference "Early Christian Encounters with Town and Countryside" will focus on various early Christian "worlds" as witnessed in canonical and non-canonical texts. What were the mechanisms behind this adaptability? How did Early Christians experience and react to "rural" and "urban" life?
The first part of the conference, held between May 1 and 3, 2017 in Leiden/NL, will discuss what scholars have dubbed "Urban Christianity" ever since Wayne A. Meeks published his groundbreaking book "The First Urban Christians" in 1983. Papers will not only deal with various personalities or literary works whose various attitudes towards urban life became formative for future Christianity. They will also explore the different local milieus that demonstrate the wide range of Christian cultural perspectives.
The second part of the conference, held between February 5 and 7, 2018 in Essen/Germany, will analyze the relation between urban Christian beginnings and the role of the rural Jesus-tradition. In what sense did the image of Jesus, the "Galilean village Jew", change when his message was carried into the cities of the Mediterranean world from Jerusalem to Athens or Rome?
The papers of both conferences will be published in the renowned series Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus (Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, Göttingen; scheduled for 2019).

Markus Tiwald (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
Jürgen K. Zangenberg (Leiden University, The Netherlands)

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