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Resetting the Origins of Christianity

A New Theory of Sources and Beginnings

Markus Vinzent (King's College London)



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Cambridge University Press
12 January 2023
How do we know what we know about the origins of the Christian religion? Neither its founder, nor the Apostles, nor Paul left any written accounts of their movement. The witnesses' testimonies were transmitted via successive generations of copyists and historians, with the oldest surviving fragments dating to the second and third centuries - that is, to well after Jesus' death. In this innovative and important book, Markus Vinzent interrogates standard interpretations of Christian origins handed down over the centuries. He scrutinizes - in reverse order - the earliest recorded sources from the sixth to the second century, showing how the works of Greek and Latin writers reveal a good deal more about their own times and preoccupations than they do about early Christianity. In so doing, the author boldly challenges understandings of one of the most momentous social and religious movements in history, as well as its reception over time and place.
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 160mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   730g
ISBN:   9781009290487
ISBN 10:   1009290487
Pages:   350
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Markus Vinzent is Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College London and a Fellow of the Max-Weber Kolleg, University of Erfurt. A recipient of awards from the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Board, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and the Agence Nationale de Recherche, France, he is the author of Writing the History of Early Christianity (Cambridge University Press 2019).

Reviews for Resetting the Origins of Christianity: A New Theory of Sources and Beginnings

'Bold and Provocative.' Teresa Morgan, The Tablet '… bold and provocative … There is a great deal to enjoy in Vinzent's panorama of Christian history writing from the sixth century backwards, and it is always worth allowing one's assumptions to be challenged and entertaining a new perspective.' Teresa Morgan, The Tablet

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