Why is the Resurrection of Christ so remote, almost non-existent in many early Christian writings of the first 140 years of Christianity? This is the first Patristic book to focus on the development of the belief in the Resurrection of Christ through the first centuries A.D. By Paul, Christ's Resurrection is regarded as the basis of Christian hope. In the fourth century it becomes a central Christian tenet. But what about the discrepancy in the first three centuries? This thought provoking book explores this core topic in Christian culture and theology. Taking a broad approach - including iconography, archaeology, history, philosophy, Jewish Studies and theology - Markus Vinzent offers innovative reading of well known biblical and other texts complemented by rarely discussed evidence. Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the wilderness of unorthodox perspectives in the breadth of early Christian writings. It is an eye-opening experience with insights into the craftsmanship of early Christianity - and the earliest existential debates about life and death, death and life - all centred on the cross, on suffering, enduring and sacrifice.
Classified as 'Research Essential' by Baker & Taylor YBP Library Services A Yankee Book Peddler US Core Title for 2011 A Baker & Taylor Academic Essentials Title in Religion 'The central foundational belief of Christianity in Paul waned in popularity after its promotor's death, and other theological topics grew sufficiently important to challenge the primacy of the Resurrection: Jesus' sayings, his cross and his sacrificial death, his role as a Passover lamb, his birth, youth, and life. It was not until the Christian teacher Marcion rediscovered Paul and rekindled his emphasis on the Resurrection that the resurgence of Paul swept away the competition - even though that meant the Church had to be snatched back from the heretic Marcion. Professor Vinzent takes the reader on a fascinating journey through virtually every Christian text from the first two centuries in order to demonstrate the validity of his thesis. His judgments, informed by a comprehensive knowledge of previous research, are based on a thorough reading of the evidence. This book constitutes a great achievement to which I am sure I shall have frequent recourse.' Gerd LÃ¼demann, Georg-August-University GÃ¶ttingen, Germany 'Few Christians would deny that the Resurrection of Christ is the central mystery of Christian belief. But was this always the case? This provocative book, the first Patristic one to chart the history of the significance of the Resurrection in first and second century Christianity, through a careful and wide-ranging analysis of canonical, non-canonical, and early patristic texts, and by drawing upon recent revisionist scholarship, presents the startling thesis that the centrality of the Resurrection in earliest Christianity was peculiar to Paul and in fact not shared by other authorities. Potentially revolutionary, utterly controversial, and endlessly fascinating, this book attempts to restore Marcion to pre-eminence among the major contributors to the development of early Christian
Contents: Introduction: a rise of the risen Christ?; The beginnings of the end; Paul and the Resurrection rediscovered; Celebrating life and death; Bibliography; Index.