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Friday, March 16, 2012

L.H. Blumell, Lettered Christians : Christians, letters, and late antique Oxyrhynchus

Lettered Christians
Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus

Lincoln H. Blumell

With the discovery of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri just over a century ago a number of important texts directly relating to ancient Christianity have come to light. While certain literary texts have received considerable attention in scholarship by comparison the documentary evidence relating to Christianity has received far less attention and remains rather obscure. To help redress this imbalance, and to lend some context to the Christian literary materials, this book examines the extant Christian epistolary remains from Oxyrhynchus between the third and seventh centuries CE. Drawing upon this unique corpus of evidence, which until this point has never been collectively nor systematically treated, this book breaks new ground as it employs the letters to consider various questions relating to Christianity in the Oxyrhynchite. Not only does this lucid study fill a void in scholarship, it also gives a number of insights that have larger implications on Christianity in late antiquity.

ISBN 9789004180956

Volume 39

Table of contents
1. Introduction
a. Scholarship and the Christian Remains of Oxyrhynchus
b. The Study: Argument and Structure
c. Caveats
2. Writing Christian
a. Scholarship and Papyrus Letters Written by Christians
b. Markers of Christian Identity within the Letters
3. Mapping Christians: Travel and Epistolary Networks in Christian Letters from Oxyrhynchus
a. Travel and Communication in Roman and Byzantine Egypt
b. Detectable Travel Motives in the Letters
c. Patterns of Travel and Epistolary Networks
d. Conclusions
4. Christians of the Book?
a. Christians and their Texts
b. Learned Christians?
c. The Use of “Scripture” in the Letters
d. Conclusions
5. What’s in a Name?
a. Onomastic Data and Religious Adherence in Antiquity
b. Nomina Christiana
6. Reading Someone Else’s Mail
Epilogue. The Demise of Christian Oxyrhynchus