In Praise of Christian Origins: Stephen and the Hellenists in Lukan Apologetic Historiography

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jun 18, 2004 - Religion - 400 pages

Almost all scholars look to Acts 6:1-8:3 as providing the bedrock of early Christian tradition. The incident between the Hebrews and the Hellenists are understood to reflect real historical and theological problems in the early Jerusalem community, demonstrating the Hellenist role as a historical bridge between Jesus and Paul. Penner's study challenges the fundamental assumptions
of this approach. Penner emphasizes the rhetorical and moral dimensions of ancient historiographical theory, especially the centrality of narrative and plot, the use of vivid description, the application of comparison using various type-scenes, and the role of speeches in terms of characterization and the presentation of narrative style.

Todd Penner is the Assistant Professor of Religion at Austin College and the co-editor with Caroline Vander Stichele of Contextualizing Acts: Lukan Narrative and Greco-Roman Discourse.

 

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Contents

Constructing Christian History and Theology in Modern Scholarship
1
Mapping the Exegetical Terrain
60
Identity Rhetoric and Compelling Narration
104
Cultural Identity and Rewriting the Past
223
The Hellenists Stephen and the Christian Foundation Narrative
262
Historiography History and the Academy
331
Bibliography
339
Index of Ancient Sources
377
Index of Modern Authors
395
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About the author (2004)

Todd Penner is the Gould H. and Marie Cloud Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Austin College, Sherman, Texas, USA

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