Understanding the Social World of the New Testament
Routledge – 2010 – 304 pages
The New Testament is a book of great significance in Western culture yet is often inaccessible to students because the modern world differs so significantly from the ancient Mediterranean one in which it was written. It is imperative to develop a cross-cultural understanding of the values of the ancient Mediterranean society from which the New Testament arose in order to fully appreciate the documents and the communities that they represent.
Dietmar Neufeld and Richard E. DeMaris bring together biblical scholars with expertise in the social sciences to develop interpretative models for understanding such values as collectivism, kinship, memory, ethnicity, and honour, and to demonstrate how to apply these models to the New Testament texts. Kinship is illuminated by analysis of the Holy Family as well as to early Christian organisations; gender through a study of Paul’s view of women; and landscape and spatiality through a discussion of Jesus of Nazareth. This book is the ideal companion to study of the New Testament.
"Neufeld and Demaris, along with their contributors, have produced a fine work. The field can welcome an excellent new reference book that makes a great textbook as well, an indispensable resource for all serious students of the New Testament text." - Renate Viveen Hood, Review of Biblical Literature
1. Collectivism in Mediterranean Culture 2. Kinship and Family in the New Testament World 3. Constructions of Gender in the Imperial Roman World 4. Memory Theory: Cultural and Cognitive Approaches 5. Ethnicity and Paul’s Letter to the Romans