Maidens, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity

Collected Essays I

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Jan N. Bremmer
  • Tübingen, Germany: 
    Mohr Siebeck
    , July
     501 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Todd Penner forthcoming.


Why did the early followers of Jesus call themselves "Christians"? What was their social and religious capital? Why did Christianity attract both poor widows and wealthy women? What did pagans think of early Christians? Integrating the major apocryphal Acts of the Apostles in the study of Christianity and the ancient world, Jan N. Bremmer illustrates their prominence of women and their, sometimes surprising, usage of magic as well as establishing a new chronology and place of composition for these Acts. He also shows that the early Christian tours of hell derive from both Jewish and Greek models, although they become increasingly Christianised. The author concludes by decoding the intriguing visions in the Passion of Perpetua by placing them in the contemporary world, thereby compelling us to sympathize with the hopes and fears of young Christian martyrs. It is the close attention to both pagan and Christian traditions that make these papers, which have all been updated and some of them revised, an exciting read for scholars and advanced students alike.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jan N. Bremmer is a fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg Dynamiken der Religionsgeschichte zwischen Asien und Europa, Bochum.

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