Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society

by Susan R. Holman (Editor)
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"This is a splendid book, a substantial contribution on a topic of perennial import for scholars of religion and theology. The essays collected here offer important reassessments of scholarship to date. They present fresh, vivid material and provide revised models through which to study, reflect upon, and respond to deprivation and surplus as realities in antiquity and in our own time. Practical, pragmatic considerations are interwoven with cultural, historical, and theological analyses. Excellent work throughout!"--Susan Ashbrook Harvey, professor of religious studies, Brown University

"The social obligations of the wealthy and the needs of the poor in the teachings and practices of early Christians are examined in these essays with rich insight, having much contemporary value. The authors remind us that for the patristic mind, virtue cannot be separated from piety and learning. To praise the living God as philanthrōpos and to recall his saving actions require also a genuine love for human persons, especially the poor."--Thomas FitzGerald, dean and professor of church history and historical theology, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

"In this collection of essays, the reader will find insightful questions raised and conclusions made concerning the early Christian perspectives of need and surplus. It is refreshing to find careful attention paid to the kind of complexities that existed in the minds of those who wrote, directly or (mostly) indirectly, on these matters."--D. H. Williams, professor of religion in patristics and historical theology, Baylor University

"This volume is a rarity: a collection of conference papers that is both coherent and consistently excellent. Ably edited by Susan R. Holman, these essays explore a wide variety of texts and topics from diverse methodological perspectives, but they never lose sight of the primary theme of the book: the problem of poverty and the appropriate Christian response to it. The outstanding contributors deftly balance theological and rhetorical analysis with attention to social and economic contexts. The result is an essential contribution to the historical reconstruction of early Christian moral traditions and their theological retrieval today."--David G. Hunter, Cottrill-Rolfes Chair of Catholic Studies, The University of Kentucky

Contributors

Susan R. Holman, Editor

Susan R. Holman (PhD, Brown University) is the author of The Hungry Are Dying: Beggars and Bishops in Roman Cappadocia, a member of the board of the Pappas Patristic Institute of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and the creator of PovertyStudies.org.