From ancient times to the present day, utopian social ideas have made the unity of humankind a central concern. In the face of the threats to civic peace and harmony caused by misrule, factions, inequality, and moral weakness, philosophical and religious traditions in antiquity gave considered attention to the attainment of oneness both as an ideal and as an embodied practice. In this volume, scholars of ancient history, early Judaism, and biblical studies come together to show that ideas of unity and practices of oneness were grounded in larger conceptions of worldview, cosmic order, and power, with theological ideas such as the oneness of God laying an important foundation. In particular, contributors focus on how early Christians, with their inherited Jewish, Greek, and Roman traditions, reinterpreted oneness in light of their new identity as “members of Christ” and how they put it into practice. Contributors are Stephen C. Barton, Anna Sieges-Beal, Max Botner, Andrew J. Byers, Carsten Claussen, Kylie Crabbe, Robbie Griggs, James R. Harrison, Walter J. Houston, T. J. Lang, Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer, John-Paul Lotz, Lynette Mitchell, Nicholas J. Moore, Elizabeth E. Shively, Julien C. H. Smith, and Alan Thompson.
Stephen C. Barton is an Honorary Research Fellow of Durham and Manchester Universities. His publications include Discipleship and Family Ties in Mark and Matthew (1994) and Life Together: Family, Sexuality and Community in the New Testament and Today (2001), and he is the coeditor of the second edition of The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels (2021). He is an ordained priest of the Church of England.
Andrew Byers serves as Tutor in New Testament at Ridley Hall in the Cambridge Theological Federation and as an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of John and the Others (2021) and Ecclesiology and Theosis in the Gospel of John (2017). He is coeditor of Gospel Reading and Reception in Early Christian Literature (2022).
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