This collection of eleven essays by biblical scholars, art historians, and experts in early Christianity explores a variety of topics and issues regarding the material culture of early Christianity recovered from Italy, Syria, Tunisia, and beyond. The essays place early Christian art representing such symbols as crosses, anchors, and shepherds found in sarcophagi, catacombs, architecture, mosaics, gems, and more in dialogue with New Testament and early Christian texts. Contributors Gregory M. Barnhill, Eric J. Brewer, Jeffrey M. Dale,† Zen Hess, Heidi J. Hornik, Jeffrey M. Hubbard, Robin M. Jensen, Bruce W. Longenecker, Mikeal Parsons, Christian Sanchez, Natalie Webb, Jason A. Whitlark, and David E. Wilhite place early Christian beliefs and practices in their proper historical, cultural, political, and religious contexts for scholars and students of the ancient world.
Mikeal C. Parsons is University Distinguished Professor and Macon Chair in Religion at Baylor University. He is author or editor of more than thirty books, including, with Heidi J. Hornik, the the three-volume Illuminating Luke series (2003–2007) and Acts of the Apostles through the Centuries (2016); Paideia commentaries on Luke (2015) and Acts (2008); and, with Michael Wade Martin, Ancient Rhetoric and the New Testament (2018).
Robin M. Jensen is the Patrick O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, where she also serves as concurrent faculty in Art History and Classics and a fellow of the Medieval Institute. She is the author or editor of twelve books, including Understanding Early Christian Art, revised edition (2023), From Idols to Icons: The Emergence of Christian Devotional Images in Late Antiquity (2022), and The Cross: History, Art, and Controversy (2017).
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