Tag Christianity

The Gift Economy of the Earliest Christians

Thomas R. Blanton IV— The apostle Paul, a Jewish preacher of the “good news” of Jesus of Nazareth, promoted a “spiritual economy” within the small groups of the early Christian movement in the middle of the first century CE. Although at first blush the phrase “spiritual economy” might appear to be

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Material Theology and Christian Religion

Terry Eagleton— One of the greatest of all Christian theologians turns out to be in some respects a full-blooded materialist. This is not entirely surprising, since Christianity itself is in some sense a materialist creed. The doctrine of the Incarnation means that God is an animal. He is present in the

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The Differences between “Priest” and “Bishop”

Bryn Geffert and Theofanis G. Stavrou— Although the New Testament uses the terms “priest” and “bishop” interchangeably, the early church quickly distinguished between the two. Priests acted as advisers and teachers. Bishops led Christian communities and “celebrated” (administered) the Eucharist—“Communion” or “the last supper”—that is, the ceremony that Jesus instructed

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Hymnals and Haggadot: Six Books for Easter and Passover

This weekend is an important one for many as Jews give thanks for their freedom from slavery and Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you’re attending a Seder, going to church, enjoying both religions’ traditions, or skipping the observances entirely, you might enjoy reading up on the histories

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Q & A with the Authors of Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry

Follow @yaleRELIbooks With the holiday season in full-swing, Christmas carols are playing every where you go. These hymns are part of a much larger tradition of devotional poetry extensively laid out in Before the Door of God, an anthology edited by Jay Hopler and Kimberly Johnson. We spoke with Hopler and

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In the First Thousand Years of Christianity…

Follow @yaleRELIbooks As the Romans conquered vast territories in the first century BCE, they brought disparate parts of the world under one political rule. Their strategy for maintaining these sprawling territories left room for relative cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, so long as it did not threaten Roman authority. Ideas

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The Benefits of Charity

However we conceive its definition, the act of charity is alive and well in American culture. Last year alone, Americans donated an estimated $316.23 billion to charitable causes. While many disagree on the best way to give or the places one’s time and money should go, it is an ancient practice

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Nigel Warburton on Blaise Pascal

An excerpt from Nigel Warburton’s A Little History of Philosophy, a lively and accessible introduction to Western philosophy, bringing the ideas of the world’s greatest thinkers into focus. from Socrates’ questions about reality to Peter Singer’s thinking on the moral status of animals in our own times. Nigel Warburton— If

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Mark Chancey on Biblical Curricula in Texas Schools

The Texas Freedom Network, a watchdog group that monitors religious freedom and public education, commissioned Mark Chancey, an associate professor of religious studies at Southern Methodist University, to produce a report on the implementation of a 2007 that required school districts to incorporate the study of the Bible’s influence on

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Of Africa

One night in Germany in 2009, after having given a talk that pointed out the atrocities committed on African soil by Islam and Christianity, Wole Soyinka was confronted by a young man, who loudly remarked across the entire dinner table, “Africans, you must admit, are inherently inferior. You must be,

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