Writing the History of Early Christianity: From Reception to Retrospection

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Despite novel approaches to the study of Early Christianity – New Historicity, New Philology, Gender and Queer Studies; many turns – Material, Linguistic, Cultural; and developments in Reception History, Cultural Transfer and Entangled History, much scholarship on this topic differs little from that written a century ago. In this study, Markus Vinzent challenges the interpretation of the sources that have been used in the study of the Early Christian era. He brings a new approach to the topic by reading history backwards. Applying this methodology to four case studies, and using a range of media, he poses radically new questions on the famous ‘Abercius’ inscription, on the first extant apologist Aristides of Athens, on the prolific Hippolytus of Rome and on Ignatius and the first non-canonical collection of letters. Vinzent’s novel methodology of a retrospective writing thus challenges many fundamental and anachronistic assumptions about Early Christian history.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press, Cambridge
Number of pages350
ISBN (Print)9781108647052
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Historiography
  • Early Christianity
  • Patristics
  • Medieval historiography
  • medieval history


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