Q. What sort of audience are you hoping these essays will reach?
A. These are research essays that will attract attention from researchers in particular — Masters students through to established scholars. But the interested life-long learner can also delve in with profit.
Q. In view of the fact that Cambridge had already, twice over, produced the Cambridge History of the Bible, how does this volume help us fill in the gaps that are evident in those volumes?
A. Our goal for this project was not to do a “coverage” volume where a reader is introduced to anything and everything of relevance in the study of “ancient Christianity.” Nor did we want to fill gaps evident in other volumes. We wanted, instead, to look at issues that have received attention in recent years and to foreground those issues in particular. There has been a lot of movement in the study of ancient Christianity and this volume focusses in particular on some of those issues. We couldn’t hit them all, but we hit over two dozen of them. Besides the topics I have already mentioned, those issues include: rhetoric and identity in the early heresiologists; Jesus remembered; Paul remembered; Peter remembered; Jews and Christians; Christians and classical education; scriptures and scriptural interpretations; socioeconomic analysis; Roman imperial ideology; martyrdom accounts; Christian material culture; New Testament manuscripts; creational theology; trinitarian theology; resurrection and deification; eucharistic theology; ecclesial offices; gender; slavery; wealth and poverty; and power and authority among the living and the dead. So the volume testifies to the vibrancy of recent work in the study of ancient Christianity.