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Who Were the First Christians? - Dismantling the Urban Thesis | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Who Were the First Christians?: Dismantling the Urban Thesis

Thomas A. Robinson


This work challenges the consensus that early Christianity was an urban movement that did not reach effectively into the countryside until after the conversion of Emperor Constantine. But that consensus fails at a number of points, as does the related thesis that diaspora Judaism in the Roman world supposedly was largely urban too. Examining the works of Rodney Stark, Wayne Meeks, and Ramsay MacMullen, all of which support the urban thesis, this work presents evidence of a rural Christian presence in the countryside as well as a rustic and rural presence within urban environs and within the Ch ... More

Keywords: urban movement, demography, Roman Empire, early Christianity, Wayne Meeks, Ramsay MacMullen, Rodney Stark, rural Christianity, countryside

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190620547
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190620547.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Thomas A. Robinson, author
Professor, Department of Religious Studies, The University of Lethbridge