Space and Social Geography in Early Christianity

  • Harry O. Maier

    Professore di Nuovo Testamento e di Studi sul cristianesimo antico - Vancouver School of Theology

  • da lunedì 26 Maggio 2014 a venerdì 30 Maggio 2014
Scuola Alti Studi

This lecture course will develop the "spatial turn" in the study of Christian origins. While other disciplines have taken up a study of social geography and spatiality, researchers of emergent Christianity have not explored their resources. The reasons for this relate to the doctrinal and dogmatic interests of early texts as theological resources in the development of Christian thought, a tendency to isolate the study of early Christianity from Classical Studies, and a tendency to confine analysis to lexicographical considerations. Yet Christianity took root and grew in a variety of social contexts. Preeminent amongst these are the urban contexts of religious life in the Roman Empire. These include households, associations, public spaces such as componae and tabernae, insulae, and so on. The lecture course will focus on a number of questions. What difference does space make to a consideration of Christian origins? How does the imagination of a new religious movement encourage particular practices of place? How does place affect religious imagination? How does ancient urban demography and organization of neighbourhoods create particular forms of sociality that result in the promotion of particular sets of ethics? What role did the visual environment of urban space create a sense of identity and how do texts reflect their visual spatial setting? To ask these questions is to open the study of emergent Christianity to a series of questions and approaches that fall outside usual disciplinary applications and to furnish the study of religion in general and Christianity in particular with a social analysis.

1. What is social geography and why is it relevant to the study of emergent Christianity?
2. Soja, de Certeau, Sack and Foucault: Thirdspace as analytical tool of daily space-time practice
3. "For the form of this world is passing away": Pauline eschatology and urban space-time practices
4. "You are the household of God": Spatialization of Pauline eschatology and the reconfiguration of urban space-time in deutero-Pauline Christianity
5. "They will cast you out of synagogues": Narrativizing space-time in a Johannine sectarian community
6. "I go to prepare a place for you": Sectarian practices of space-time and realized eschatology in John’s Gospel
7. The mark of the beast: imperial eschatology, apocalyptic space-time, and the practices of urban identity
8. Dancing with virgins: the revelation of urban space-time in the Shepherd of Hermas
9. Concord by other means: imperial political ideals and space-time in urban Christianity

Riferimenti Bibliografici

Bergquist, Jon and Camp, Claudia V., Constructions of Space 2: The Biblical City and Other Imagined Spaces (JSOTSS 490), New York, T&T Clark, 2008.

Casey, Edward S., Getting Back into Place: Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1993.

de Certeau, Michel, L'invention du quotidien, 2 voll., Paris, Gallimard, 1990-1994*; trad. it., L'invenzione del quotidiano, Roma, Lavoro, 2001*.

Foucault, Michel, Des autres espaces, in Id., Dits et écrits. IV. 1980-1988, Paris, Gallimard, 1994, pp. 752-762*; trad. it., Eterotopie, in Archivio Foucault. 3. 1978-1985, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1998, pp. 307-316*.

Horrell, David, The Social Ethos of the Corinthian Correspondence: Interests and Ideology: Interests and Ideology from 1 Corinthians to 1 Clement, Edinburgh, T&T Clark, 1996*.

Lampe, Peter, Die stadtrömischen Christen in den ersten beiden Jahrhunderten: Untersuchungen zur Sozialgeschichte, Siebeck, Tübingen, 1989; trad. inglese, Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries: From Paul to Valentinus, London, Continuum, 2003*.

Maier, Harry O., Picturing Paul in Empire: Imperial Image, Text and Persuasion in Colossians, Ephesians, and the Pastoral Epistles, London, T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2013*.

Moxnes, Halvor, Landscape and Spatiality: Placing Jesus, in D. Neufeld and R.E. DeMareis (eds.), Understanding the Social World of the New Testament, London, Routledge, 2010, pp. 90-106*.

Moxnes, Halvor, Putting Jesus in His Place: A Radical Vision of Household and Kingdom, Louisville, Westminster John Knox, 2003*.

Neyrey, Jerome, The Gospel of John in Cultural and Rhetorical Perspective, Grand Rapids, MI, Eerdmans, 2009*.

Osiek, Carolyn and David L. Balch (eds.), Early Christian Families in Context: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, Grand Rapids, MI, Eerdmans, 2003*.

Rau, Susanne, Räume. Konzepte, Wahrnehmungen, Nutzungen, Frankfurt/New York, Campus Verlag, 2013.

Sack, R. D., Human Territoriality: Its Theory and History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009.

Soja, Edward, Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places, Oxford, Blackwell, 1996*.

Steward, Eric, New Testament Space/Spatiality, «Biblical Theology Bulletin», 42, 2012, pp. 139-50.

Ubieta, Carmen Bernabé, Neither Xenoi nor paroikoi, sympolitai and oikeioi tou theou (Eph 2.19). Pauline Christian Communities: Defining a New Territoriality, in John J. Pilch (ed.), Social Scientific Models for Interpreting the Bible: Essays by the Context Group in Honor of Bruce J. Malina, Leiden, Brill, 2001, pp. 260-280.

(*) I titoli contrassegnati con l'asterisco sono disponibili, o in corso di acquisizione, per la consultazione e il prestito presso la Biblioteca della Fondazione Collegio San Carlo (lun.-ven. 9-19)

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