New College, University of Edinburgh

New in the Oxford Handbook of Pauline Studies: Cavan Concannon on Archaeology and the Pauline Letters

“[Adolf] Deissmann’s optics for seeing the light from ancient remains reminds us that it is important to think about the hermeneutics that are involved in reading archaeological remains in conversation with biblical texts. As Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre has rightly shown, how we look determines what we see and thus requires that we pay attention to how we direct our historical gaze and what our gaze leaves out… An archaeology of the Pauline mission has to be more than a scholarly tour in the footsteps of Paul. Many scholars of early Christianity and classical archaeologists alike have participated in a larger history of pilgrimage and tourism in search of Paul. The scholars that I have highlighted above demonstrate how we might gaze otherwise on Paul, the communities to which he wrote, and the broader history of early Christianity in conversation with scholars in other disciplines. To do so allows us to see early Christian communities as part of, and not distinct from, the dynamic and diverse landscapes of civic life in the early Roman Empire.”

–Cavan Concannon, “Archaeology and the Pauline Letters,” in Oxford Handbook of Pauline Studies

  • CSCO Team,
  • 15th July 2020

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