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In the Beginning Was the Meal: Social Experimentation and Early Christian Identity [Hardcover]

Hal Taussig


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Book Description

29 April 2009
What were the origins of the Eucharist? Taussig, a founding member of the SBL Seminar on Meals in the Greco-Roman World, brings a wealth of scholarship to bear on the question of Christian origins. He shows that in the Augustan age, common meals became the sites of dramatic experimentation and innovation regarding social roles and relationships, challenging expectations regarding gender, class, and status. Rich comparative material and rigorous ritual analysis reveal that it was in just such a swirl of experimentation that the early Christian assemblies, with their "love feasts" and "supper of the Lord," were born. This cutting-edge monograph sheds new light on the social context of early Christian gatherings, illuminating the origins of the Eucharist and of Christianity itself. Taussig draws important implications for the practice of Christian community today.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarship at its best 26 July 2010
By Marie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hal Tussig has made a great contribution to research on the early Christian house churches in this volume of scholarly research. Placing the Eucharist in the tradition of Graco-Roman festival meals, he examines both predictable and innovative ways that Christ-believers refashioned this tradition. This is not a "popular" book, but rather a "must read" for anyone researching the early movements that became Christianity.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars grossly informative 17 April 2011
By shalommakers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
While I have read anthropology such as presented by Mary Douglas in her assessment of early Hebrew culture, Hal Taussig provides a rich, palatable journey into the 1st century meal. Taussig provides a frame for viewing the cultural & theological contexts in which Early Christian meals were consumed and posits the meal at the center of mediating differences. The book is dense with information & evaluation. I suggest it as a necessary read for those who are interested in hospitality, mediating differences and theology & sociology of Communion.Grossly Informative.
5.0 out of 5 stars Important research on Christian Origins 16 Jan 2013
By Ken Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm an evangelical pastor (Vineyard) and was blown away by the work Taussig has done. Understanding the social context of early Christianity as a movement organized around meals cast fresh insight on the New Testament, changing the way you read it forever.
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