This is the first paperback edition of the enlightening Oxford University hardcover published inGlancy here situates early Christian slavery in its broader cultural setting, arguing that modern scholars have consistently underestimated the pervasive impact of slavery on the institutional structures, ideologies, and practices of the early churches and upon the bodies of the enslaved Her careful attention to the bodily experience of subjection and violation that constituted slavery makes this an indispensable book for anyone interested in slavery in early Christianity Includes special chapters on Jesus and Paul


10 thoughts on “Slavery in Early Christianity

  1. Douglas Wilson Douglas Wilson says:

    Very good book, a wealth of information Jennifer Glancy is at times hindered in her analysis by assuming too much purported differences between different authors of Scripture, and this gets in the way at times She doesn t reason with any expectation that Scripture harmonizes At the same time, she provides an amazing amount of detail on slavery in the New Testament era, not to mention the early centuries of the church She is particularly strong in showing how much slavery plays a surprising r Very good book, a wealth of information Jennifer Glancy is at times hindered in her analysis by assuming too much purported differences between different authors of Scripture, and this gets in the way at times She doesn t reason with any expectation that Scripture harmonizes At the same time, she provides an amazing amount of detail on slavery in the New Testament era, not to mention the early centuries of the church She is particularly strong in showing how much slavery plays a surprising role in the parables of Jesus


  2. Laura Lee Laura Lee says:

    Because slaves are not part of the typical modern person s everyday life, slavery becomes only a metaphor when reading the Bible, yet slavery was an all too real part of life for people in Biblical times What I found most interesting reading this was how easy it is to glance over stories with slaves in them in the Biblical text without really stopping to think about the reality of the life of people in bondage For example, in the story of the Prodigal Son there is a father and two sons, but th Because slaves are not part of the typical modern person s everyday life, slavery becomes only a metaphor when reading the Bible, yet slavery was an all too real part of life for people in Biblical times What I found most interesting reading this was how easy it is to glance over stories with slaves in them in the Biblical text without really stopping to think about the reality of the life of people in bondage For example, in the story of the Prodigal Son there is a father and two sons, but there are also household slaves who have been denied the right to families of their own who the father calls upon to set the table for a party to celebrate his son s return Being reminded of the gritty reality of slave life, their humanity, and the complex social and moral issues this involved is valuable


  3. Nigel Ewan Nigel Ewan says:

    A fascinating first couple of chapters describing and analyzing slavery in the Greco Roman world Certainly a reminder to stop and reconsider the importance and real world implications of slavery metaphors in New Testament salvation language Later in the book, the author proposes that present day conservative Christians have misunderstood the Biblical sexual ethic, and that Bible times believers would not have viewed sex with your slave as violating the Christian view of chastity Unconvincing, A fascinating first couple of chapters describing and analyzing slavery in the Greco Roman world Certainly a reminder to stop and reconsider the importance and real world implications of slavery metaphors in New Testament salvation language Later in the book, the author proposes that present day conservative Christians have misunderstood the Biblical sexual ethic, and that Bible times believers would not have viewed sex with your slave as violating the Christian view of chastity Unconvincing, but interesting to think through


  4. Steven Hart Steven Hart says:

    Good research, horrendous analysis.The book is well researched and details very well the condition of slaves in the Roman Empire and how early Christians interacted with the issue However, it s intepretations of scripture and anylsis of the evidence ranges from the unlikely to the absurd.The author is so dedicated to portraying slavery as brutal and inherently inhumane that she claims that the discussion of a former Roman slave on the subject of slavery belittles the brutality that such slave Good research, horrendous analysis.The book is well researched and details very well the condition of slaves in the Roman Empire and how early Christians interacted with the issue However, it s intepretations of scripture and anylsis of the evidence ranges from the unlikely to the absurd.The author is so dedicated to portraying slavery as brutal and inherently inhumane that she claims that the discussion of a former Roman slave on the subject of slavery belittles the brutality that such slaves experienced.Unless you are seriously interested in analyzing different perspectives on this issue as I am , I would recommend you pass


  5. Ruth Jewell Ruth Jewell says:

    Excellent book on the history of slavery and its connection with Christianity A readable, in depth look at how slavery played a role in shaping Christianity It is not a condemnation of the practice, rather, Glancy treats it for what it was, part of the culture of the time Highly recommended.


  6. Amy Hughes Amy Hughes says:

    Very thought provoking, especially the work on Biblical passages Glancy insists that slavery had a much larger impact on early Christianity than most scholars consider Some of her conclusions that she seems quite certain of are not as convincing to me as I would like them to be This is still a service, however, since it promotes a fresh look at sources Even with arguments from silence we have to be in the habit of making sure our assumptions do not go unquestioned Most of this work is locat Very thought provoking, especially the work on Biblical passages Glancy insists that slavery had a much larger impact on early Christianity than most scholars consider Some of her conclusions that she seems quite certain of are not as convincing to me as I would like them to be This is still a service, however, since it promotes a fresh look at sources Even with arguments from silence we have to be in the habit of making sure our assumptions do not go unquestioned Most of this work is located within NT studies so it is a bit early for me, but I am interested in the implications she brings up at the very end of this work on thedirect link between asceticism and slavery It s helpful to reconsider the slavery the early Christian writers knew as they appropriated it on a rhetorical level that informed practice and piety This work served to dislodge some preconceptions I had about slavery and early Christianity and caused me to becircumspect with regard to assuming a certain way slavery operated when the sources are at times faropaque and contradictory than one would like


  7. James James says:

    Makes some ambitious claims at times esp about the composition of Paul s community at Corinth , but the analysis is deeply informed by the ancient context of slavery, and she does a superb job of introducing readers to the reality of ancient slavery and its pervasive impact on the New Testament without judging the ethical implications of that impact It continually produces persuasive readings alternative to thestandard readings of Biblical studies scholars A fascinating read.


  8. Kevin Gardner Kevin Gardner says:

    This book helps modern readers understand the practice of slavery in Early Christianity This book shows the prevalence of slaves and slaveholders among early Christians, in the Roman Empire and how scriptures regarding sexuality, being submissive to ones master had a tremendous, and not necessarily positive impact on early believers.


  9. Ben Ben says:

    Helpful, but supplement with Hurtado s critiques in Destroyer of the gods.


  10. Douglas Douglas says:

    This book changes everything we ve thought about the institution of slavery in the Greco Roman empire It was muchpervasive and insidious than we ve imagined.