Early christian literature and the classical intellectual tradition
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The interaction between Christianity and Greco-Roman culture has been the most alluring and persistent issue among those which have dominated the study of early Christian literature and thought since the nineteenth century. The process of transformation of Christianity from a Palestinian Jewish sect to a universal religion has fascinated historians, theologians and philosophers. The essays gathered in this volume challenge the thesis of a sharp dichotomy between Christianity and Greco-Roman culture and reflect a slow but deliberate shift which is taking place in the understanding of Christianity in relation to ancient culture.
The essays are written by scholars from various parts of the world, each writin from his own perspective, but taken as a whole they indicate that Christianity and Greco-Roman culture, were not two independant worlds but that Christian writers, from an earlier date than has been recognized, became part of the intellectual world of late antiquity.
The essays are presented as expressions of respect and frienship for Professor Robert McQueen Grant, Carl Darling Buck Professor of Humanities at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. No single formula can capture the significance of the wide range of Robert Grant’s contributions to the study of the early church. Among honors accorded Professor Grant were : Fulbright Research Professor at the University of Leiden (1950-51); three Guggenheim fellowships (1950, 1954, 1959); visiting professor at Yale University (1964-65); president of the Society for Biblical Literature and Exegis (1959); president of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research (1963-64); president of the American Society of Church History (1970) and North American Patrisctic Society (1975); a director of the Anglican Theological Review, an associate editor of Vigiliae Christianae and co-editor of Church History. The contributors to this melanges offered to Robert Grant share with him the conviction that the interaction to the early church with the Greco-Roman tradition is among the most fascinating topics in contemporary historical and theological debate.