I had the opportunity to catch up with Harry O. Maier
, professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the Vancouver School of Theology, to discuss his new book, New Testament Christianity in the Roman World
(Oxford University Press, 2018) which is one of the first titles to appear in Oxford University Press’s new series, Essentials of Biblical Studies. Maier’s study steps away from debates about the formation of early Christian belief to reconstruct the social world in which the new religious movement emerged and began to take shape. Drawing on some recent interventions in cultural geographical theory, he moves in six chapters to consider contexts from Roman cosmology to the individual person. Who were the first followers of Jesus? How did they relate to the social worlds of the empire in which they lived? And how is that experience reflected in the writings that became the New Testament?
Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast. His research interests focus on the history of puritanism and evangelicalism, and he is the author most recently of John Owen and English Puritanism
(Oxford University Press, 2016).