A forthcoming book by Brian J. Wright, Communal Reading in the Time of Jesus: A Window into Early Christian Reading Practices, is a solid and valuable contribution to our grasp of how texts functioned in early Christianity. View the publisher’s advance notice here. Due out December this year, it’s available for pre-order now.
Wright invited me to write a Foreword for the book, and after reading the manuscript I was entirely happy to do so. Here’s what I wrote:
This book is an important contribution to our understanding of how texts were handled in early Christian circles and in their larger Roman-era cultural environment. For a few decades now, both in biblical studies and in classical studies, scholars have explored and debated a variety of questions about the distribution and usage of texts, the level and degrees of Roman-era literacy, the relationship between “orality” and texts, and the factors…
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