Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich: Wealth, Poverty, and Early Christian Formation

Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich: Wealth, Poverty, and Early Christian Formation

by Helen Rhee


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The issue of wealth and poverty and its relationship to Christian faith is as ancient as the New Testament and reaches even further back to the Hebrew Scriptures. From the beginnings of the Christian movement, the issue of how to deal with riches and care for the poor formed an important aspect of Christian discipleship. This careful study shows how early Christians adopted, appropriated, and transformed the Jewish and Greco-Roman moral teachings and practices of giving and patronage. As Helen Rhee illuminates the early Christian understanding of wealth and poverty, she shows how it impacted the formation of Christian identity. She also demonstrates the ongoing relevance of early Christian thought and practice for the contemporary church.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801048241
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/01/2012
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Helen Rhee (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of church history at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and served as a pastor for a number of years. She specializes in early Christian history, especially second and third century Christian literature, and is the author of Early Christian Literature: Christ and Culture in the Second and Third Centuries.

Table of Contents


1. The Social, Economic, and Theological World of Early Christianity
2. Wealth, Poverty, and Eschatology
3. Wealth, Poverty, and Salvation
4. Wealth, Poverty, and Koinonia
5. Wealth, Poverty, and Ecclesiastical Control
6. Wealth, Poverty, and Christian Identity
7. Wealth, Poverty, and Christian Response in Contemporary Society

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