Program

ACLS Fellowship Program , Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars

Project

Loose texts, loose women: A history of Jesus and an adulteress

Project

Artifact, Memory, and the Early Christian Textual Condition

Department

Religion

Location

For residence at the American Academy in Rome during academic year 2012-2013

Loose texts, loose women: A history of Jesus and an adulteress

Artifact, Memory, and the Early Christian Textual Condition

Produced for liturgical settings and employed in a range of devotional practices, Christian manuscripts are strikingly diverse. Critical editions of these books tend to obscure their dynamic character, however, and can leave the impression that the establishment of a canon was the most important Christian concern. Yet the articulation of a Christian identity necessarily involved not only the defense and promulgation of particular books, but also new ways of thinking about sacred space and time, which in turn left traces on surviving manuscripts. By investigating the multiple interactions between the emerging Christian cults and the books this cult produced, this project reconsiders both sacred books and the human commitments that informed their manufacture.