The 'Poor and the Rich' in Luke-Acts

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A Socio-cultural and Ideological Analysis of Luke’s Social Vision for the New Christian Community

Establishing the early Christian church within the first century eastern Mediterranean context was a complex and dangerous undertaking.

Society was strictly divided along the lines of class and status, with clearly defined codes of conduct and etiquette governing social interaction.

Securing honour in the public space was a sought after commodity and served to cement relations amongst the elite and ratify their division from the poor.

For the elite, transgressing social boundaries meant losing their honour status and being ostracised from social networks.

The author of Luke-Acts, operating from within a Greco-Roman urban setting, sets about redefining first century eastern Mediterranean social norms and values in his new Christian community.

Diverse in nature and consisting of members from the wealthy elite and the poor, Luke’s fledgling Christian community is torn between remaining loyal to the norms and values on the outside while still holding on to their Christian identities.

This book explores the complicated levels of socio-political, economic, cultural, and religious maneuverings that Luke was compelled to engage in to secure the survival of his Christian church.

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