Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth - Chapter 1: Clashing Cultures Summary & Analysis

Burton L. Mack
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Chapter 1: Clashing Cultures Summary and Analysis

The first century of the Christian Era (C.E.) was a tumultuous time in the eastern Mediterranean, where Judaism and Christianity emerged. The new political structure of the Roman Empire was imposed over a region that had social traditions borrowed from both Greece and the Near East, leaving people grappling to make sense of the new world order. Uncertainty bred creativity, Mack argues, and provided the environment in which new ideas such as Christianity could take hold.

The primary question among thinkers of the day, Mack argues, was what the future would look like in the aftermath of conquest by the Romans. The idea of the Greek city-state clashed with the Near Eastern idea of the temple-state, creating more confusion. Roman rule provided political stability, but could not provide any cultural direction so far from Rome, allowing...

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This section contains 291 words
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