BIBLIOGRAPHY AND THE SBL SEMINAR ON MEALS.

reclining-graphic-copy

First, the Seminar link: http://www.philipharland.com/meals/GrecoRomanMealsSeminar.htm

Then a listing of the Members of the Seminar

Steering Committee

Ellen Aitken (McGill University, Montreal)
Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus (Wheaton College)
Matthias Klinghardt (Technische Universitaet, Dresden, Germany)
Susan Marks (New College, Florida)
Andrew McGowan (Trinity College, University of Melbourne)
Dennis E. Smith (Phillips Theological Seminary)
Angela Standhartinger (University of Marburg, Germany)
Hal Taussig (Union Theological Seminary)

Other Members
Richard Ascough (Queens Theological College, Kingston, Ontario)
David Balch (Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary)
Willi Braun (University of Alberta)
Kathleen Corley (University of Wisconsin)
Carly Daniel-Hughes (Concordia University, Montreal)
Arthur Dewey (Xavier University)
Nancy Evans (Wheaton College)
Jennifer Glancy (University of Richmond)
Philip Harland (York University, Toronto)
Lillian Larsen (University of Redlands)
Jae Won Lee (McCormick Theological Seminary)
Carolyn Osiek (Brite Divinity School, TCU)
Jordan Rosenblum (University of Wisconsin at Madison)
Janet Walton (Union Theological Seminary) 

My comments: The first thing that strikes me about the list is its international character. It matches, with one exception, the location of countries of Dinner Church sites on my map. The second thing is the high proportion of Canadians who are on the list in terms of the population of Canada. The third is the absence of any British scholars.  The D C map includes a number of British sites including the most vigorous site in Northern Ireland

Bibliography of the people on the list appropriate to the topic of meals, The description of books is from the publishers as found on Amazon’s website.

Ellen Aitken

The Bible in the Public Square: Reading the Signs of the Times, Ellen Aitken, Ed,  2008

Though the Bible has long enjoyed a place of privilege in the American public square, much of the contemporary discussion centers on the influence of the religious right in national politics and on the principled ‘separation of church and state.’ How might other perspectives on the Bible help us to ‘read the signs of the times’ and move beyond the status quo? In The Bible in the Public Square, renowned biblical interpreters reflect on how biblically informed engagement with political issues, ancient as well as modern, is reshaping the face of contemporary biblical scholarship and challenging the civil religion. This insightful exploration bridges conventional gaps between university, seminary, church, and civic life.

The contributors include: Norman Gottwald, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Barbara Rossing, Allen Callahan, Obery Hendricks, Antoinette Wire, Sze-Kar Wan, and many more.

Matthias Klinghardt

Gemeinschaftsmahl und Mahlgemeinschaft: Soziologie und Liturgie fruhchristlicher Mahlfeiern (Texte und Arbeiten zum neutestamentlichen Zeitalter) 1996

This book, along with Dennis E Smith’s “From Symposium to Eucharist”, broke open the idea that the form of early Christian gatherings were patterned after Greco-Roman Meals. It is strange, then, that it has not been translated into English. It is likely that the high price for this kind of book is probably why no one has ventured a translation.

Andrew McGowan

Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals (Oxford Early Christian Studies (Hardcover)) 1st Edition 1999

The early Eucharist has usually been seen as sacramental eating of token bread and wine in careful or even slavish imitation of Jesus and his earliest disciples. In fact, the evidence suggests great diversity in conduct, including the use of foods, in the first few hundred years. This study describes and discusses these practices fully for the first time, and provides important new insights into the liturgical and social history of early Christianity.

Early Church Practices in Social, Historical, and Theological Perspective Ancient Christian Worship – 2014

This introduction to the origins of Christian worship illuminates the importance of ancient liturgical patterns for contemporary Christian practice. Andrew McGowan takes a fresh approach to understanding how Christians came to worship in the distinctive forms still familiar today. Deftly and expertly processing the bewildering complexity of the ancient sources into lucid, fluent exposition, he sets aside common misperceptions to explore the roots of Christian ritual practices–including the Eucharist, baptism, communal prayer, preaching, Scripture reading, and music–in their earliest recoverable settings.

Ancient and Modern: Anglican Essays on the Bible, the Church and the World Paperback – May 20, 2015

What can we learn from an ancient Church for a modern world? This book explores our most pressing challenges, drawing on the resources of ancient Christianity. It demonstrates how the Bible, and ancient authors such as Augustine and Athanasius, speak to contemporary issues of environment and restorative justice, racism and education.

Dennis E. Smith

From Symposium to Eucharist: The Banquet in the Early Christian World by Dennis E. Smith (Author) 2003 originally 1991, I believe

(Strange. There is no blurb for this in the Amazon listing. It is strange because this is one of two key books on meals.)

Many Tables: Eucharist in the New Testament and Liturgy Today by Dennis E. Smith (1990-05-01) by Dennis E. Smith;Hal Taussig (Author)

Meals in the Early Christian World: Social Formation, Experimentation, and Conflict at the Table by Dennis E. Smith (Author), H. Taussig (Editor) 2012

This book provides three categories of investigation: 1) The Typology and Context of the Greco-Roman Banquet, 2) Who Was at the Greco-Roman Banquets, and 3) The Culture of Reclining. Together these studies establish festive meals as an essential lens into social formation in the Greco-Roman world.

Hal Taussig

Many Tables: Eucharist in the New Testament and Liturgy Today by Dennis E. Smith (1990-05-01) by Dennis E. Smith;Hal Taussig (Author)

In the Beginning Was the Meal: Social Experimentation and Early Christian Identity by Hal Taussig  (Author) – 2009

What were the origins of the Eucharist? Taussig, a founding member of the SBL Seminar on Meals in the Greco-Roman World, brings a wealth of scholarship to bear on the question of Christian origins. He shows that in the Augustan age, common meals became the sites of dramatic experimentation and innovation regarding social roles and relationships, challenging expectations regarding gender, class, and status. Rich comparative material and rigorous ritual analysis reveal that it was in just such a swirl of experimentation that the early Christian assemblies, with their “love feasts” and “supper of the Lord,” were born. This cutting-edge monograph sheds new light on the social context of early Christian gatherings, illuminating the origins of the Eucharist and of Christianity itself. Taussig draws important implications for the practice of Christian community today.

Meals in the Early Christian World: Social Formation, Experimentation, and Conflict at the Table by Dennis E. Smith (Author), H. Taussig (Editor) 2012

This book provides three categories of investigation: 1) The Typology and Context of the Greco-Roman Banquet, 2) Who Was at the Greco-Roman Banquets, and 3) The Culture of Reclining. Together these studies establish festive meals as an essential lens into social formation in the Greco-Roman world.

Richard Ascough

What Are They Saying About the Formation of Pauline Churches? by Richard S. Ascough  1998

The early church was made up of a myriad of local churches, each with different settings, problems and ideas regarding how its community should be structured. What Are They Saying About the Formation of Pauline Churches? surveys the different models available in the Greco-Roman period for understanding how Paul’s Christian groups ordered their communities. There are four models: the synagogue, the philosophical school, the ancient mystery cult and the voluntary association. Dr. Ascough devotes a chapter to each model and to the authors who use it to understand Pauline churches. The archaeological and literary data are coordinated with data from the Pauline letters to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the models for understanding these churches. In the end, all four models are helpful and no one model is adequate to explain all the aspects of each Pauline church.

Paul’s Macedonian Associations: The Social Context of Philippians and 1 Thessalonians by Richard Ascough 2003

Richard Ascough uses Greco-Roman associations as a comparative model for understanding early Christian community organization, with specific attention to Paul’s Macedonian Christian communities. Contents include: Introduction, Types and functions of associations, Membership and its requirements, Community organization, The Philippian Christian Community, The Thessalonian Christian Community, Jewish Communities in Macedonia, and Bibliography.

Lydia: Paul’s Cosmopolitan Hostess (Paul’s Social Network: Brothers and Sisters in Faith) by Richard S. Ascough  (Author), Bruce J. Malina STD (Editor 2009

Human beings are embedded in a set of social relations. A social network is one way of conceiving that set of relations in terms of a number of persons connected to one another by varying degrees of relatedness. In the early Jesus-group documents featuring Paul and coworkers, it takes little effort to envision the apostle’s collection of friends and friends of friends that is the Pauline network. The persons who constituted that network are the focus of this set of brief books. For Christians of the Western tradition, these persons are significant ancestors in faith. While each of them is worth knowing by themselves, it is largely because of their standing within that web of social relations woven about and around Paul that they are of lasting interest. Through this series we hope to come to know those persons in ways befitting their first-century Mediterranean culture.

Women played a prominent role in the development of the early Jesus communities and formed an essential part of Paul’s social network. Lydia was one such woman. Her heart was opened to Paul’s message, she responded with faith by being baptized, and she offered her home in hospitality to Paul and his companions. But beyond this not much is known of her. In Lydia: Paul’s Cosmopolitan Hostess, Richard S.Ascough constructs an image of Lydia based on what is known about the political, commercial, social, and religious norms of the first-century world. Ascough describes the styles of possible dwellings in which Lydia could have lived, the business opportunities that would have been available to her, and the religious cults that held sway in Philippi at the time. With Ascough, readers will find that the importance of Lydia’s story is that she hears the message of God through Paul and responds with faith.

Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook   by Richard S. Ascough  (Author), Philip A. Harland  (Author), John S. Kloppenborg (Author) 2012

Associations in the Greco-Roman World provides students and scholars with a clear and readable resource for greater understanding of the social, cultural, and religious life across the ancient Mediterranean. The authors provide new translations of inscriptions and papyri from hundreds of associations, alongside descriptions of more than two dozen archaeological remains of building sites. Complemented by a substantial annotated bibliography and accompanying images, this sourcebook fills many gaps and allows for future exploration in studies of the Greco-Roman religious world, particularly the nature of Judean and Christian groups at that time.

1 and 2 Thessalonians: Encountering the Christ Group at Thessalonike by Richard S. Ascough 2014

1 Thessalonians provides a fascinating glimpse into the origins and social life of the Christ group in the ancient Roman city of Thessalonike, while 2 Thessalonians reveals how the community developed at a somewhat later time. This Guide narrates the story of the founding of the group by considering the social and cultural contexts, the literary form, the rhetorical strategies, the theologies, and the reception of the two canonical letters. Using the most up-to-date scholarly work on critical matters of interpretation, the book is a readable and engaging encounter with one of the earliest Christ groups.
While centering on the texts of 1 and 2 Thessalonians themselves, Ascough draws widely on literary and archaeological data, giving particular attention to typical group behaviours among small, unofficial associations in the Greek and Roman period. The first four chapters focus on 1 Thessalonians, from the initial formation of the Christ group out of a small association of artisans through to how members negotiated various sorts of relationships: with Paul and his companions, with outsiders in Thessalonike and beyond, and especially with fellow believers within the group itself. The final two chapters turn attention to the shifting circumstances that required a second letter to be written, with its focus on disorder and disruption of social practices and theological beliefs. The epilogue briefly surveys Christianity at Thessalonike beyond the first century.
This Guide presents an overview of the historical development of the Christ group at Thessalonike. Moving beyond treating the canonical letters as simple repositories of theological opinions, Ascough demonstrates how 1 and 2 Thessalonians reveal ordinary life in ancient Roman cities. In so doing, he invites readers to enter the world of one of the many fascinating communities of Christ believers in the first century of the Common Era.

David Balch

Families in the New Testament World: Households and House Churches  by Carolyn A. Osiek, David L. Balch 1997

What was the family like for the first Christians? Informed by archaeological work and illustrated by figures, this work is a remarkable window into the past, one that both informs and illuminates our current condition.

The Family, Culture, and Religion series offers informed and responsible analyses of the state of the American family from a religious perspective and provides practical assistance for the family’s revitalization.

Roman Domestic Art and Early House Churches by David L Balch 2008

In contrast to most studies of earliest Christianity that focus on texts, David Balch inquires into the visual world of the culture in which early Christians lived and worshipped. Jews and Christians outside Israel lived in Greek and Roman houses and apartment buildings. During earlier Republican and later Imperial periods, artists painted frescoes on the walls of their patrons’ houses. Beginning in the mid-1700s, archaeologists began unearthing brilliantly colored domestic paintings, often of Greek (rarely of Roman) myths and tragedies, especially in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Rome. The author inquires how visual representations seen daily might influence the understanding of Jewish and Christian scriptures read and heard in those same spaces as well as the meaning of rituals performed in domestic worship. Scenes from the tragedies of Euripides as well as visual representations of contemporary gladiatorial games make suffering, sacrifice, and death surprisingly present in Roman houses, themes not first introduced by Christian preaching or the Eucharist.

Willi Braun

Feasting and Social Rhetoric in Luke 14 by Willi Braun  1995

In this original and thought-provoking study, Willi Braun draws both on social and literary evidence regarding the Greco-Roman elite banquet scene and on ancient prescribed methods of rhetorical composition to argue that the Pharisaic dinner episode in Luke 14 is a skillfully crafted rhetorical unit in which Jesus presents an argument for Luke’s vision of a Christian society. His analysis underscores the way in which gospel writers manipulated the inherited Jesus traditions for the purposes of ideological and social formation of Christian communities.

Kathleen Corley

Women & the Historical Jesus: Feminist Myths of Christian Origins by Kathleen E. Corley 2002

For decades scholars have argued that Jesus’ teaching fostered inclusive communities and the full participation of women. Now Kathleen Corley challenges the assumption that Jesus himself fought patriarchal limitations on women. Rather the analysis of his authentic teaching suggests that while Jesus critiques class and slave/free distinctions in his culture, his critique did not extend to unequal gender distinctions. The presence of women among his disciples, she says, is explained on the basis of the presence of women among many Greco-Roman religions and philosophical groups, including the Judaism of Jesus’ own day.

Maranatha: Women’s Funerary Rituals and Christian Origins Hardcover by Kathleen E. Corley – 2010

Kathleen Corley continues her examination of women’s roles at the beginnings of Christianity with this groundbreaking new study of women’s funerary rituals and lament customs in the ancient Roman world. She finds in these rituals important connections with Gospel accounts of women’s visits to the tomb of Jesus and of his resurrection “on the third day.” Examining texts, catacomb art, and inscriptions, she articulates a new and exciting role for women mourners at the heart of Christian origins.

Carly Daniel-Hughes

Dressing Judeans and Christians in Antiquity by Kristi Upson-Saia, Carly Daniel-Hughes 2014

The past two decades have witnessed a proliferation of scholarship on dress in the ancient world. These recent studies have established the extent to which Greece and Rome were vestimentary cultures, and they have demonstrated the critical role dress played in communicating individuals’ identities, status, and authority. Despite this emerging interest in ancient dress, little work has been done to understand religious aspects and uses of dress. This volume aims to fill this gap by examining a diverse range of religious sources, including literature, art, performance, coinage, economic markets, and memories. Employing theoretical frames from a range of disciplines, contributors to the volume demonstrate how dress developed as a topos within Judean and Christian rhetoric, symbolism, and performance from the first century BCE to the fifth century CE. Specifically, they demonstrate how religious meanings were entangled with other social logics, revealing the many layers of meaning attached to ancient dress, as well as the extent to which dress was implicated in numerous domains of ancient religious life.

Philip Harland

Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations: Claiming a Place in Ancient Mediterranean Society, by Philip Harland 2003

Ephesus, Galatia, Troas, and Pergamum are familiar names to readers of the New Testament. But what made this region such fertile ground for early synagogues and congregations of those who followed Christ? How did the earliest churches and synagogues organize themselves? How did other voluntary associations operate within the Roman empire? How did such organizations relate to the constraints of imperial religion? These are some of the questions that Philip Harland addresses in this stimulating look at first-century Roman Asia. He surveys the various forms of guilds and associations in the eastern Roman empire. Asia Minor is one of the primary regions of Paul’s journeys described in Acts, and it provided the context for several New Testament books, especially the Pastoral Epistles, 1 Peter, and Revelation. The author’s fresh look at ancient inscriptions reveals new insights about the formation, operation, and functions of congregations and synagogues within the larger framework of voluntary associations in the Roman world.

Dynamics of Identity in the World of the Early Christians by Philip A. Harland  2009

This study sheds new light on identity formation and maintenance in the world of the early Christians by drawing on neglected archaeological and epigraphic evidence concerning associations and immigrant groups and by incorporating insights from the social sciences. The study’s unique contribution relates, in part, to its interdisciplinary character, standing at the intersection of Christian Origins, Jewish Studies, Classical Studies, and the Social Sciences. It also breaks new ground in its thoroughly comparative framework, giving the Greek and Roman evidence its due, not as mere background but as an integral factor in understanding dynamics of identity among early Christians. This makes the work particularly well suited as a text for courses that aim to understand early Christian groups and literature, including the New Testament, in relation to their Greek, Roman, and Judean contexts.

Inscriptions pertaining to associations provide a new angle of vision on the ways in which members in Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues experienced belonging and expressed their identities within the Greco-Roman world. The many other groups of immigrants throughout the cities of the empire provide a particularly appropriate framework for understanding both synagogues of Judeans and groups of Jesus-followers as minority cultural groups in these same contexts. Moreover, there were both shared means of expressing identity (including fictive familial metaphors) and peculiarities in the case of both Jews and Christians as minority cultural groups, who (like other “foreigners”) were sometimes characterized as dangerous, alien “anti-associations”. By paying close attention to dynamics of identity and belonging within associations and cultural minority groups, we can gain new insights into Pauline, Johannine, and other early Christian communities.

Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook by Richard S. Ascough, Philip A. Harland, John S. Kloppenborg 2012

Associations in the Greco-Roman World provides students and scholars with a clear and readable resource for greater understanding of the social, cultural, and religious life across the ancient Mediterranean. The authors provide new translations of inscriptions and papyri from hundreds of associations, alongside descriptions of more than two dozen archaeological remains of building sites. Complemented by a substantial annotated bibliography and accompanying images, this sourcebook fills many gaps and allows for future exploration in studies of the Greco-Roman religious world, particularly the nature of Judean and Christian groups at that time.

Jae Won Lee

Paul and the Politics of Difference: A Contextual Study of the Jewish-Gentile Difference in Galatians and Romans by Jae Won Lee 2014

(Though Ms. Lee is listed as part of the meal seminar, her book is about the empire setting. So there is some cross-fertilization.)

Paul lies at the core of the constant debate about the opposition between Christianity and Judaism in biblical interpretation and public discourse as well. The so-called new perspective on Paul has not offered a significant break from the formidable paradigm of Christian universalism vs. Jewish particularism in Pauline scholarship. This book seeks to liberate Paul from the Western logic of identity and its dominant understanding of difference, which tend to identify Pauline Christianity as its ally.

Drawing attention to the currency of discourses on difference in contemporary theories as well as in biblical studies, the author critically examines the hermeneutical relevance of a contextual and relational understanding of difference and applies it to interpret the dynamics of Jew-Gentile difference reflected particularly in meal practices (Galatians 2:1-21 and Romans 14:1–15:13) of early Christian communities.

This book argues that by deconstructing the hierarchy of social relations underlying the Jew-Gentile difference in different community situations, Paul promotes a politics of difference, which affirms a preferential option for the socially “weak,” that is, solidarity with the weak. Paul’s politics of difference is invoked as a liberative potential for the vision of egalitarian justice in the face of contemporary globalism’s proliferation of differences.

Carolyn Osiek

Families in the New Testament World: Households and House Churches  by Carolyn A. Osiek, David L. Balch 1997

What was the family like for the first Christians? Informed by archaeological work and illustrated by figures, this work is a remarkable window into the past, one that both informs and illuminates our current condition.

The Family, Culture, and Religion series offers informed and responsible analyses of the state of the American family from a religious perspective and provides practical assistance for the family’s revitalization.

Jordan Rosenblum

Food and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism by Jordan D. Rosenblum 2010

Food often defines societies and even civilizations. Through particular commensality restrictions, groups form distinct identities: those with whom ‘we’ eat (‘us’) and those with whom ‘we’ cannot eat (‘them’). This identity is enacted daily, turning the biological need to eat into a culturally significant activity. In this book, Jordan D. Rosenblum explores how food regulations and practices helped to construct the identity of early rabbinic Judaism. Bringing together the scholarship of rabbinics with that of food studies, this volume first examines the historical reality of food production and consumption in Roman-era Palestine. It then explores how early rabbinic food regulations created a distinct Jewish, male, and rabbinic identity. Rosenblum’s work demonstrates how rabbinic food practices constructed an edible identity.

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