Discipleship and Society in the Early Churches

By Thomas O'Loughlin

Reexamining the lives of early Christians to inspire and inform discipleship today.

ISBN: 9780227177365


Discipleship – that being a Christian is about learning and discovering, acting and responding, choosing and collaborating – is both a primordial Christian theme and a re-discovery of the mid-twentieth century.

But how does one discover its meaning? For some it means programmes – like turning out a product, ignoring the individuality of each’s path. Others emphasize the group, forgetting that every community’s richness is valuing its members’ diversity. Is discipleship the way of the loner and community-ignoring? But social beings learn discipleship in communities. Community is not simply the club of like-minded individuals but should model a new way of being.

To uncover what discipleship means, we must read the New Testament with the awareness that how we see the world of the early Jesus followers is radically different from the inherited theological underpinning of many churches. This book takes our historical awareness seriously, and examines what biblical, historical, and archaeological research can tell us about discipleship today.

Additional information

Dimensions234 × 156 mm

Hardback  |  Paperback

Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Thomas O’Loughlin is an historical theologian. He seeks to pose theological questions within their historical framework, and bring all the insights that careful historical research can reveal to be a primary means for theology. He writes on early Christian communities and how they expressed themselves in their writings, and on liturgy: how Christians express themselves in ritual. He is Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology in the University of Nottingham.