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The Christians Who Became JewsActs of the Apostles and Ethnicity in the Roman City$
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Christopher Stroup

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300247893

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300247893.001.0001

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Moving Through the Polis, Asserting Christian Jewishness

Moving Through the Polis, Asserting Christian Jewishness

(p.96) Four Moving Through the Polis, Asserting Christian Jewishness
The Christians Who Became Jews

Christopher Stroup

Yale University Press

This chapter explores how Acts of the Apostles and the Salutaris Foundation inscription each uses ethnic reasoning together with civic and imperial space to produce unified identities. Focusing on Paul's visits to Jewish civic associations in Acts 15:30–18:23, it shows how the repeated representation of civic space constructs a Jewish identity that includes proselyte non-Jews and at the same time makes an internal distinction between two Jewish identities: Christians and other Jews. Thus, the difference between Christians and non-Christians is one internal to Jewish identity. The chapter then compares this to how the Salutaris Foundation regulates movement through the Ephesian cityscape in ways that both reimagine Ephesian identity and distinguish between “true” and other Ephesians. While Acts seeks to incorporate non-Jewish Christians into the Jewish community, the Salutaris Foundation seeks to marginalize those Ephesians who do not conform to the benefactor's desired construal of Ephesian identity. Finally, the chapter studies how the literary representation in Acts of Paul's journeys throughout the Roman Empire also constructed a unified Christian identity that could be contrasted with the purported disunity of other Jewish civic associations.

Keywords:   Acts of the Apostles, Salutaris Foundation, ethnic reasoning, civic space, imperial space, Jewish civic associations, Jewish identity, Ephesian identity, non-Jewish Christians, unified Christian identity

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