The Eucharist is the central act of Christian worship. In this book Martin Stringer brings together some of the scholarship associated with the sociological analysis of biblical texts into conversation with liturgists and historians of the first century. He begins his analysis of the Eucharist and other early Christian meals from a detailed discussion of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, the most studied text in the sociological tradition of biblical scholarship. He proposes that the meal portrayed in chapter 11 of that letter is more likely to have been an annual event rather than a weekly one. He considers other texts, both biblical and those from the first hundred and fifty years or so of Christian history and shows that the Eucharist, that is a ritual event consisting of the sharing of bread and wine, which are associated by the community with the body and blood of Jesus, is most likely to have been an invention of the Asian or Roman church in around 100-110 CE.Martin D. Stringer is Professor of Liturgical and Congregational Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion in Birmingham. His main book so far is A Sociological History of Christian Worship (CUP 2005).