The World's Oldest Church: Bible, Art, And Ritual At Dura-europos, Syria by Michael Peppard

The World's Oldest Church: Bible, Art, And Ritual At Dura-europos, Syria

byMichael Peppard

Hardcover | January 26, 2016

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Michael Peppard provides a historical and theological reassessment of the oldest Christian building ever discovered, the third-century house-church at Dura-Europos. Contrary to commonly held assumptions about Christian initiation, Peppard contends that rituals here did not primarily embody notions of death and resurrection. Rather, he portrays the motifs of the church’s wall paintings as those of empowerment, healing, marriage, and incarnation, while boldly reidentifying the figure of a woman formerly believed to be a repentant sinner as the Virgin Mary. This richly illustrated volume is a breakthrough work that enhances our understanding of early Christianity at the nexus of Bible, art, and ritual.

About The Author

Michael Peppard is associate professor in the Department of Theology at Fordham University. His first book, The Son of God in the Roman World, won the Manfred Lautenschläger Award for Theological Promise. He is the author of numerous articles and essays, one of which received the Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award from the Catholic Theologi...

Details & Specs

Title:The World's Oldest Church: Bible, Art, And Ritual At Dura-europos, SyriaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.94 inPublished:January 26, 2016Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300213999

ISBN - 13:9780300213997

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“Peppard provides a wonderful interdisciplinary study of this ancient Syrian Church, attending not only to its architecture and art, but especially to the liturgical context of its murals within the unique Syrian rites of Christian initiation, focused on pre-baptismal anointing as the ritual high point. This book will be of value not only to historians in general, but to art historians, students of ancient Middle Eastern culture, and, not least, to liturgical historians and theologians.”—Maxwell E. Johnson, author of The Rites of Christian Initiation: Their Evolution and Interpretation, second revised edition