Theology

David John McCollough

Ritual and Religious Experience in Early Christianities

The Spirit In Between

[Ritual und religiöse Erfahrung im frühen Christentum. Der Geist dazwischen.]

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In this volume, David John McCollough challenges the common assumptions that Paul thought the Spirit was communicated through water baptism, that 'justification' was non-experiential and unrelated to ritual, that Luke was incoherent or a poor editor, and that water baptism was the cardinal initiation rite among early Christianities.
In this volume, David John McCollough offers a narratological, discourse analysis, and literary exegesis of texts in Paul and Luke-Acts, followed by interpretation with social anthropological approaches. The author challenges common assumptions about Paul, such as that Paul thought the spirit to be communicated through water baptism, or the notion that 'justification' was non-experiential and unrelated to ritual. He refutes the view that Luke was either incoherent or unconcerned or a poor editor of sources regarding early Christian initiation practices and questions the belief that water baptism was the cardinal initiation rite among early Christianities. He instead argues that spirit possession marked by dissociation and glossolalia was the cardinal initiation ritual for Pauline and Lukan communities.
Survey of contents
1. Introduction

2. Exegetical Methodology
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Acts: The Dual Problems of Historicity and Intelligibility
2.3 Methodological Problems
2.4 Methodological Solutions
2.5 Acts and History Again: Which Historical Audience?
3. Exegesis
3.1 Pauline Epistles
3.2 Luke-Acts

4. Interpretation
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Understanding Notions of Culture and Their Relationship to Spirit Possession
4.3 What's So Special About Initiation? Ritual Form Theory and Lukan Baptism(s)
4.4 Spirit Impartation as Performative Ritual
4.5 Commitment Signalling Theory: Costly and Charismatic
4.6 Identity Fusion in the Early Christian Sect: How Initiatory Spirit-Possession Formed Social Bonds Among the Early Christians
4.7 Sacred Values and the Early Christian Sect
4.8 Emotion and the Early Christian Sect
4.9 Mediation in the Early Christian Sect
4.10 Why Did People Become Christians in the First Century?

5. Conclusion
Authors/Editors

David John McCollough Born 1971; PhD in New Testament at The London School of Theology; PhD in Theology at Durham University; has taught theology and religion in Southeast Asia and the United Kingdom.

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