This volume seeks to demonstrate, for the first time, that many Jewish and Christian texts in the ancient world were written as a direct response to an earlier situation of crisis that affected the author, or the intended reader. Presented here are texts from both traditions that were written over many centuries in order to establish that such crisis management literature was widespread in the religious and theological literature of ancient times. These chosen works reveal that all manner of crises could contribute to the production or the nature of these texts; including persecution, political factors, religious or theological differences, social circumstances; as well as internal or external threats. By understanding this crucial element in the composition of these texts we are better able to understand the complexity of social, political and religious forces that gave rise to many ancient theological texts, and to appreciate the strategies which the authors used to manage these crises.
Introduction Pauline Allen Part I: Jewish Texts Chapter 1: Living under Foreign Rule: Josephus on the Art of Compromised Defiance, James S. McLaren Chapter 2: Coping with the Present by Reinventing the Future: Apocalyptic Texts as Crisis Management Literature David C. Sim Part II: New Testament Texts Chapter 3: Fighting on all Fronts: Crisis Management in the Gospel of Matthew David C. Sim Chapter 4: Luke-Acts and the World Stage: Crisis Strategies in the Lukan Double Work Elizabeth Dowling Chapter 5: Nicodemus: Discovering Possibilities in a Time of Crisis in the Gospel of John Mary Coloe Chapter 6: Setting the Record Straight in Galatia: Paul's Use of the Letter as a Crisis Management Tool Ian J. Elmer Chapter 7: Death as Social Disintegration: Pauline Strategies of Eschatological Existence in 1 Thessalonians David Luckensmeyer Part III: Late Antique Christian Texts Chapter 8: The Letters of John Chrysostom as Evidence of Episcopal Crisis Management Wendy Mayer Chapter 9: The Roman Response to the Ecclesiastical Crises in the Antiochene Church in the Late Fourth and Early Fifth Centuries Geoffrey D. Dunn Chapter 10: Cyril of Alexandria's Responses to Crisis: The Evidence of His Festal Letters Pauline Allen Chapter 11: Leo the Great's Use of Social Exclusion as a Response to Crisis Bronwen Neil Chapter 12: Response Strategies to Crisis in the Letters of Fulgentius of Ruspe Stephen Lake Conclusions David C. Sim