Rich Christian in the Church of the Early Empire Contradictions and Accommodations

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Discusses early Christian attitudes toward wealth, including the writings of Clement of Alexandria and Cyprian of Carthage on the subject and such topics as redemptive almsgiving, stewardship of time and treasures, the danger of riches for both possessor and church, and rivalry between the clergy and rich members of their congregations.


". . . comprehends a vast range of literature and eludes the traditional pitfalls." - Anglican Theological Review ". . . very thorough . . . amply documented and reflects a thorough acquaintance with [the] sources. . . . good both for the antiquarian and also for the earnest Christian of today who wants to be a good steward." - The Asbury Seminarian ". . . a clearly written and provocative study, well worth reading." - The Catholic Biblical Quarterly ". . . definitely one of the more important additions in recent years to the field of early Christian sociological research." - Journal of Biblical Literature "The first chapter . . . is a masterful description of how terribly anachronistic the Marxist-capitalist arguments generally have been with respect to the issue of private property in the early church." - Church History

"This is an excellent book, offering with clarity a fresh look at writers like Clement of Alexandria, as the church, with the teaching of Jesus behind it, sought to adjust to the facts of life in the Empire." - The Expository Times "Countryman makes his case convincingly and does so in clear, readable prose and without imposing any particular sociological theory on early Christianity." - Religious Studies Review

"Insgesamt stellt [Countryman's] Arbeit . . . einen deutlichen Fortschritt dar. Sie zeichnet sich aus durch gute Kenntnis der antiken Sozialgeschichte and darauf aufbauend sorgfältige methodische Reflexion, die sich vor manchem anachronistischen Fehlurteil ihrer Vorgänger bewahrt. . . . [G]ute Lesbarkeit und Übersichtlichkeit sowie ein umfangreiches Literaturverzeichnis machen das Buch zu einem brauchbaren Hilfsmittel auch für den akademischen Unterricht." - Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum

"All in all, an excellent study." - Theological Studies "a valuable contribution" - Patristics "a welcome contribution . . . meets the expectations it engenders." - The Second Century ". . . further demolishes our myths about early Christianity."

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