The function of Christian letters of recommendation: from Paul to Julian Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • File, Jason
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Religious Studies
  • This paper explores the function of Christian letters of recommendation, from the time of Paul (c. 50 CE) to the time of Emperor Julian (c. 350 CE). The first chapter provides background information concerning the function of letters of recommendation generally in antiquity. It is argued that the primary functions of such letters in Greco-Roman society was to provide hospitality for the traveler, and to testify to their trustworthiness. Where pagans used such letters for business or filial purposes, the early Christian church used them to build religious networks across the wide span of the Mediterranean world and the Levant. The second chapter of the thesis takes up the subject of hospitality practices in the Christian mission, and the third explores the use of letters of recommendation in the writings of the apostle Paul. Letters of recommendation were extremely important for the growth, spread and development of the Christian church.
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  • Ehrman, Bart D.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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