Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity. David J. Downs

Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity

ISBN: 9781602589971 | 425 pages | 11 Mb

Download PDF

  • Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity
  • David J. Downs
  • Page: 425
  • Format: pdf, ePub, fb2, mobi
  • ISBN: 9781602589971
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
Download Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity

Download pdf books free online Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity by David J. Downs English version 9781602589971


Christianity has often understood the death of Jesus on the cross as the sole means for forgiveness of sin. Despite this tradition, David Downs traces the early and sustained presence of yet another means by which Christians imagined atonement for sin: merciful care for the poor. In Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity, Downs begins by considering the economic context of almsgiving in the Greco-Roman world, a context in which the overwhelming reality of poverty cultivated the formation of relationships of reciprocity and solidarity. Downs then provides detailed examinations of almsgiving and the rewards associated with it in the Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and the New Testament. He then attends to early Christian texts and authors in which a theology of atoning almsgiving is developed— 2 Clement, the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, Polycarp, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Cyprian. In this historical and theological reconstruction, Downs outlines the emergence of a model for the atonement of sin in Christian literature of the first three centuries of the Common Era, namely, atoning almsgiving, or the notion that providing material assistance to the needy cleanses or covers sin. Downs shows that early Christian advocacy of almsgiving’s atoning power is located in an ancient economic context in which fiscal and social relationships were deeply interconnected. Within this context, the concept of atoning almsgiving developed in large part as a result of nascent Christian engagement with scriptural traditions that present care for the poor as having the potential to secure future reward, including heavenly merit and even the cleansing of sin, for those who practice mercy. Downs thus reveals how sin and its solution were socially and ecclesiologically embodied, a vision that frequently contrasted with disregard for the social body, and the bodies of the poor, in Docetic and Gnostic Christianity. Alms, in the end, illuminates the challenge of reading Scripture with the early church, for numerous patristic witnesses held together the conviction that salvation and atonement for sin come through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the affirmation that the practice of mercifully caring for the needy cleanses or covers sin. Perhaps the ancient Christian integration of charity, reward, and atonement has the potential to reshape contemporary Christian traditions in which those spheres are separated. Baylor University Press

Pdf downloads:
Rent e-books online Strong: Nine Workout Programs for Women to Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism, and Build Strength for Life (English literature)
Free audio books downloads for mp3 How to Reassess Your Chess: Chess Mastery Through Chess Imbalances (English literature) 9781890085131
Download book to ipad Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century 9780802150585 PDF FB2 PDB by Donald Keene in English
Free english book download Popular English Idioms and Phrases: English Idiomatic Expressions by MR Manik Joshi (English Edition) PDF iBook
Download pdf ebooks for free online Exploring the Prophetic Devotional: A 90 day journey of hearing God's Voice in English 9781947165908
Free books download ipod touch The Diviner's Handbook: A Guide to the Timeless Art of Dowsing by Tom Graves