Slavery was widespread in the ancient Mediterranean region where Christianity was born. Though Christians were both slaves and slaveholders, there has been surprisingly little study of what early Christians thought about the practice. Jennifer A. Glancy offers a comprehensive re-examination of the evidence pertaining to slavery in early Christianity. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, Glancy situates early Christian slavery in its broader cultural setting. She argues that scholars have consistently underestimated the pervasive impact of slavery on the institutional structures, ideologies, and practices of the early churches and of individual Christians. The churches, she shows, grew to maturity with the assumption that slaveholding was the norm, and welcomed both slaves and slaveholders as members. Glancy draws particular attention to the importance of the body in the thought and practice of ancient slavery.

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