New Release: Early Christianity in Contexts

Cover ArtThis major work draws on current archaeological and textual research to trace the spread of Christianity in the first millennium. William Tabbernee, an internationally renowned scholar of the history of Christianity, has assembled a team of expert historians to survey the diverse forms of early Christianity as it spread across centuries, cultures, and continents.

Organized according to geographical areas of the late antique world, Early Christianity in Contexts examines what various regions looked like before and after the introduction of Christianity. The book’s careful attention to local realities adds depth and concreteness to students’ understanding of early Christianity, while its broad sweep introduces them to first-millennium precursors of today’s variegated, globalized religion.


“The global presence of Christian faith is now accepted as commonplace. This carefully researched volume demonstrates convincingly how very early that presence came to an extraordinary range of world locations. Close attention to material and cultural evidence makes this an unusually illuminating book.” – Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame

“Foregrounding the material record of Christianity in the first centuries of the Common Era, Early Christianity in Contexts magnificently captures the diversity of Christian experience within and beyond the borders of the Roman world. First-rate research infuses this welcome volume from start to finish, rewarding those who immerse themselves in its captivating treasures.” – Bruce Longenecker, Baylor University

“This is–as always with Tabbernee’s books–a carefully written, precise, and well-documented book, but also a book that is a pleasure to read…..There is no other comparable volume where the new findings from China are integrated into the traditional picture. In short: solid information on archaeological matters is combined with state-of-the-art passages on the history of Christian theologies and denominations.” – Christoph Markschies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


William Tabbernee (PhD, University of Melbourne), ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches. He formerly served as president and Stephen J. England Distinguished Professor of the History of Christianity at Phillips Theological Seminary. Tabbernee led an international team of archaeologists and historians that discovered the long-lost site of Pepouza, Montanism’s most holy city. He is the author of numerous books, including Prophets and Gravestones, and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma.

For more information on Early Christianity in Contexts, click here.