"The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology": Introduction
However, since entering the biblioblogosphere, I have softened my stance significantly on context writings. The blogs of Loren Rosson and James Crossley in particular have been most helpful in this development. I must say that I have benefited greatly from the sociological and anthropological insights of both men. Additionally, Loren has repeatedly alerted his readers to the works of such erudite context scholars as Philip Esler and Crossley has written a book on Christian Origins from a socio-contextual perspective of which he has been summarizing on his blog (first post here and book available here). But I still needed a further impetus to get me to read some actual context works. This final impetus had its origin in a strange place, namely, The Travel Channel. The Travel Channel has a new show that premiered last Sunday called "Living with the Kombai" which basically is about two Westerns who attempt to live among an isolated group of people known as the Kombai from West Paupa. For some reason, witnessing the vast cultural gap between these men and the Kombai prompted the desire in me to finally begin reading more "context" works.
And so I am beginning by reading a book that has been sitting on my shelf awhile entitled The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology by Bruce J. Malina. It is as a good place to start as any since it is written principally as introductory material. In the coming posts I hope to provide an adequate review of the work plus any additional reflections and/or insights that I may acquire on my way to completion of this book.