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Title: The Parting of the Ways: The Roman Church as a Case Study
Author: Spence, Stephen
Publisher: Peeters; Publication Date: 2004
Hardcover; ISBN: 9789042913363
Volumes: 1; Pages: 404
List Price in Cloth: $58.00 Our price: $45.99
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The 'parting of the ways' or the process by which Christians saw themselves as an independent (from Judaism) and distinct community, has been defined in rather woolly ideological terms by many New Testament scholars. Stephen Spence argues that what we should address is the question of when this took place, trying to find a location and time. His study is based on literary and historical evidence relating to the Chruch of Rome which is taken as a case study, not because it is wholly representative, but because the source material provides 'snap-shots' of time in which to trace religious shifts in the Christian community. Spence's discussion draws significantly on the work of the North American sociologist Rodney Stark to aid definition of 'sect' and 'cult' for example and to bring sociological issues to bear on the development of the Church of Rome.