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Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts [Paperback]

Our Price $ 32.64  
Retail Value $ 34.00  
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Item Number 159508  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.14" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.76"
Weight:   1.08 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 23, 1997
Publisher   Yale University Press
ISBN  0300069189  
EAN  9780300069181  


Availability  135 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 25, 2017 07:56.
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Item Description...
Overview
This fascinating and lively book provides the first comprehensive discussion of the production, circulation, and use of books in early Christianity. It explores the extent of literacy in early Christian communities, the relation in the early church between oral tradition and written materials, the physical form of early Christian books; how books were produced, transcribed, published, duplicated, and disseminated; how Christian libraries were formed; who read the books, in what circumstances, and to what purposes.

Publishers Description
This fascinating and lively book provides the first comprehensive discussion of the production, circulation, and use of books in early Christianity. It explores the extent of literacy in early Christian communities; the relation in the early church between oral tradition and written materials; the physical form of early Christian books; how books were produced, transcribed, published, duplicated, and disseminated; how Christian libraries were formed; who read the books, in what circumstances, and to what purposes. Harry Y. Gamble interweaves practical and technological dimensions of the production and use of early Christian books with the social and institutional history of the period. Drawing on evidence from papyrology, codicology, textual criticism, and early church history, as well as on knowledge about the bibliographical practices that characterized Jewish and Greco-Roman culture, he offers a new perspective on the role of books in the first five centuries of the early church.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
depth of scholarship, also readable  Nov 7, 2002
Though the title is correct in indicating that the topic is esoteric, it is a joy to read a book that is well written and well researched. Among other contributions, Gamble presents a well-argued hypothesis on the origin of the codex, in place of the scroll. He also gives his understanding of how many (how few!) people could read in the early church, and how they learned to read, and how they read (out loud). His discussion of how books were circulated, copied, stored was interesting to me.

Those who enjoy church history, or the history reading-writing will find much to stimulate them. This book is not for everybody, but those interested in the topics covered will not be disappointed.

 

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