Looking at the neglected issue of race and ethnicity brings new perspectives to the study of the ancient world; now, Gay L. Byron's exciting work is the first to classify and offer theoretical insights about the symbolic usages of Egyptians, Ethiopians and Blacks in Christian antiquity.
By combining innovative theory and methodology with a detailed survey of early Christian writings, Byron shows how perceptions about ethnic and color differences influenced the discursive strategies of ancient Christian authors. She demonstrates convincingly that, in spite of the contention that Christianity was to extend to all peoples, certain groups of Christians were marginalized and rendered invisible and silent.
Original and pioneering, this book wil inspire discussion at every level, encouraging a broader and more sophisticated understanding of early Christianity for scholars and students alike.
Gay L. Byron is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Black Church Studies at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, New York.