Imagining Luke - Acts in Roman Britain

Cleaves, Richard (2023) Imagining Luke - Acts in Roman Britain. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/UU35C34Z

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This dissertation aims to offer a new interpretation of the meanings Luke-Acts conveyed to its first audiences by imagining people from early Roman Britain encountering that text. As the events described in the New Testament were unfolding, the Romans invaded Britain (43 CE). By the time that invasion was complete (c. 83 CE), the earliest books of the New Testament were in circulation. An understanding of early Roman Britain opens a window on to the world of the New Testament and its first audiences. The investigation of three archives from an urban, a military, and a rural community draws on the methodology of archival ethnography. In these writings, traders and merchants, civilians and soldiers, town and country dwellers, slave and free, men and women come alive. People such as these are encountered in the New Testament and are among its first readers. Imagining Luke-Acts through the eyes of the people first of the Bloomberg tablets, takes the reader to passages to do with money and possessions, honour and shame, reciprocity and debt, patrons and clients, slaves and masters, the rich and the destitute, Roman law and literacy; second of the Vindolanda tablets, to passages to do with women of agency, the military and local people, Roman law, travel and identity, festivals and feasting, sickness and healing, honour and shame, patrons and clients, masters and slaves and the reversal of roles; and third of the Uley curse tablets, to passages to do with temples, ritual practice, cursing and praying. The resulting imagined reading of Luke-Acts is justified in the locations and with the writings chosen, informed by careful study of the data available, and warranted by close attention to the biblical text. It contributes to our understanding of the way the first readers of the New Testament negotiated life in the empire and understood Luke-Acts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bible, New Testament; Gospel according to Luke; Acts of the Apostles; Luke Acts; Roman Britain; Bloomberg tablets; Vindolanda tablets; Uley curse tablets; Archival ethnography
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 14:35
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2024 16:04

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