ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 47 (2010) 355-358 AnneMarie Luijendijk, Greetings in the Lord: Early Christians and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008. xix + 294 pages including 6 plates. ISBN 978-0-674-02595-0 The book, which is a revision of the author's 2005 Harvard dissertation, chronicles a "quest to identify Christians in the papyrus documents of Oxyrhynchus of the pre-Constantinian era" (1). Luijendijk escorts readers on a "guided tour through Oxyrhynchus," in which we are led through the various papyrological testimonia for Christians and their lives from the city and its nome. In the process, she provides a significant new contribution to the study of early Christianity in Egypt and a thorough examination of the methodological issues one faces in dealing with this material. Chapter 1, "Destination: Oxyrhynchus," moves from the Historia Monachorum's well-known description of Oxyrhynchus and the story of the discovery of the Oxyrhynchus papyri, to an explanation of the chronological (up to 324 CE) and geographical focus. A short but useful discussion of the town's native and imported cults and a brief summary of the evidence for Christianity in Oxyrhynchus sets the scene for the investigation to follow. Chapter 2 ("How do you know a Christian when you see one? God, Christians, and Personal Names") invites us to observe the people in the marketplace of ancient Oxyrhynchus and to consider how we might tell which of them were Christian. Rightly noting that ancient Christians were in most public aspects indistinguishable from their contemporaries, Luijendijk frames her search in terms of one for "markers of identity," eschewing the language of "criteria" for assigning documents to a Christian provenance adopted by most previous treatments (30). She argues that this "acknowledges factors that Christians themselves used to denote their identity" rather than potentially "reifying and essentializing Christianity." To some this distinction may seem largely semantic, and a more explicit discussion of the fact that a number of these "markers," including not least the name of "Christian," were used outside the Christian community (such as in the majority of texts discussed in chapters 6 and 7), would have been interesting. Nevertheless, this approach has the clear and welcome benefit of putting the emphasis on the agency of Christians and their scribal and social behavior. The chapter then assesses in turn three important markers: god (Oe6q) in the singular (which leads to examination of the adjective dyarnT6q, which Luijendijk declines to accept as a secure marker of Christian identity); the use of the word Xptotav6o; and onomastics, which dwells on the names Jacob and Maria, and sets forth the challenges that names pose in the search for religious identity (though see my further comments on names below).
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