Sociologist Anthony Blasi analyzes early Christianity using multiple social scientific theories, including those of Max Weber, Georg Simmel, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, Max Scheler, Alfred Schutz, and contemporary theorists. He investigates the canonical New Testament books as representative of early Christianity, a sample based on usage, and he takes the books in the chronological order in which they were written. The result is a series of ""stills"" that depict the movement at different stages in its development. His approaches, often neglected in New Testament studies, include such sociological subfields as sect theory, the routinization of charisma, conflict, stratification theory, stigma, the sociology of knowledge, new religions, the sociology of secrecy, marginality, liminality, syncretism, the social role of intellectuals, the poor person as a type, the sick role, degradation ceremonies, populism, the sociology of migration, the sociology of time, mergers, the sociology of law, and the sociology of written communication. Needing to treat the New Testament text as social data, Blasi uses his background in biblical studies and a review of a vast literature to establish the chronology of the compositions of the New Testament books and to present the ""data"" in a new translation that is accessible to non-specialists. ""Whereas for decades New Testament scholars have used selected social scientific theories to interpret the New Testament texts and reconstruct the history of the movements in which they were written, Anthony Blasi is an eminent sociologist well versed in New Testament scholarship. These volumes offer fresh insights, challenge assumptions, and invite more rigorous integration of social scientific and historical critical approaches to Scripture. Readers will undoubtedly find much with which to disagree, but also much to stimulate further and deeper enquiry."" --Nicholas Taylor, St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, Glasgow, UK ""This is a work of complete maturity. The book combines critical-historical interpretation, sociological analysis, and the method and theorization of the social sciences with great mastery, according to each book of the New Testament. The whole is undertaken with rigor and elegance, with the confluence of synthesis and innovative openness, both to textual knowledge, method, and perspective. It is a remarkable work."" --Paul-Andre Turcotte, author of Intransigeance ou compromise: Sociologie et histoire du catholicisme actuel ""Intertwining together the biblical texts with the cultural social context in which they were born and have grown, the author gives us a masterpiece of sociological interpretation, employing categories such as charisma, conflict, social stratification, gender, slavery, and leadership. Blasi sheds new light on issues that are greatly debated within contemporary society. A monumental work."" --Giuseppe Giordan, University of Padova, Italy Anthony J. Blasi earned an MA and PhD in sociology at the University of Notre Dame, an MA in biblical studies at the University of St. Michael's College, Toronto, and a ThD at the University of Toronto/Regis College. He has served as president of the Association for the Sociology of Religion and editor of the Review of Religious Research. He retired from the Department of Sociology at Tennessee State University in 2012.