The Influence of the Romantic Genius in Early Christian Studies




Religion, Early Christianity, Authorship, Romanticism


This article proposes that critical scholarship of the New Testament has inherited from German Romantic and Idealistic thought a number of presumptions about the role of the author that have contributed to idiosyncratic approaches to these texts when compared with allied studies of ancient literature. Namely, ``critical'' scholarship has continued to impose anachronistic, Romantic ideas of an implicit Volk (people, nation) or inspirational Geist (spirit) onto early literature about Jesus. I offer an alternative reading of the authorship of the gospels that reads them like other ancient literature, centered on concrete evidence for ancient literary practices.

Author Biography

Robyn Faith Walsh, University of Miami (FL)

Robyn Faith Walsh is an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami. She attended Brown University where she earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean, with a focus on early Christianity, ancient Judaism and Roman archaeology. She also has her M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School in early Christian studies. Her research interests include the letters of Paul, the history of the interpretation of the Synoptic problem, theory and method, cognitive science, and intersections between Roman archaeology and twentieth-century Fascist Europe (particularly in Spain and Italy). Most recently she has been working on the influence of Romanticism on the field of early Christian studies. Prof. Walsh has taught at Wheaton College (Mass.), The College of the Holy Cross, and received teaching certificates and pedagogical training at Brown University and Harvard University. She teaches courses on the New Testament, Greco-Roman literature and material culture.




How to Cite

Walsh, R. F. (2015). The Influence of the Romantic Genius in Early Christian Studies. Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception, 5(1), 31–60.