Lincoln Blumell, a recipient of the Maxwell Institute’s Nibley Fellowship from 2003-2009, recently published an excellent study of the sociocultural life of early Christians. His book, Lettered Christians, examines fascinating papyri containing letters written at the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus between the third and seventh centuries C.E. The letters, while not always explicitly Christian, shed light on the social and cultural concerns which preoccupied early Christians in Egypt. This month’s Review of Biblical Literature included a review praising the book:
“Lincoln Blumell is to be both congratulated for his fascinating, meticulous, and invaluable investigation into Christian letter writing and thanked for successfully fulfilling the task of systematizing, categorizing, and analyzing the manifold details about that area of research. This is a landmark study and, not only because of the many tables in the appendix, a real treasure trove for future research.”
The book itself is a bit pricey, but readers might be interested in a chapter Blumell wrote on the same topic here.
Blumell (pictured above) published a piece in the Institute’s Studies in the Bible and Antiquity in 2011. His work represents some of the good fruit we hope to continue harvesting from Nibley Fellows.
Our Fellowship awards for graduate students—ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars—are intended “to foster and nurture the next generation of faithful scholars who we trust will contribute to and further the broad range of work supported by the Institute.” For more information about the Nibley Fellowship Program, or to access the online application, see here.