Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Privileged Christians

"Contrary to prevailing sociological dogmas, religious movements typically are launched by the privileged classes." - Rodney Stark, "The Triumph of Christianity," p88.

Stark will even go on to suggest that Jesus was not from a "poor" family. 

"...Jesus probably was not a carpenter, unless it was in keeping with the traditional Jewish practice that a rabbi always learned a trade to fall back on, since it seems extremely likely that Jesus was a well-educated rabbi.  It appears that his parents "occupied a prominent place in the community" and were sufficiently well-off to have had property in Capernaum as well as Nazareth.  They also were able to go to Jerusalem every year for Passover (Luke 2:41), something most families could not afford." p90.

While the claims of Christ and Christianity certainly provide great comfort and hope for the poor, Stark does not believe that the upper classes disregarded the claims.  In fact, he claims that part of the success of the growth of Christianity (and he writes as a sociologist without regard to the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit) was due to its acceptance, not among the slaves and poor, but among the masters, landholders, and social elite as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.