Original Research

Cities of God in northern Asia minor: Using Stark's social theories to reconstruct Peter's communities

Mark W. Wilson
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 32, No 1 | a422 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v32i1.422 | © 2011 Mark W. Wilson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 July 2010 | Published: 04 March 2011

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This article used seven hypotheses from R. Stark’s Cities of God (2007) as a heuristic tool toinvestigate the rise of Christianity in the five Roman provinces mentioned in 1 Peter 1:1. It affirmed that the Christian communities in these provinces were located in an urban, not rural, setting. Building on the research of Hort and Hemer, seven major cities in these provinces were proposed to test Stark’s hypotheses with. These cities are Sinope and Amisus in Pontus, Ancyra in Galatia, Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Dorylaeum in Asia and Nicea and Nicomedia in Bithynia. An important factor noted in several of these cities was their prominence as a commercial seaport and the presence of a Diaspora Jewish community. Utilising this methodological approach helped to elucidate more fully the audience of 1 Peter’s geographic and historical background.


Cybele; Diaspora Judaism; Isis; Peter; R. Stark


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