In Stone and Story

Early Christianity in the Roman World

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Chapter 11: Money & Influence

Class Activities

  1. Have students debate whether they would be resistant to graphically placing the head of their favorite politician in place of the head of Aeneas on the right side of figure 11.10 in In Stone and Story. What can we learn from the student debate about the possible motives of the person who commissioned that Vesuvian fresco?
  2. Have students represent “wealthier” and “poorer” factions within an early Jesus-group. Using pertinent passages as guides and employing created individual character profiles, have students make a case for how the church ought to use its resources. (Hopefully, this will elicit responses which do not simply place the two populations in a binary, mutually-opposed position.)

Discussion Questions

  1. Chapter 11 of In Stone and Story discusses the interaction between money and social influence in the ancient Roman context. How are these ancient realities navigated in New Testament texts? How do they compare to your own cultural situation?
  2. This chapter discusses mythical stories in frescoes to analyze the relationship of money, influence, and power. How does the “mythos” in your context reflect, deflect, or refract widely held positions on money, influence, or power?