Maia Kotrosits challenges the contemporary tion of early Christian literature, showing that a number of texts usually so described-including Hebrews, Acts, the Gospel of John, Colossians, 1 Peter, the letters of Ignatius, the Gospel of Truth, and the Secret Revelation of John - are t particularly interested in a distinctive Christian identity or self-definition. Rather, by appealing to the categories of trauma studies and diaspora theory and giving careful attention to the dynamics within each of these texts, she shows that this sample of writings offers complex reckonings with chaotic diasporic conditions and the transgenerational trauma of colonial violence. The heart of her study is an inquiry into the significance contemporary readers invest in ancient writings as expressions of a coherent identity, asking, What do we need and want out of history? Kotrosits interacts with important recent work on identity and sociality in the Roman world and on the dynamics of desire in contemporary biblical scholarship as well.
Maia Kotrosits is assistant professor of religion at Denison University; she received her PhD in New Testament from Union Theological Seminary. She has published studies in Culture and Religion, The Bible and Critical Theory, The Fourth R, Union Seminary Quarterly Review, and in the volume Mahl und religiose Identitat im fruhen Christentum (2012).