In Galilee and Judea in the time of Emperor Tiberius, Jesus of Nazareth inspired a "re-awakening" movement targeted at Israel and based upon a message concerning the opening of the kingdom of God. Why did the ignominious death of Jesus not signal the end of his movement, which indeed received a new impulse and spread his word beyond the borders of Israel? How did there arise, in the 2nd century, a system of powers and doctrines that would be able to challenge the Roman Empire? This book provides an overview of the models of faith in Jesus adopted by several groups of believers, describes their worldviews and lifestyles, and examines the reasons why some models were more successful than others.
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Enrico Norelli teaches History of Christianity at the University of Geneva.