Most importantly, Buell advocates what is called "ethnic reasoning," a mode of persuasion that employs terms related to peoplehood in the rhetorical situation of early Christianity in order to convince readers about what supposedly constitutes being a Christian, that is, Christianness
. (63) As Buell clarifies, "Early Christians used ethnic reasoning to legitimize various forms of Christianness
as the universal, most authentic manifestation of humanity, and it offered Christians both a way to define themselves relative to 'outsiders' and to compete with other 'insiders' to assert the superiority of their varying visions of Christianness
." (64) Crudely put, one can analyze the rhetorical strategies of ethno-racial discourse in ancient texts to examine early Christian self-definition.
They argue that the "Christianness
" of the sociology taught by Small, Vincent, Ross, Giddings and Ward was more apparent than real.
In one country the national office leadership affirmed the need to examine our "Christianness
," since, they reported, the field personnel working in their front-line programs were "out of control" and might not really be Christian.
In the wake of the phenomena of discourses on world Christianity, contextual theologies, and ecumenism, it has become commonplace for some contextual theologians to ask whether all theologies produced by Christian communities are truly "Christian." And, are there some theologies produced by Christian communities that fail the test of "Christianness
" or Christian identity?
As for Mendelssohn's oratorio St Paul, Heine did not want to find fault with its Christianness
because its composer was by birth a Jew.
Methodologically, I draw upon Denise Buell's concept of "ethnic reasoning"--early Christian texts' use of "culturally available understandings of human difference, which we can analyze in terms of our modern concepts of 'ethnicity,' 'race,' and 'religion,' to shape what we have come to call a religious tradition and to portray particular forms of Christianness
as universal and authoritative." (12) Exp.
In analyzing the narratives of violent confrontation, he emphasizes the effects of narrative on the production of communal identity, on the establishment of "Christianness
" and "Muslimness" in a variety of contexts, for example, in Ambrose's fourth-century Milan and in Ibn Hanbal's ninth-century Baghdad.
She examines how the epistle deliberately shapes emerging Christianness
by providing ideological and social paradigms for the community of Christ-followers.
Jewish ritual, when it appears, puts into relief the Christianness
Clearly, these people were (wrongly) perceived as lacking the requirements of belonging: whiteness, Christianness
, intelligence, inventiveness and goodness.
(2.) Not to mention movements and institutions the "Christianness
" of which is often contested, such as Unitarians and Mormons.
Indeed, Christian rhetoric against other groups, be they Jews or Gnostics, often included the charges that said groups reckoned their identity in a fixed manner in contrast to Christianity's fluidity: "Ethnic reasoning is an effective rhetorical device for those seeking to gain authority for their visions of Christianness
in part because they can use it to persuade readers to think of themselves and others using collective strategies" (p.