Corinthian Correspondences: Letters to Corinth in Early Christianity

Course summary

Corinthian Correspondences: Letters to Corinth in Early Christianity


What were the earliest Corinthian Christians like? Letters from St Paul and Bishop Clement of Rome provide glimpses. Archaeological, demographic and other literary evidence can be combined to illuminate this fascinating group and their lives within this famous city.

The Apostle Paul wrote at greater length, at least in terms of what survives, to the churches in Corinth than to any other group or individual. This study day will look in detail at 1 and 2 Corinthians, as well as at the city itself from archeological and demographic studies, for a better understanding of these early Corinthian believers and their context. What evidence about the city and its new Christian community can be gleaned from the letters themselves? The epistle known as 1 Clement, addressed by the Bishop of Rome to the Christians in Corinth in the second century, will also be discussed, along with the letter of 3rd Corinthians from the pseudipigraphal Acts of Paul. How do the city and the church therein develop in the post-apostolic period? Finally, what do early Christian authors have to say about the city in their commentaries on Paul’s letters?

Programme details

9.45am                Registration

10.00am              Patrons, clients and apostles

                            Jonathan Norton

11.15am               Coffee/tea

11.35am              Old habits die hard

                           Jonathan Norton

1.00pm               Lunch

2.00pm               Later letters to the Corinthian church

                           Susan Griffith

3.15pm               Tea/coffee

3.45pm               Corinth and the Corinthian correspondence in                            early Christian interpretation

                           Susan Griffith

5.00pm               Course disperses

Recommended reading


 1 and 2 Corinthians

1 Clement

3 Corinthians (from Acts of Paul)

Fragments from Dionysius of Corinth

Handouts of selected patristic commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians



Tuition (includes tea/coffee): £67.00
Baguette lunch: £4.90
Full lunch: £14.00


Dr Susan Griffith


Dr Griffith is an Associate Member of the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford and a member of Wolfson College, specialising in early Christianity and patristics.

Dr Jonathan Norton


Jonathan Norton specialises in  early Jewish and Christian writings. He has lectured in the University of London for over twelve years.

The Revd Canon Dr Robin Gibbons

Director of Studies

The Revd. Canon Robin Gibbons is Director of Studies for Theology and Religious Studies at OUDCE. He is a member of the Theology and Religion Faculty, Regents Park College and an Honoraray Canon of Christ Church Oxford. 


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