Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Origins of the Christmas Date: Some Recent Trends in Historical Research

Abstract

The article reviews recent and current developments in research on the origins of Christmas, which has traditionally crystallized around two competing approaches, known as the "History of Religions Theory" and the "Calculation Theory." This essay shall look at the history of these approaches and discuss their rationale and limitations, before turning to the challenges that have been brought against them by the recent work of Steven Hijmans and Hans Förster. It will be argued that their studies reveal the need for a more nuanced approach to the history of Christmas, which retains the aspect of inter-religious influence, but also pays some overdue attention to the importance of chronological thought in early Christian scholarship.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

C. P. E. Nothaft, “From Sukkot to Saturnalia: The Attack on Christmas in Sixteenth-Century Chronological Scholarship,” Journal of the History of Ideas 72 (2011): 503–22

André Wilmart, “Un sermon de Saint Optat pour la fête de Noël,” Revue des sciences religieuses 2 (1922): 271302

Alden A. Mosshammer, The Easter Computus and the Origins of the Christian Era (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)

C. P. E. Nothaft, Dating the Passion: The Life of Jesus and the Emergence of Scientific Chronology (200–1600) (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2011)

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
  • URL: /core/journals/church-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×