“How do you dare to proclaim a heavenly citizenship, supposedly outshining all other concepts of belonging, in a Roman colony like Philippi where the real ‘romanitas’ should have been spread by veterans of the Roman army?”
What could it possibly have meant and felt like to be a Christian in the first century CE in an urban center where Roman, Greek, and other Mediterranean cultures coexisted and constantly mixed? How is a transethnic community of Christ believers (publicly regarded as an insignificant Jewish sect) emerging in the shadows of impressive pagan temples and shrines that demonstrate the global power of the Roman Empire and its emperors?
It’s questions like these that are fascinating to Niklas and inspire him to immerse in ancient texts and sources that shed light on early Christianity in its Greco-Roman and urban context. His project is dedicated to investigating what constituted the social and religious identity of Christian individuals as well as groups in an ancient city like Philippi.