Kinship as a Trustworthy Cue: The Signalling of Religious Expertise in the Epigraphy of Ephesian Voluntary Associations

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This article addresses the relationship between religious expertise and kinship language in the inscriptions of Ephesian voluntary associations. I argue that kinship language functioned as a well-established rapid signaller of stable trustworthiness. I base my analysis on perspectives gained from evolutionary studies on religion, which I present before my analysis. As a conclusion to my analysis, I propose that a similar reliance on stable genealogical kinship also characterises early Christian expertise in Ephesus, even though only a few early Christian authorities had religious experts as close relatives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Early Christian History
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)12-28
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Ephesus
  • epigraphy
  • evolution
  • kinship
  • prestige
  • religious experts
  • voluntary associations
  • 614 Theology

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