The Care of the Poor as a Corollary to Christ’s Reconciling Work: Lessons from the Early Church
“God reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,” says 2 Corinthians 5:18. How does the care of the poor relate to Christ’s reconciling work and our ministry of reconciliation theologically and practically? Drawing on early Christian theology and ministries to the poor, Helen Rhee’s workshop will offer biblical and theological groundings of the care of the poor as a necessary corollary to Christ’s reconciling work of redemption and also a historical and practical guide and ways to care for those in need in our communities, societies, and beyond.
Helen Rhee is an Associate Professor of History of Christianity at Westmont College. She has authored two books–Early Christian Literature: Christ and Culture in the Second and Third Centuries (Routledge, 2005) and Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich: Wealth, Poverty, and Early Christian Formation (Baker Academic, 2012). Her research includes early Christian identity formation in Greco-Roman context, wealth, poverty, and the care of the poor in early church, and women in Christian history. She’s also interested in early Christian construction of bodily pain, illness, and sanctity in conversation with late antique medicine.