Author interview: "Comparing Methods in Christian Origins", Religious Studies Podcast, April 19, 2021

If the juxtaposition of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Origins’ suggests a re-run of New Testament biblical studies, think again. Braun is different, starting in a different place, with a different agenda, and offering fresh insight rather than traditional info, highlighting hazards and warnings rather than contentedly re-affirming the familiar. His laudable objective is to explore Religion as a normal human and universal experience in a purely secular, humanistic, scientific way, independent of specific religions (faiths, beliefs, or creeds), to take it off its pedestal and nurture its roots.
The Baptist Times

The purpose of this collection of essays is to show that the performances usually presented as religious are, in fact, human productions. The volume argues for an anthropocentric, human-focused study of religious practices. The result is a provocative and challenging proposal for anyone engaged in studying religion, but especially those concerned about ancient Christian rhetoric and practices.

Several characteristics make this volume an interesting project. First, it aims at presenting a clear anthropological approach to the study of religion, especially through the specific site of early Christianities within the larger Greek and Roman cultures and religions. Second, it demonstrates the possibility of studying the New Testament and other texts related to early Christianities in a thorough and sophisticated manner using tools both from sociology and anthropology.
Reading Religion

The benefit of this volume is that it provides a series of introductions to a variety of different topics in early Christianity and, as such, presents the student of early Christianity with a number of tools, by which they can understand their subject in a way that places human action at the forefront.