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The Christian Calling to Help the Poor: Two New Books

Why Give Alms? It is unlikely that the solutions relevant to the particularities of ancient circumstances could be simply adopted for our world. Those ancient efforts might, however, inspire our own efforts to help others. Historians Peter Brown and David Downs demonstrate the timeless importance of heated discussions of this responsibility in all of its dimensions. They do so not in the abstract but in response to concrete social conditions in the Fertile Crescent of late antiquity. Accordingly, Christians—in the concrete conditions of our own time and place—must seek and find ways to honor and heal suffering bodies.

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