John T. Fitzgerald, Thomas H. Olbricht, L. Michael White, Early Christianity and Classical Culture: Comparative Studies in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe. Leiden: Brill, 2003
Reviewed by Elizabeth Digeser
It's not an especially positive review, for example:
Unfortunately, the volume as a whole is a disappointment. With 27 contributors, not to mention the editors' introductory essays, the book is too long (740 pp.) and too expensive (a shocking $211.00). If it were a superb reference book, the cost might be justifiable for a research library. But the authors do not, in general, set out either the significance of their own individual projects, nor the broader importance of their topics overall. Instead, the book's contributors, addressing themselves to one another, make little or no effort to make connections between their own concerns and those of scholars with related interests. While such a focus is entirely appropriate for the panels that gave rise to the volume, it limits the book's usefulness as a collection and means that its primary utility will be as a source for someone whose own scholarship addresses themes in one or two chapters.But one can't help thinking that something similar could be said about almost all Festschriften, and Malherbe's at least has some unified themes.