Brown vs. Hurtado [Dennis]

Hurtado and Brown approach the presentation of Christian history in dramatically contrasting fashions. Brown tends to present his information with a chronological structure following the experiences of specific individuals. Hurtado, in contrast, presents his information with quantitative data to support it before presenting and analysis. The analysis presented by Hurtado is also different because it presents the analysis in categorical fashion rather than chronological.

Brown presents Christian history through the lens of certain individuals over the course of a time period. The use of various historical characters like Origen of Alexandria and Constantine provides historical context to the main point and gives the reader an indication of transition throughout the text. For example, Brown uses the statement “Origen of Alexandria was the towering genius whose works summed up the possibility of such a venture in assimilation (Brown, 82)” to elaborate on the profound impact Origen of Alexandria had on the expansion of Christianity throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. These examples are littered throughout Brown’s piece and provide the reader a historical transition in time period and create a better foundation for Brown’s central point. The chronological structure of the writing also allows the audience to have less existing knowledge of the subject as most key transitions are given ample background information.

Hurtado’s writing takes form in stark contrast to that of Brown. Hurtado presents his arguments with rich data to support every statement and then uses a categorical analysis to argue the causes for the various forms of text used during a specific time period. The connection made between author and audience is based on the audience’s perception of Hurtado’s analysis. To fully grasp Hurtado’s subject matter, the audience would need some level of previous understanding. Most of the background is demonstrated in analysis at the end of the piece in various historical contexts. Hurtado’s style guides the audience to obvious conclusions with the use of data, then demonstrates how the evidence pertains to the historical context.

In conclusion, Hurtado applies data to support his analysis while Brown uses significant historical figures to guide the reader through the piece. Hurtado’s style leads the audience to a conclusion before presenting the application of the information. Brown draws an analysis out through the entire piece based on the opening statement, and then concludes the analysis at the end.

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