In this book Derek Tidball takes the reader through a number of sociological models and engages with Paul's Letter to the Colossians. He examines such topics as conversion, identity, the social construction of belief and institution, and Christian ethics. Finally, he discerns the church as a reading community. The purpose of the book is to apply major sociological discussions of the New Testament to the letter of Colossians with the objectives of (a) introducing those who do not know the rich literature on the sociology of the New Testament to some concrete examples of it and the illumination it provides; (b) providing a systematic sociological approach to Colossians; and © engaging with and evaluating the scattered discussion that has been held with regard to Colossians. The result is a rich engagement with the Letter to the Colossians and an encouragement to look again at our own Christian communities.