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Christianity

  • By: Samuel Joeckel
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Christianity is an Abrahamic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its fundamental beliefs are seminally founded on the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Church Fathers, those theologians who helped develop and codify the doctrines of the faith during the first five centuries after Jesus's crucifixion.

By most accounts, these sources of authority make Christianity incompatible with humor. However, a few passages of the Bible, creative interpretations of Jesus's words in the Gospels, some traditions of the early Church, and certain theological orientations suggest that Christianity and humor might share a kinship.

The Old Testament

One of the very first instances of recorded laughter in history can be found in Genesis 17. When God informs Abraham that his wife Sarah will give birth ...

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