Author: Gillian Clark

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521633864

Category: History

Page: 137

View: 8521

Early Christianity in the context of Roman society raises important questions for historians, sociologists of religion and theologians alike. This work explores the differing perspectives arising from a changing social and academic culture. Key issues concerning early Christianity are addressed, such as how early Christian accounts of pagans, Jews and heretics can be challenged and the degree to which Christian groups offered support to their members and to those in need. The work examines how non-Christians reacted to the spectacle of martyrdom and to Christian reverence for relics. Questions are also raised about why some Christians encouraged others to abandon wealth, status and gender-roles for extreme ascetic lifestyles and about whether Christian preachers trained in classical culture offered moral education to all or only to the social elite. The interdisciplinary and thematic approach offers the student of early Christianity a comprehensive treatment of its role and influence in Roman society.
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Author: Gillian Clark

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521633109

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 9857

Did Christianity transform the Roman world in which it began, or did the Roman world shape Christianity? This work explores current debates and new interpretations of Early Christianity in Roman Society. Adopting an interdisciplinary and thematic approach, it offers the student unfamiliar with the Christian tradition, a comprehensive introduction to its role in the Roman world.
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The Sarum Lectures 1960-1961

Author: A. N. Sherwin-White

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1592447473

Category: Religion

Page: 216

View: 3360

Originally the Sarum Lectures delivered at the University of Oxford in 1960-61, this volume deals with the Hellenistic and Roman setting, and especially the legal, administrative, and municipal background, of the Acts of the Apostles and the synoptic gospels. Sherwin-White -- 'someone from the Roman side,' as he described himself -- brings his knowledge of Roman public law and administration and of city life in the eastern provinces to bear on these aspects of New Testament history. The first three lectures concern the trials of Jesus and of Paul in Jerusalem, addressing questions of the powers of Roman governors and the nature of their jurisdiction. Topics of the remaining lectures include the rights of Roman citizenship, the trial of Paul in Rome, and differences between the Galilean narrative and the Graeco-Roman world of the Acts.
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The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

Author: Catherine Nixey

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544800931

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 819

A bold new history of the rise of Christianity, showing how its radical followers ravaged vast swathes of classical culture, plunging the world into an era of dogma and intellectual darkness “Searingly passionate…Nixey writes up a storm. Each sentence is rich, textured, evocative, felt…[A] ballista-bolt of a book.” —New York Times Book Review In Harran, the locals refused to convert. They were dismembered, their limbs hung along the town’s main street. In Alexandria, zealots pulled the elderly philosopher-mathematician Hypatia from her chariot and flayed her to death with shards of broken pottery. Not long before, their fellow Christians had invaded the city’s greatest temple and razed it—smashing its world-famous statues and destroying all that was left of Alexandria’s Great Library. Today, we refer to Christianity’s conquest of the West as a “triumph.” But this victory entailed an orgy of destruction in which Jesus’s followers attacked and suppressed classical culture, helping to pitch Western civilization into a thousand-year-long decline. Just one percent of Latin literature would survive the purge; countless antiquities, artworks, and ancient traditions were lost forever. As Catherine Nixey reveals, evidence of early Christians’ campaign of terror has been hiding in plain sight: in the palimpsests and shattered statues proudly displayed in churches and museums the world over. In The Darkening Age, Nixey resurrects this lost history, offering a wrenching account of the rise of Christianity and its terrible cost.
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Conflict, Competition, and Coexistence in the Fourth Century

Author: Michele Renee Salzman,Marianne Sághy,Rita Lizzi Testa

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107110300

Category: History

Page: 436

View: 1515

This book sheds new light on the religious and consequently social changes taking place in late antique Rome. The essays in this volume argue that the once-dominant notion of pagan-Christian religious conflict cannot fully explain the texts and artifacts, as well as the social, religious, and political realities of late antique Rome. Together, the essays demonstrate that the fourth-century city was a more fluid, vibrant, and complex place than was previously thought. Competition between diverse groups in Roman society - be it pagans with Christians, Christians with Christians, or pagans with pagans - did create tensions and hostility, but it also allowed for coexistence and reduced the likelihood of overt violent, physical conflict. Competition and coexistence, along with conflict, emerge as still central paradigms for those who seek to understand the transformations of Rome from the age of Constantine through the early fifth century.
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A Comparative Study of Ancient Morality

Author: Runar Thorsteinsson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780199673568

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 4955

Runar M. Thorsteinsson presents a challenge to the view that Christianity introduced an entirely new, better, and decidedly universal morality into the ancient world. Presenting evidence from Stoic and Christian texts from first century Rome, he emphasizes the similarities between the two belief systems.
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The Development of Its Practices and Beliefs

Author: J. Patout Burns,Robin M. Jensen

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 146744037X

Category: Religion

Page: 736

View: 9229

In-depth, illustrated exploration of how early North African Christians lived out their faith Using a combination of literary and archeological evidence, this in-depth, illustrated book documents the development of Christian practices and doctrine in Roman Africa -- contemporary Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco -- from the second century through the Arab conquest in the seventh century. Robin Jensen and Patout Burns, in collaboration with Graeme W. Clarke, Susan T. Stevens, William Tabbernee, and Maureen A. Tilley, skillfully reconstruct the rituals and practices of Christians in the ancient buildings and spaces where those practices were performed. Numerous site drawings and color photographs of the archeological remains illuminate the discussions. This work provides valuable new insights into the church fathers Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine. Most significantly, it offers a rich, unprecedented look at early Christian life in Roman Africa, including the development of key rituals and practices such as baptism and eucharist, the election and ordination of leaders, marriage, and burial. In exploring these, Christianity in Roman Africa shows how the early African Christians consistently fought to preserve the holiness of the church amid change and challenge.
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Pistis and Fides in the Early Roman Empire and Early Churches

Author: Teresa Morgan

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191036099

Category: Religion

Page: 648

View: 880

This study investigates why 'faith' (pistis/fides) was so important to early Christians that the concept and praxis dominated the writings of the New Testament. It argues that such a study must be interdisciplinary, locating emerging Christianities in the social practices and mentalités of contemporary Judaism and the early Roman empire. This can, therefore, equally be read as a study of the operation of pistis/fides in the world of the early Roman principate, taking one but relatively well-attested cult as a case study in how micro-societies within that world could treat it distinctively. Drawing on recent work in sociology and economics, the book traces the varying shapes taken by pistis/fides in Greek and Roman human and divine-human relationships: whom or what is represented as easy or difficult to trust or believe in; where pistis/fides is 'deferred' and 'reified' in practices such as oaths and proofs; how pistis/fides is related to fear, doubt and scepticism; and which foundations of pistis/fides are treated as more or less secure. The book then traces the evolution of representations of human and divine-human pistis in the Septuagint, before turning to pistis/pisteuein in New Testament writings and their role in the development of early Christologies (incorporating a new interpretation of pistis Christou) and ecclesiologies. It argues for the integration of the study of pistis/pisteuein with that of New Testament ethics. It explores the interiority of Graeco-Roman and early Christian pistis/fides. Finally, it discusses eschatological pistis and the shape of the divine-human community in the eschatological kingdom.
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How the Followers of Jesus Made a Place in Caesar’s Empire

Author: Douglas Ryan Boin

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1620403188

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 7098

The supposed collapse of Roman civilization is still lamented more than 1,500 years later-and intertwined with this idea is the notion that a fledgling religion, Christianity, went from a persecuted fringe movement to an irresistible force that toppled the empire. The "intolerant zeal†? of Christians, wrote Edward Gibbon, swept Rome's old gods away, and with them the structures that sustained Roman society. Not so, argues Douglas Boin. Such tales are simply untrue to history, and ignore the most important fact of all: life in Rome never came to a dramatic stop. Instead, as Boin shows, a small minority movement rose to transform society-politically, religiously, and culturally-but it was a gradual process, one that happened in fits and starts over centuries. Drawing upon a decade of recent studies in history and archaeology, and on his own research, Boin opens up a wholly new window onto a period we thought we knew. His work is the first to describe how Christians navigated the complex world of social identity in terms of "passing†? and "coming out.†? Many Christians lived in a dynamic middle ground. Their quiet success, as much as the clamor of martyrdom, was a powerful agent for change. With this insightful approach to the story of Christians in the Roman world, Douglas Boin rewrites, and rediscovers, the fascinating early history of a world faith.
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A Narrative Introduction

Author: Moyer V. Hubbard

Publisher: Baker Academic

ISBN: 1441237097

Category: Religion

Page: 344

View: 6913

Background becomes foreground in Moyer Hubbard's creative introduction to the social and historical setting for the letters of the Apostle Paul to churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Hubbard begins each major section with a brief narrative featuring a fictional character in one of the great cities of that era. Then he elaborates on various aspects of the cultural setting related to each particular vignette, discussing the implications of those venues for understanding Paul's letters and applying their message to our lives today. Addressing a wide array of cultural and traditional issues, Hubbard discusses: • religion and superstition • education, philosophy, and oratory • urban society • households and family life in the Greco-Roman world This work is based on the premise that the better one understands the historical and social context in which the New Testament (and Paul's letters) was written, the better one will understand the writings of the New Testament themselves. Passages become clearer, metaphors deciphered, and images sharpened. Teachers, students, and laypeople alike will appreciate Hubbard's unique, illuminating, and well-researched approach to the world of the early church.
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The Politics of Intolerance

Author: H. A. Drake

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 9780801871047

Category: History

Page: 632

View: 3428

"A refreshingly original and powerfully argued re-conception of the issues and the forces at work in this period of the conversion not of Constantine, but of Christianity. A riveting story, and masterfully told." -- New Republic
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Author: Keith Bradley

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 131613914X

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 4361

This book, first published in 1994, is concerned with discovering what it was like to be a slave in the classical Roman world, and with revealing the impact the institution of slavery made on Roman society at large. It shows how and in what sense Rome was a slave society through much of its history, considers how the Romans procured their slaves, discusses the work roles slaves fulfilled and the material conditions under which they spent their lives, investigates how slaves responded to and resisted slavery, and reveals how slavery, as an institution, became more and more oppressive over time under the impact of philosophical and religious teaching. The book stresses the harsh realities of life in slavery and the way in which slavery was an integral part of Roman civilisation.
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Author: Natalie B. Dohrmann,Annette Yoshiko Reed

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812245334

Category: History

Page: 388

View: 960

This volume revisits issues of empire from the perspective of Jews, Christians, and other Romans in the third to sixth centuries. Through case studies, the contributors bring Jewish perspectives to bear on longstanding debates concerning Romanization, Christianization, and late antiquity.
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Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD

Author: Peter Brown

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400844533

Category: History

Page: 792

View: 1805

Jesus taught his followers that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Yet by the fall of Rome, the church was becoming rich beyond measure. Through the Eye of a Needle is a sweeping intellectual and social history of the vexing problem of wealth in Christianity in the waning days of the Roman Empire, written by the world's foremost scholar of late antiquity. Peter Brown examines the rise of the church through the lens of money and the challenges it posed to an institution that espoused the virtue of poverty and called avarice the root of all evil. Drawing on the writings of major Christian thinkers such as Augustine, Ambrose, and Jerome, Brown examines the controversies and changing attitudes toward money caused by the influx of new wealth into church coffers, and describes the spectacular acts of divestment by rich donors and their growing influence in an empire beset with crisis. He shows how the use of wealth for the care of the poor competed with older forms of philanthropy deeply rooted in the Roman world, and sheds light on the ordinary people who gave away their money in hopes of treasure in heaven. Through the Eye of a Needle challenges the widely held notion that Christianity's growing wealth sapped Rome of its ability to resist the barbarian invasions, and offers a fresh perspective on the social history of the church in late antiquity.
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From Galilee to Gregory the Great

Author: Henry Chadwick

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780199246953

Category: Church history

Page: 740

View: 6483

The Church in Ancient Society provides a full and enjoyable narrative history of the first six centuries of the Christian Church. Ancient Greek and Roman society had many gods and an addiction to astrology and divination. This introduction to the period traces the process by which Christianity changed this and so provided a foundation for the modern world: the teaching of Jesus created a lasting community, which grew to command the allegiance of the Roman emperor. Christianity is discussed in relation to how it appeared to both Jews and pagans, and how its Christian doctrine and practice were shaped in relation to Graeco-Roman culture and the Jewish matrix. Among the major figures discussed are Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Constantine, Julian the Apostate, Basil, Ambrose, and Augustine. Following a chronological approach, Henry Chadwick's clear exposition of important texts and theological debates in their historical context is unrivalled in detail. In particular, theological and ecclesial texts are examined in relation to the behaviour and beliefs of people who attended churches and synagogues. Christians did not find agreement and unity easy and the author displays a distinctive concern for the factors - theological, personal, and political - which caused division in the church and prevented reconciliation. The emperors, however, began to foster unity for political reasons and to choose monotheism. Finally, the Church captured the society.
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Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity

Author: Peter Brown

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231061001

Category: Religion

Page: 504

View: 8383

Looks at the development of celibacy in the Christian Church from the first to fifth centuries A.D., and compares marriage and sexuality in the Roman, Judaic, and early Christian worlds
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A Sociologist Reconsiders History

Author: Rodney Stark

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691027494

Category: Religion

Page: 246

View: 9848

Rodney Stark, a sociologist by training, has written a book that should end much of the Christian-bashing occuring in academia. Stark demonstrates that Christianity became popular very quickly because it offered its adherents a better faith than competing religions and treated those believers better both physically and spiritually.
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Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society

Author: Richard A. Horsley

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 9781563382178

Category: Religion

Page: 257

View: 8133

Over the centuries, Paul has been understood as the prototypical convert from Judaism to Christianity. At the time of Pauls conversion, however, Christianity did not yet exist. Moreover, Paul says nothing to indicate that he was abandoning Judaism or Israel. He, in fact, understood his mission as the fulfillment of the promises to Israel and of Israels own destiny. In brief, Pauls gospel and mission were set over against the Roman Empire, not Judaism.
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Pagans, Jews, and Christians

Author: Mark J. Edwards,Martin Goodman,Simon Price,Chris Rowland

Publisher: Clarendon Press

ISBN: 019154437X

Category: Religion

Page: 326

View: 9282

This book is the first to tackle the origins and purpose of literary religious apologetic in the first centuries of the Christian era by discussing, on their own terms, texts composed by pagan and Jewish authors as well as Christians. Previous studies of apologetic have focused primarily on the Christian apologists of the second century. These, and other Christian authors, are represented also in this volume but, in addition, experts in the religious history of the pagan world, in Judaism, and in late antique philosophy examine very different literary traditions to see to what extent techniques and motifs were shared across the religious divide. Each contributor has investigated the probable audience, the literary milieu, and the specific social, political, and cultural circumstances which elicited each apologetic text. In many cases these questions lead on to the further issue of the relation between the readers addressed by the author and the actual readers, and the extent to which a defined literary genre of apologetic developed. These studies, ranging in time from the New Testament to the early fourth century, and including novel contributions by specialists in ancient history, Jewish history, ancient philosophy, the New Testament, and patristics, will put the study of ancient religious apologetic on to a new footing.
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