Religious Violence in the Christian Roman Empire

Author: Michael Gaddis

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520930902

Category: History

Page: 410

View: 2349

"There is no crime for those who have Christ," claimed a fifth-century zealot, neatly expressing the belief of religious extremists that righteous zeal for God trumps worldly law. This book provides an in-depth and penetrating look at religious violence and the attitudes that drove it in the Christian Roman Empire of the fourth and fifth centuries, a unique period shaped by the marriage of Christian ideology and Roman imperial power. Drawing together materials spanning a wide chronological and geographical range, Gaddis asks what religious conflict meant to those involved, both perpetrators and victims, and how violence was experienced, represented, justified, or contested. His innovative analysis reveals how various groups employed the language of religious violence to construct their own identities, to undermine the legitimacy of their rivals, and to advance themselves in the competitive and high-stakes process of Christianizing the Roman Empire. Gaddis pursues case studies and themes including martyrdom and persecution, the Donatist controversy and other sectarian conflicts, zealous monks' assaults on pagan temples, the tyrannical behavior of powerful bishops, and the intrigues of church councils. In addition to illuminating a core issue of late antiquity, this book also sheds light on thematic and comparative dimensions of religious violence in other times, including our own.
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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: 700

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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The Case of Aum Shinrikyo

Author: Ian Reader

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113681941X

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 3478

The Tokyo subway attack in March 1995 was just one of a series of criminal activities including murder, kidnapping, extortion, and the illegal manufacture of arms and drugs carried out by the Japanese new religious movement Aum Shinrikyo, under the guidance of its leader Asahara Shoko. Reader looks at Aum's claims about itself and asks, why did a religious movement ostensibly focussed on yoga, meditation, asceticism and the pursuit of enlightenment become involved in violent activities? Reader discusses Aum's spiritual roots, placing it in the context of contemporary Japanese religious patterns. Asahara's teaching are examined from his earliest public pronouncements through to his sermons at the time of the attack, and statements he has made in court. In analysing how Aum not only manufactured nerve gases but constructed its own internal doctrinal justifications for using them Reader focuses on the formation of what made all this possible: Aum's internal thought-world, and on how this was developed. Reader argues that despite the horrors of this particular case, Aum should not be seen as unique, nor as solely a political or criminal terror group. Rather it can best be analysed within the context of religious violence, as an extreme example of a religious movement that has created friction with the wider world that escalated into violence.
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Spiritual Authority and the Promotion of Monasticism in Late Antiquity

Author: Daniel Folger Caner

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520928503

Category: Religion

Page: 339

View: 4025

An apostolic lifestyle characterized by total material renunciation, homelessness, and begging was practiced by monks throughout the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries. Such monks often served as spiritual advisors to urban aristocrats whose patronage gave them considerable authority and independence from episcopal control. This book is the first comprehensive study of this type of Christian poverty and the challenge it posed for episcopal authority and the promotion of monasticism in late antiquity. Focusing on devotional practices, Daniel Caner draws together diverse testimony from Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, and elsewhere—including the Pseudo-Clementine Letters to Virgins, Augustine's On the Work of Monks, John Chrysostom's homilies, legal codes—to reveal gospel-inspired patterns of ascetic dependency and teaching from the third to the fifth centuries. Throughout, his point of departure is social and cultural history, especially the urban social history of the late Roman empire. He also introduces many charismatic individuals whose struggle to persist against church suppression of their chosen way of imitating Christ was fought with defiant conviction, and the book includes the first annotated English translation of the biography of Alexander Akoimetos (Alexander the Sleepless). Wandering, Begging Monks allows us to understand these fascinating figures of early Christianity in the full context of late Roman society.
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Author: David Dawson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520226305

Category: Religion

Page: 302

View: 7969

This text offers a contribution to one of Christianity's central problems: the understanding and interpretation of scripture specifically, the relationship between the Old Testament and the New.
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A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels

Author: J. Warner Wallace

Publisher: David C Cook

ISBN: 1434705463

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 3537

Written by an L. A. County homicide detective and former atheist, Cold-Case Christianity examines the claims of the New Testament using the skills and strategies of a hard-to-convince criminal investigator. Christianity could be defined as a “cold case”: it makes a claim about an event from the distant past for which there is little forensic evidence. In Cold-Case Christianity, J. Warner Wallace uses his nationally recognized skills as a homicide detective to look at the evidence and eyewitnesses behind Christian beliefs. Including gripping stories from his career and the visual techniques he developed in the courtroom, Wallace uses illustration to examine the powerful evidence that validates the claims of Christianity. A unique apologetic that speaks to readers’ intense interest in detective stories, Cold-Case Christianity inspires readers to have confidence in Christ as it prepares them to articulate the case for Christianity.
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The Development of Christian Discourse

Author: Averil Cameron

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520089235

Category: History

Page: 261

View: 7442

Many reasons can be given for the rise of Christianity in late antiquity and its flourishing in the medieval world. In asking how Christianity succeeded in becoming the dominant ideology in the unpromising circumstances of the Roman Empire, Averil Cameron turns to the development of Christian discourse over the first to sixth centuries A.D., investigating the discourse's essential characteristics, its effects on existing forms of communication, and its eventual preeminence. Scholars of late antiquity and general readers interested in this crucial historical period will be intrigued by her exploration of these influential changes in modes of communication. The emphasis that Christians placed on language—writing, talking, and preaching—made possible the formation of a powerful and indeed a totalizing discourse, argues the author. Christian discourse was sufficiently flexible to be used as a public and political instrument, yet at the same time to be used to express private feelings and emotion. Embracing the two opposing poles of logic and mystery, it contributed powerfully to the gradual acceptance of Christianity and the faith's transformation from the enthusiasm of a small sect to an institutionalized world religion.
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The Debate on Christian Pilgrimage in Late Antiquity

Author: Bruria Bitton-Ashkelony

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520241916

Category: History

Page: 250

View: 2082

Annotation A study of the response (political and theological) of early Christian intellectuals to the widespread practice of pilgrimage to holy places in Palestine.
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Third Maccabees in Its Cultural Context

Author: Sara Raup Johnson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520928435

Category: Religion

Page: 271

View: 2480

In this thoughtful and penetrating study, Sara Raup Johnson investigates the creation of historical fictions in a wide range of Hellenistic Jewish texts. Surveying so-called Jewish novels, including the Letter of Aristeas, 2 Maccabees, Esther, Daniel, Judith, Tobit, Josephus's account of Alexander's visit to Jerusalem and of the Tobiads, Artapanus, and Joseph and Aseneth, she demonstrates that the use of historical fiction in these texts does not constitute a uniform genre. Instead it cuts across all boundaries of language, provenance, genre, and even purpose. Johnson argues that each author uses historical fiction to construct a particular model of Hellenistic Jewish identity through the reinvention of the past. The models of identity differ, but all seek to explore relations between Jews and the wider non-Jewish world. The author goes on to present a focal in-depth analysis of one text, Third Maccabees. Maintaining that this is a late Hellenistic, not a Roman, work Johnson traces important themes in Third Maccabees within a broader literary context. She evaluates the evidence for the authorship, audience, and purpose of the work and analyzes the historicity of the persecution described in the narrative. Illustrating how the author reinvents history in order to construct his own model for life in the diaspora, Johnson weighs the attitudes and stances, from defiance to assimilation, of this crucial period.
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Author: Jon D. Mikalson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520919679

Category: Religion

Page: 385

View: 6402

Until now, there has been no comprehensive study of religion in Athens from the end of the classical period to the time of Rome's domination of the city. Jon D. Mikalson provides a chronological approach to religion in Hellenistic Athens, disproving the widely held belief that Hellenistic religion during this period represented a decline from the classical era. Drawing from epigraphical, historical, literary, and archaeological sources, Mikalson traces the religious cults and beliefs of Athenians from the battle of Chaeroneia in 338 B.C. to the devastation of Athens by Sulla in 86 B.C., demonstrating that traditional religion played a central and vital role in Athenian private, social, and political life. Mikalson describes the private and public religious practices of Athenians during this period, emphasizing the role these practices played in the life of the citizens and providing a careful scruntiny of individual cults. He concludes his study by using his findings from Athens to call into question several commonly held assumptions about the general development of religion in Hellenistic Greece.
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A Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion

Author: Mark H. Munn

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520243498

Category: History

Page: 452

View: 1121

Among maternal deities of the Greek pantheon, the Mother of the Gods was a paradox. Conflict and resolution were played out symbolically, Munn shows, and the goddess of Lydian tyranny was eventually accepted by the Athenians as the Mother of the Gods and a symbol of their own sovereignty.
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No Logos without Mythos

Author: Professor David Martin

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 1472433629

Category: Religion

Page: 280

View: 3157

In this book David Martin argues, against Juergen Habermas, that religion and politics share a common mythic basis and that it is misleading to contrast the rationality of politics with the irrationality of religion. In contrast to Richard Dawkins (and New Atheists generally), Martin argues that the approach taken is brazenly unscientific and that the proclivity to violence is a shared feature of religion, nationalism and political ideology alike rooted in the demands of power and social solidarity.
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The Nature of Christian Leadership in an Age of Transition

Author: Claudia Rapp

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520280172

Category: Political Science

Page: 362

View: 3843

Between 300 and 600, Christianity experienced a momentous change from persecuted cult to state religion. One of the consequences of this shift was the evolution of the role of the bishop—as the highest Church official in his city—from model Christian to model citizen. Claudia Rapp's exceptionally learned, innovative, and groundbreaking work traces this transition with a twofold aim: to deemphasize the reign of the emperor Constantine, which has traditionally been regarded as a watershed in the development of the Church as an institution, and to bring to the fore the continued importance of the religious underpinnings of the bishop's role as civic leader. Rapp rejects Max Weber’s categories of “charismatic” versus “institutional” authority that have traditionally been used to distinguish the nature of episcopal authority from that of the ascetic and holy man. Instead she proposes a model of spiritual authority, ascetic authority and pragmatic authority, in which a bishop’s visible asceticism is taken as evidence of his spiritual powers and at the same time provides the justification for his public role. In clear and graceful prose, Rapp provides a wholly fresh analysis of the changing dynamics of social mobility as played out in episcopal appointments.
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Author: Wendy Mayer,Bronwen Neil

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 3110291940

Category: Religion

Page: 268

View: 5544

The essays in this volume engage a variety of inter- and intra-religious conflicts, ranging from the first to eighth centuries CE. The religious conflicts associated with the birth and development of Christianity, from the death of Jesus, to the Apostle Paul, through to the Patristic Era up to and including the beginnings of Islam, are well represented. Given the political and religious tensions in the world today, this volume is well positioned to find relevance and meaning in societies still grappling with the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
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Author: Raanan Shaul Boustan,Alex P. Janssen,Calvin J. Roetzel

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004180281

Category: Religion

Page: 286

View: 1207

This volume analyzes the emergence of Jewish and Christian discourses of religious violence within their Roman imperial context with an emphasis on the shared textual practices through which authoritative scriptural traditions were redeployed to represent, legitimate, and indeed sacralize violence.
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Cultural Interaction and the Creation of Identity in Late Antiquity

Author: Professor Danuta Shanzer,Professor Ralph W Mathisen

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 140948209X

Category: History

Page: 398

View: 8289

One of the most significant transformations of the Roman world in Late Antiquity was the integration of barbarian peoples into the social, cultural, religious, and political milieu of the Mediterranean world. The nature of these transformations was considered at the sixth biennial Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity Conference, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in March of 2005, and this volume presents an updated selection of the papers given on that occasion, complemented with a few others,. These 25 studies do much to break down old stereotypes about the cultural and social segregation of Roman and barbarian populations, and demonstrate that, contrary to the past orthodoxy, Romans and barbarians interacted in a multitude of ways, and it was not just barbarians who experienced "ethnogenesis" or cultural assimilation. The same Romans who disparaged barbarian behavior also adopted aspects of it in their everyday lives, providing graphic examples of the ambiguity and negotiation that characterized the integration of Romans and barbarians, a process that altered the concepts of identity of both populations. The resultant late antique polyethnic cultural world, with cultural frontiers between Romans and barbarians that became increasingly permeable in both directions, does much to help explain how the barbarian settlement of the west was accomplished with much less disruption than there might have been, and how barbarian populations were integrated seamlessly into the old Roman world.
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Author: A. D Lee

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

ISBN: 0748668357

Category: History

Page: 360

View: 7637

A. D. Lee charts the significant developments which marked the transformation of Ancient Rome into medieval Byzantium.
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Victims and Perpetrators

Author: Albert Geljon,Riemer Roukema

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004274901

Category: Religion

Page: 260

View: 3945

The ambivalence of ancient Christianity toward violence is investigated in ten studies, ranging from the persecution of Christians to Christian oppression of Jews, heretics and pagans, and the application of Jesus’ teaching to love one’s enemies.
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Pre-Modern to Contemporary Perspectives

Author: Dominic Janes,Alex Houen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199376514

Category: Religion

Page: 336

View: 2028

In recent years, terrorism has become closely associated with martyrdom in the minds of many terrorists and in the view of nations around the world. In Islam, martyrdom is mostly conceived as "bearing witness" to faith and God. Martyrdom is also central to the Christian tradition, not only in the form of Christ's Passion or saints faced with persecution and death, but in the duty to lead a good and charitable life. In both religions, the association of religious martyrdom with political terror has a long and difficult history. The essays of this volume illuminate this history--following, for example, Christian martyrdom from its origins in the Roman world, to the experience of the deaths of "terrorist" leaders of the French Revolution, to parallels in the contemporary world--and explore historical parallels among Islamic, Christian, and secular traditions. Featuring essays from eminent scholars in a wide range of disciplines, Martyrdom and Terrorism provides a timely comparative history of the practices and discourses of terrorism and martyrdom from antiquity to the twenty-first century.
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Author: Werner Riess,Garrett G. Fagan

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 0472121839

Category: History

Page: 422

View: 3735

What soldiers do on the battlefield or boxers do in the ring would be treated as criminal acts if carried out in an everyday setting. Perpetrators of violence in the classical world knew this and chose their venues and targets with care: killing Julius Caesar at a meeting of the Senate was deliberate. That location asserted Senatorial superiority over a perceived tyrant, and so proclaimed the pure republican principles of the assassins. The contributors to The Topography of Violence in the Greco-Roman World take on a task not yet addressed in classical scholarship: they examine how topography shaped the perception and interpretation of violence in Greek and Roman antiquity. After an introduction explaining the “spatial turn” in the theoretical study of violence, “paired” chapters review political assassination, the battlefield, violence against women and slaves, and violence at Greek and Roman dinner parties. No other book either adopts the spatial theoretical framework or pairs the examination of different classes of violence in classical antiquity in this way. Both undergraduate and graduate students of classics, history, and political science will benefit from the collection, as will specialists in those disciplines. The papers are original and stimulating, and they are accessible to the educated general reader with some grounding in classical history.
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