By Dr Maijastina Kahlos
This publication explores the development of Christian identification in fourth and 5th centuries via inventing, fabricating and sprucing binary oppositions. Binary oppositions, resembling Christians - pagans; fact - falsehood; the only precise god - the multitude of demons; the suitable faith - superstition, served to create and strengthen the Christian self-identity. The e-book examines how the Christian argumentation opposed to pagans used to be intertwined with self-perception and self-affirmation. Discussing the kinfolk and interplay among pagan and Christian cultures, this e-book goals at widening historic realizing of the cultural conflicts and the otherness in global background and hence, to give a contribution to the continued dialogue in regards to the ancient and conceptual foundation of cultural tolerance and intolerance. This ebook deals a invaluable contribution to modern scholarly debate approximately past due vintage non secular background and the connection among Christianity and different religions.
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Extra resources for Debate and Dialogue (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies)
In this passage Tertullian discusses how a soldier is able to avoid taking part in non-Christian rites and proposes that a soldier is able to suffer for the sake of God, a cause that the civilian faith – the faith of a believer who is not in military service – could also support (perpetiendum pro Deo quod aeque ﬁdes pagana condixit). Then he continues: apud hunc tam miles est paganus ﬁdelis quam paganus est miles ﬁdelis, that is, in front of God, a civilian believer becomes a soldier and a soldier believer becomes a civilian.
Even in the well-documented case of Augustine of Hippo, wanderings, doubts and Angst are supposed to belong to the life before fundamental and ﬁnal conversion and the church father after his conversion is assumed to have become a completed personality with a determined Christian conviction and with thought evolving into a plausible system of ideas. It is Augustine himself who advocates the idea of a fundamental and ﬁnal conversion in his Confessiones. 88 To take another example, the interpretations of wall paintings in the hypogeum in Via Latina illustrate the categories into which the modern research has attempted to squeeze late antique individuals.
70 These characterizations of religiously ambiguous ﬁgures in Christian terms have often arisen from the complaints of church fathers as the example of the term Christians in name only indicates. 71 Almost all these terms and characterizations are derogatory. The ﬁrst attempt to break away from the ﬁxed pagan–Christian dichotomy was Charles Guignebert’s article on semi-Christians in 1923. Guignebert brought up semi-Christians as a phenomenon of Late Antiquity. 73 Guignebert speaks of the hypnosis of the past among the uncertain people (des gens incertains).