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Christianity in Ancient Rome: The First Three Centuries, 1st edition

  • Bernard Green
Christianity in Ancient Rome: The First Three Centuries

ISBN-13:  9780567032508

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Overview

The reader is taken from the very first generation of Christians in Rome, a tiny group of Jews who acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, down to the point when Christianity had triumphed over savage persecution and was on the verge of becoming the religion of the Roman Empire. Rome was by far the biggest city in the Roman world and this had a profound effect on the way Christianity developed there. It became separate from Judaism at a very early date. The Roman Christians were the first to suffer savage persecution at the hands of Nero. Rome saw the greatest theological movements of the second century thrashing out the core doctrines of the Christian faith. The emergence of the papacy and the building of the catacombs gave the Roman Church extraordinary influence and prestige in the third century, another time of cruel persecution. And it was in Rome that Constantine's patronage of the Christian faith was most evident as he built great basilicas and elevated the personal status of the Pope.

Table of contents

1) The city of Rome - size, ethnic and cultural diversity; the Jewish community, large but very different from that in Alexandria 2) Christianity's origins in Rome; the Letter to the Romans; persecution under Nero; the separation of Christianity from Judaism earlier in Rome than almost anywhere else; the Christian claim to be the true Israel in 1 Clement (96) and the Shepherd of Hermas (c 130) 3) Disputes in Rome about the core doctrines of Christianity; Valentinus and gnosticism; Marcion and the Old Testament; Justin and the Logos doctrine and self-justification to the pagan world; Sabellius and modalism 4) The evolution of the papacy - when and how? Hippolytus and Callistus; the catacombs 5) The 3rd century crisis of the Empire - Rome no longer the capital; persecutions of Decius and Valerian; Rome and Cyprian of Carthage on the lapsed and the Novatian schism (the meaning and character of the Church); survival and growth of the Roman Church; the use of Latin instead of Greek 6) Constantine: the end of persecution; triumph at Rome in 312; his buildings and patronage - the Lateran, St Peter's etc; Christianity in the city and the cult of martyrs; the figure of the pope

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Published by T & T Clark International (April 15th 2010) - Copyright © 2010