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Author Topic: Monotheism between Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity. Interdisciplinary Studies in Ancient Culture and Religion 12  (Read 2540 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Topic Start: April 06, 2011, 09:23:56 pm »

Title: Monotheism between Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity. Interdisciplinary Studies in Ancient Culture and Religion 12
Author(s): Stephen Mitchell, Peter Van Nuffelen (ed.)
Publisher: Leuven:  Peeters
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9042922427
ISBN-13:
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

From the Bryn Mawr Classic Review:
One god, many gods, or one god among many? This question can be framed as one of how and who to worship, or as one of what to believe; the language available for discussing it largely consists in an artillery of terms originally coined in polemical or apologetic contexts, such as the seventeenth century ‘monotheism’ of a Cambridge Platonist or the nineteenth century ‘henotheism’ of idealist philosophy.1 The debate has acquired political relevance in the modern West in struggles between the monotheistic religions, and in the quest of modernity for self-definition against pagan antiquity.2

Read the full review at the Bryn Mawr Classic Review web site.

Additional Description:
The fourth century was a major religious battleground. The rise of Christianity, and in particular its dominance from Constantine onwards, marked an important shift in the religious history of the Mediterranean. Christianity saw this change as the victory of its monotheism over the polytheism of paganism. This volume studies how similarities between paganism and Christianity were obscured in the polemic that was waged by Christianity against paganism and in the pagan responses to it. The volume includes papers on Porphyry, Augustine, Themistius, Latin verse inscriptions, as well as papers that deal with the different ways in which Christian and pagan thinkers conceived of monotheism. A recurring theme in the papers show that a concrete religious issue lay at the heart of such polemic: who can one worship? Christians would restrict worship to their God, whereas pagans accepted cultic acts for the many traditional deities. The debate about monotheism was therefore not just about conceptions of the divine, but was part of the creation and defence of social, cultural and religious identities in Late Antiquity. In exploring how the notion of monotheism was shaped by Late Antique polemic and how this still influences our understanding of it, this volume also hopes to inform contemporary debates about the dangers of monotheism.

Special Notes:
none

Legal Notes: Some description text and item pictures in this post may come from Amazon.com and are used by permission. The Cauldron is an Amazon Affiliate and purchases made through the Amazon links in this message help support The Cauldron.



Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.
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