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When Children Became People: The Birth of Childhood in Early Christianity [Paperback]

By O. M. Bakke (Author) & Brian McNeil (Translator)
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Item description for When Children Became People: The Birth of Childhood in Early Christianity by O. M. Bakke & Brian McNeil...

Overview
Bakke paints a fascinating picture of children's first real emergence as people against a backdrop of the ancient world. Using theological and social history research, Bakke compares Greco-Roman and Christian attitudes toward abortion and child prostitution, pedagogy and moral upbringing, and the involvement of children in liturgy and church life. He also assesses Christian attitudes toward children in the church's developing doctrinal commitments. Today, growing numbers of children are impoverished, exploited, abandoned, orphaned, or killed. Bakke's insightful work begins to untangle the roots of their complex plight.

Publishers Description
Bakke paints a fascinating picture of children's first real emergence as people against a backdrop of the ancient world. Using theological and social history research, Bakke compares Greco-Roman and Christian attitudes toward abortion and child prostitution, pedagogy and moral upbringing, and the involvement of children in liturgy and church life. He also assesses Christian attitudes toward children in the church's developing doctrinal commitments. Today, growing numbers of children are impoverished, exploited, abandoned, orphaned, or killed. Bakke's insightful work begins to untangle the roots of their complex plight.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Pages   348
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.44" Height: 0.93"
Weight:   1.08 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2005
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800637259  
ISBN13  9780800637255  


Availability  57 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2017 05:40.
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More About O. M. Bakke & Brian McNeil


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! O. M. Bakke is Associate Professor of Church History at the School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger, Norway. He has authored several scholarly articles on early Christianity.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Ancient
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Children's Studies
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Church History



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Reviews - What do customers think about When Children Became People: The Birth of Childhood in Early Christianity?

ASTONISHING ANSWERS TO HOW THE ANCIENTS VIEWED CHILDREN  Sep 28, 2006
Anyone interested in ancient history will find this book a treasure, densely packed with information.

Bakke's "When Children Became People" points our that the ancients viewed children from a much different perspective than we do. There was "a negative assessment of children and childhood found in antiquity" (p 19) to the point that "Pliny...does not attmpt to conceal his contempt and lack of esteem for this phase in human life" (p 19). Abortion and exposure of infants was common.

Violence against children was tolerated, expecially for the vast numbers of slave children. And slave children were frequently abused sexually as well. Indeed, as "The Economics of Prostitution in Rome" pointed out, many Romans with young slaves hired them out to brothels. Boys were kept at the brothels until their beards sprouted. Girls until their looks faded.

So, when did the current western prespective on children begin? Bakke argues, and argues very persuasively, than it began with Christianity.

Christians thought all people had souls. This had enormous impact upon the way children were treated. The Didache (written between 50-120 AD)says, "Do not murder a child by abortion, nor kill it at birth". Bakke notes how "the author speaks of the fetus as a 'child'" at a time when the other ancients were referring to children as that 'thing'.

It was a revolution, with consequences to our day. Christians viewed children as complete and valuable human beings from the time of their conception. In the wake of Christianity was "a great reduction in the number of children (especially boys) who were involved in sexual acts with adult men (p 284). Because Christians felt that the way their brought up their child could affect nothing less than that child's eternal salvation Christians had a "greater involvement in upbringing than was generally the case in pagan families" (p 285).

Consider this book a must read.
 
Excellent resources for child theological academians.  Aug 31, 2006
Be prepared for this text to kick your butt. It won't kick your butt theologically but instead intellectually. This is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to critically study Christian theologies from the first few centuries. O.M. Bakke painstakingly researched the writings of early theologians and historians to determine how the Greco-Roman world vs. the Christian world understood children for the first 400 years of the church.

I highly recommend this text if someone is intersted in deeply exploring how the church saw children in this time period. The reading is slow and intellectual allowing the reader to absorb all of the valuable material found in this text.

This would make an excellent text book for any professors of Christian history and/or theology of childhood classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Hopefully Bakke has opened the floodgates on research into theology of childhood that will continue to grow in its academic responses.
 

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