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Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianisation of the Roman World (Canto original series) [Paperback]

By Peter Brown (Author)
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Item description for Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianisation of the Roman World (Canto original series) by Peter Brown...

Overview
The Christianization of the Roman world lies at the root of modern Europe. Peter Brown's fascinating study examines the factors that proved decisive and the compromises that made the emergence of the Christian conception of existence possible. He also shows how Christian holy men were less representative of a triumphant faith than negotiators of a working compromise between the new faith and traditional ways of dealing with the supernatural worlds.

Publishers Description
The Christianization of the Roman world lies at the root of modern Europe, yet at the time it was a tentative and piecemeal process. This study examines the factors which proved decisive and the compromises which made the emergence of the Christian thought world possible. It shows how contemporary narratives wavered between declarations of definitive victory and a sombre sense of the strength of the pre-Christian past, reflecting the hopes and fears of different generations faced with different social and political situations. It also examines the social factors which muted the sharp intolerance which pervades the contemporary literary evidence, and shows how Christian holy men were less representatives of a triumphant and intransigent faith than negotiators, at ground level, of a working compromise between the new faith and traditional ways of dealing with the supernatural world.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Cambridge University Press
Pages   108
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.72" Width: 8.52" Height: 0.27"
Weight:   0.32 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 26, 2002
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0521595576  
ISBN13  9780521595575  


Availability  74 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 30, 2017 12:59.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Peter Brown


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! PETER BROWN, Rollins Professor of History at Princeton University, is a leading authority on the society of late antiquity and early Christianity. He is author of Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (1967, 2000), The Rise of Western Christendom (1996), Authority and the Sacred (1995), and The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (1988).

Peter Brown currently resides in the state of New Jersey.

Peter Brown has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Canto Book
  2. Library of World Civilization


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > Rome
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History



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Reviews - What do customers think about Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianisation of the Roman World (Canto original series)?

The Pagan/Christian interface- not so tidy as you may think  Mar 27, 2004
This is a gem of a book. Short enough to read in an afternoon, but so packed full of ideas and primary source material that you will return to it repeatedly in your research.

Chapter 1 details the "triumphalist" approach to understanding the suppossed triumph of Christianity ofver paganism, a la Eusebius, but that the defeat of Adrianople shook the beleif in an ordered and understandable "god on our side" worldview. According to Brown, Augustine had a more sober view of reality, which was pessimistic about "this age", and which eventually overtook the former idealism. Augustine laments the encroachment of pagan practices as converts streamed in, akin to Cato the Elder's lament about foreigners in Rome.

Chapter 2 explores the intorlerance for alternate theologies and beliefs in the Theodosian Age, a truly sad chapter in Christian history (IMHO). What is refreshing to me is how Brown points out that in the midst of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish activites there was a greater than expected (or currently understood and taught) amount of civility and respect. Remember, keeping the empire together was their main priority. So it was the upper class, moreso than the church or state, setting the tone of practice.

Chapter 3 examines the idea of the holy, the saint. Reminescent of paganism, the holy man interceeded for all regardless of religion or creed. Such a man allowed the newly chrsitened, or reluctanly conjoled, to make a familiar trainsition into the new religion.

 
"Fascinating and Resourceful"  Feb 13, 2002
Peter Brown's "Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianization of the Roman World" is a work well-worth its weight in perspective, since it breaks with the customary norm of interpreting the rise and triumph of Christianity through a medium of objective analysis. Brown ignores the inevitable vicissitudes of recorded history and offers a much more personal, subjective, and systematic account of the triumph of Christianity. To Professor Brown, Christianity gradually emerged and ascended amongst a world deeply rooted in traditional Pagan "common sense" belief systems. This process involved a shift in how upper-class Roman society conducted religious and political institutions; these institutions were in turn viewed by the general public, and at last Christianity was accepted and validated by the consensus of both stratums of society. Brown concludes and confirms his view by pointing out the profound effect that the holy men of the fifth and sixth centuries had upon people of all walks of life. This, from Brown's perspective, proves that Christianity needed to have a firm hold upon the psyche of the late Roman world and not merely upon the social and cultural levels. In other words, Constantine's revolution was only half the story. This work is clear and concise, and definitely has something to offer to both scholars and general readers alike.
 
Erudite, elegant and satisfying  Feb 28, 2000
A brilliant analysis of the slow process of Christianising the Roman Empire. Brown writes in a learned yet clear manner, and addresses one directly as if in conversation. He guides the reader through his own considerations over the years, and displays not only his incomparable understanding of this topic, but also his interesting shifts of belief in different areas, as well as challenging or developing the theses of other scholars. A deeply personal and stimulting read, especially for those who enjoyed his 'World of Late Antiquity' and 'Augustine of Hippo'.
 
Erudite, elegant and satisfying  Feb 28, 2000
A brilliant analysis of the slow process of Christianising the Roman Empire. Brown writes in a learned yet clear manner, and addresses one directly as if in conversation. He guides the reader through his own considerations over the years, and displays not only his incomparable understanding of this topic, but also his interesting shifts of belief in different areas, as well as challenging or developing the theses of other scholars. A deeply personal and stimulting read, especially for those who enjoyed his 'World of Late Antiquity' and 'Augustine of Hippo'.
 

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