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By Averil Cameron

Many purposes might be given for the increase of Christianity in overdue antiquity and its flourishing within the medieval international. In asking how Christianity succeeded in changing into the dominant ideology within the unpromising situations of the Roman Empire, Averil Cameron turns to the improvement of Christian discourse over the 1st to 6th centuries A.D., investigating the discourse's crucial features, its results on latest types of communique, and its eventual preeminence. students of overdue antiquity and basic readers drawn to this significant ancient interval might be intrigued by way of her exploration of those influential adjustments in modes of communication.The emphasis that Christians put on language--writing, speaking, and preaching--made attainable the formation of a strong and certainly a totalizing discourse, argues the writer. Christian discourse was once sufficiently versatile for use as a public and political device, but while for use to precise deepest emotions and emotion. Embracing the 2 opposing poles of good judgment and secret, it contributed powerfully to the slow recognition of Christianity and the faith's transformation from the passion of a small sect to an institutionalized international faith.

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Extra resources for Christianity and the Rhetoric of Empire: The Development of Christian Discourse (Sather Classical Lectures, Vol 55)

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Schussler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (New York: Crossroads, 1983). 15. See J. B. Bury, "Cleopatra's Nose," RPA Annual for 1916, 1623; reprinted in Selected Essays of J. B. Bury, ed. H. Temperley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1930), 6069. This famous essay was preceded in the previous year and followed in the next by others forecasting the eventual demise of Christianity in the light of human progress. 16. , A. Kee, Constantine Versus Christ: The Triumph of Ideology (London: SCM Press, 1982).

Dodds, Pagan and Christian, 132 ff. 25. R. " 26. Tacitus Ann. 44; Suet. 2 (superstition); Lucian Peregr. 11 (cult); Celsus, ap. Origen, c. Cels. 34. Galen treated Christianity as a philosophical system; see Wilken, Christians as the Romans Saw Them, 72 ff. Page 23 Jews heard about Christian teaching as well as Christian community behavior, even if that was not necessarily what first drew them to convert. It is these early years that are of course the most difficult to understand. 27 But these developments, which are rightly seen as underscoring the importance of the decision of Constantine and his successors to support the church, could only have happened in the context of a long earlier evolution in the articulation of Christianity.

18084. 4. M. I. : Penguin Books, 1985). See the revisionism of P. Garnsey, K. Hopkins, and C. R. , Trade in the Ancient Economy (London: Chatto & Windus, 1983); and esp. A. , Società romana e impero tardoantico, vol. 3: Le Merci, gli insediamenti (Rome: Laterza, 1986). Page 17 relation to one another as does the Christian rhetoric I shall be discussing to its own historical context in the Roman Empire. There are several good reasons for returning to religion as a theme, and for placing the focus on the development of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

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