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Religious Identity in Late Antiquity
Greeks, Jews and Christians in Antioch


Part of Greek Culture in the Roman World

  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521296915

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About the Authors
  • Studies of religious interaction in the fourth century AD have often assumed that the categories of 'pagan', 'Christian' and 'Jew' can be straightforwardly applied, and that we can assess the extent of Christianization in the Graeco-Roman period. In contrast, in this text, Dr Sandwell tackles the fundamental question of attitudes to religious identity by exploring how the Christian preacher John Chrysostom and the Graeco-Roman orator Libanius wrote about and understood issues of religious allegiance. By comparing the approaches of these men, who were living and working in Antioch at approximately the same time, she strives to get inside the process of religious interaction in a way not normally possible due to the dominance of Christian sources. In so doing she develops approaches to the study of Libanius' religion, the impact of John Chrysostom's preaching on his audiences and the importance of religious identity to fourth-century individuals.

    • Tackles the fundamental question of the extent of the spread of Christianity from a significant angle
    • Gives equal weight to both the Christian and the Graeco-Roman point of view by devoting alternate chapters to the views of John Chrysostom and Libanius
    • Divides into five thematic sections that take the reader logically through the problems of understanding the importance of religious identity and religious allegiance in the fourth century AD
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521296915
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. Understanding religious identity in fourth century Antioch
    2. Imperial society, religion and literary culture in fourth century Antioch
    Part II. Constructed and Strategic Religious Identities and Allegiances, an Introduction:
    3. Chrysostom and the construction of religious identities
    4. Libanius and the strategic use of religious allegiance
    Part III. Religious Identities and Other Forms of Social Identification, an Introduction:
    5. Religious identity and other social identities in Chrysostom
    6. Religious allegiance and other social identities in Libanius
    Part IV. Religious Identities and Social Organization, an Introduction:
    7. Chrysostom and social structure among Christians in Antioch
    8. Libanius, religious allegiance and social structure
    Part V. Assessing the Impact of Constructions of Identity, an Introduction:
    9. Religious identity, religious allegiance and religious practice
    10. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Isabella Sandwell, University of Bristol

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