By Gillian Clark

Did Christianity remodel the Roman global within which it all started, or did the Roman global form Christianity? This paintings explores present debates and new interpretations of Early Christianity in Roman Society. Adopting an interdisciplinary and thematic process, it bargains the scholar unusual with the Christian culture, a entire creation to its function within the Roman global.

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It has several variants: the executioners were deceived by the superior power of Christ; or Simon of Cyrene, who carried his cross, was crucified in his place; or Jesus did not actually die on the cross, but revived from coma after he was taken down. ) But if Jesus did not, and could not, really die on the cross, he could not really share the human experience of death and dereliction, and there remains an unbridgeable gap between God and humanity. So the ‘docetist heresy’ prompted further reflection on the relationship of Jesus Christ to God and to humanity.

7–10) cites a letter of Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria in the mid-third century, on how Christians nursed plague victims and gave them burial, regardless of the danger, while pagans abandoned even family members. Nursing care would improve the survival rate, and that might convince others that Christians had special religious protection; beliefs that make sense of suffering can also affect survival rates (Stark 1996: 73–94). Hope of salvation (Greek s¯ote¯ria, literally ‘safety’) in this life and after, and stories of miraculous healing and protection, may have had more effect than any exposition of Christian doctrine (MacMullen 1984).

40 The blood of the martyrs of Christians was of very great importance: it was recorded in detail and commemorated on the anniversary of the death, and any relics of martyrs were preserved and revered (see below). Non-Christians hardly mention it. When Pliny wrote to Trajan about his interrogation and execution of Christians (ch. 2), his main concern was to get official validation.

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