By Ramsay MacMullen
“Provocative to the Christian spiritual student and the nonreligious historian alike. . . . MacMullen’s type is lucid, and the tale of a interval with its personal innate curiosity is narrated with compelling feeling. . . . it's a big ebook, and hugely advised for the overall reader of background in addition to the Christian who wonders how the ‘Jesus circulate’ got here, through Constantine’s time, to be the church we know—Choice
“Written in a clean and full of life kind, . . . [this ebook] bargains an admirable survey of a few significant points of the background [of the early Christian church].”—Robert M. furnish, New York occasions e-book Review
“Gently provocative. . . . MacMullen has written an instructive and stress-free booklet on a superb theme.”—Henry Chadwick, Times Literary Supplement
“A conscientiously argued and well-written study.”—Jackson P. Hershbell, Library Journal
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Extra resources for Christianizing the Roman Empire: A.D. 100-400
19 Or, on the other hand, rather than thinking ancient miracles real because the miracle-workers were formerly a better species, people might suppose them worse, even fakes. “Jesus the Swami” (γóη? 21 Accordingly, believers may have had their cake and eaten it, too. Last, we may suppose that it gave pleasure both to relate and to hear wonderful stories, because such is human nature; and that pleasure can be increased, at least till the point of incredulity is reached, by exaggerating the wonderful.
The blood of martyrs watered the churches and reared up many times as many champions of piety,”13 so it was said back < previous page page_29 next page > < previous page page_30 next page > Page 30 then, and often has been since. But exactly how did this work? ”15 The manifestation of something supernatural was needed, somehow. Thereafter, we have no indication of the path of his thoughts. The martyr Justin has been supposed to be the clue to the connection between martyrs and conversions, in describing how he witnessed the indifference of Christians to death.
His account fits with the other third-century mention I just referred to. D. 100 to 312, Christians as such avoided attention. The fact is well known and easily illustrated. They can hardly be blamed for that, out of common prudence. Even where they were most numerous and presumably most taken for granted, there were many among their neighbors ready and willing to cite them before a hanging court. So Pliny discovered. They avoided on religious grounds also those occasions when their neighbors gathered for a good time, in private or community celebrations.