Empire Baptized: How the Church Embraced What Jesus Rejected (Second-Fifth Centuries)

Book, 2016, 342 pp
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Through a study of the writers of the post-New Testament period, this book shows how "Christianity" was forged as "the religion of empire," undermining the New Testament's proclamation of Jesus as upholder of the "religion of creation," two categories laid out in Howard-Brook's earlier volume, "Come Out, My People": God's Call Out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond. Using writers from Alexandria (Clement, Origen, and Athanasius) and North Africa (Tertullian, Cyprian and Augustine) as test cases, Howard-Brook traces how Platonic and Stoic philosophy on the one hand, and Roman imperial culture, on the other, were taken for granted by these writers in creating "Christianity."

Using a wide range of recent scholarship, Howard-Brook seeks in this book to separate the anti-imperial, earthly and earthy "Good News" of Jesus from the imperial, anti-creation, misogynist and anti-Jewish "Christianity" that has largely replaced the Gospel.

PublisherOrbis Books

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