Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Old-time religion?

The early Christian emphasis on, and teaching about, everyday behavior as central to Christian commitment is yet another distinctive feature that has had a profound subsequent impact. In the ancient Roman period and down through human history, what we call “religion” tended to focus more on honoring, appeasing, and seeking the goodwill of deities through such actions as sacrifices and the performance of related rituals. “Religion” did not typically have much to say about what we call “ethics,” how to behave toward others, how to conduct family or business, and the formation of character.— Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World, page 188

<idle musing>
For some reason, I don't think that's what people have in mind when they say, "Give me that old-time religion." : )

That's the final excerpt from this book. I hope you find it intriguing enough to read it all. And no, I don't get anything for endorsing it, not even a free copy of the book; I bought my copy at the Annual AAR/SBL meeting last November. But it was definitely worth the price of the book. In the immortal words of Augustine, "Tolle! Lege!" Pick it up and read it!
</idle musing>

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