By Éric Rebillard
For too lengthy, the examine of spiritual existence in past due Antiquity has trusted the idea that Jews, pagans, and Christians have been principally discrete teams divided through transparent markers of trust, ritual, and social perform. extra lately, in spite of the fact that, a growing to be physique of scholarship is revealing the measure to which identities within the past due Roman global have been fluid, blurred by way of ethnic, social, and gender adjustments. Christianness, for instance, used to be just one of a plurality of identities to be had to Christians during this period.
In Christians and Their Many Identities in overdue Antiquity, North Africa, 200–450 CE, Éric Rebillard explores how Christians in North Africa among the age of Tertullian and the age of Augustine have been selective in choosing as Christian, giving salience to their spiritual identification simply intermittently. through transferring the point of interest from teams to participants, Rebillard extra widely questions the life of bounded, strong, and homogeneous teams in keeping with Christianness. In emphasizing that the intermittency of Christianness is structurally constant within the daily life of Christians from the tip of the second one to the center of the 5th century, this e-book opens an entire variety of recent questions for the certainty of a very important interval within the historical past of Christianity.
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Extra info for Christians and Their Many Identities in Late Antiquity, North Africa, 200-450 CE
They were all catechumens and young (Passio Perp. 1). Felicitas and Revocatus were slaves, but we know nothing of the status of Saturninus, Secundulus, and Saturus. Perpetua herself is usually thought to be from a family of good standing, a member of the decurial class, if not of senatorial rank (Schöllgen 1985: 197–202; but see Cooper 2011: 688–690 for a revisionist position). It is commonly supposed that the martyrs all belonged to a single household (see Barnes 1985: 72), but nothing in the circumstances of their arrest either supports or contradicts this assumption.
In the De idololatria, when he rebukes Christians who agree to sign loan contracts that include a guarantee under oath (see above), Tertullian suggests looking to other Christians for assistance as an alternative: “Let us pray the Lord that the necessity for such a contract may never come over us and that, if such a thing should happen, He may confer on our brethren the means for helping” (idol. 7). The extant text in which Tertullian most fully describes Christian social assistance is the Apologeticum, where he compares the Christian organization to an association (corpus).
In his brief introduction, he discusses the meaning of the interdiction of Exodus 23:11, “Make no mention of the names of other gods” (idol. 3). “Its sense, of course, is not that we should not pronounce their names, which everyday life forces us to use. . 2–3). 2). Indeed, the last example is not neutral: it implies that in everyday life Christians not only had interactions with non-Christians but even expressed interest in the priesthoods their acquaintances held. Tertullian then deals with oaths in the names of pagan gods.