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Martyrdom and persecution in the early church; a study of a conflict from the Maccabees to Donatus,

Author: W H C Frend
Publisher: Oxford, Blackwell, 1965.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A full-scale study in English of the relations between the primitive Church and the Roman Empire has been needed for a long time. Since the turn of the century much new material has come to hand, and new perspectives in the theological and historical study of the period has been opened up. The conflict between Church and Roman Empire in the first two centuries A.D. can now be seen as part of a triangular struggle  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Frend, W.H.C.
Martyrdom and persecution in the early church.
Oxford, Blackwell, 1965
(OCoLC)607655236
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: W H C Frend
OCLC Number: 1517281
Description: xx, 625 pages 23 cm
Contents: The martyrs of Lyons --
Judaism and martyrdom --
Martyrdom in the New Testament period --
Rome and foreign cults --
The legacy of the Hellenistic East to A.D. 41 --
The church and the world to A.D. 70 --
Old Israel and new, 70-135 --
Lord Caesar or Lord Christ, 70-138? --
The false dawn, 135-165 --
The years of crisis, 165-180 --
The turn of the tide, 180-235 --
The great divide : Alexandria, Carthage and Rome, 190-240 --
Decius --
The triumph of Christianity, 260-303 --
The great persecution, 303-312 --
What has the emperor to do with the church? : 312-361.
Responsibility: by W.H.C. Frend.

Abstract:

A full-scale study in English of the relations between the primitive Church and the Roman Empire has been needed for a long time. Since the turn of the century much new material has come to hand, and new perspectives in the theological and historical study of the period has been opened up. The conflict between Church and Roman Empire in the first two centuries A.D. can now be seen as part of a triangular struggle between the Jews, Christians and the remainder of the Roman world, whose roots go back to the Maccabean revolution against Hellenism in the second century B.C. The author has found evidence for the continuation of the Maccabean spirit in the theology of the Western Church. He has connected the emphasis on the role of the martyr inspired by the Holy Spirit, traceable in Tertullian and his successors in North Africa, with the development of a distinctively Latin eschatology and understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. He contrasts the survival of apocalyptic in the West with the development of a more optimistic God-Logos theology in the East, where already by the third century A.D. the ideal of the ascetic was superseding that of the martyr. The onset of the persecutions of Decius and Diocletian sharpened the tension between these two ideals of Christian heroism. If the Roman Empire failed to crush the Church, the ultimate legacy of the persecutions is seen to be the permanent division of Christendom into its Eastern and Western halves.

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