Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity by Luke Timothy Johnson

By Luke Timothy Johnson

Luke Timothy Johnson does it back. This such a lot inventive and discovered interpreter of latest testomony and early church heritage demanding situations his readers to take advantage of 4 new interpretive different types to discover Jewish, Christian, and Gentile faith. Scales fall from readers' eyes as they see customary texts in intriguing and superb new methods. for instance, why may still it's unbelievable that new converts in Galatia desired to upload circumcision to baptism? finally, the non secular practices with which they have been widespread invited deeper degrees of initiation.

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Extra info for Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)

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3o I have spoken of Greco-Roman religion during the late Republic and early Principate as pervasive, public, and political. It was also pious and pragmatic. 31 Greco-Roman religion in this period was also practical more than it was theoretical. 34 Religion was very much a matter of what worked in the everyday world inhabited by gods and hu mans. 35 Polytheism conceives of the divine dynamist virtus ("power") as personal but also as diffused through an elaborate extended family of gods, whose respective influence was exercised over the diverse do­ mains of natural and human life.

1 5 The second element is "peculiar intensity," which points to the sense of realness, en­ ergy, and urgency in the experience. Such urgency is not necessarily a matter of violent or externally visible reaction and can be entirely peaceful and quiet: one thinks of Elijah's "still small voice" in contrast to Sinai's spectacular kratophany. The intensity of the experience, however, makes it qualitatively distinct and exis­ tentially demanding. " The first phrase points to the inevitably hermeneutical character of all religious response.

Between 1931 and 1933, archaeolo­ gists uncovered three buildings situated along the wall of the city facing west that were remarkably similar in architecture-they all were basically Roman houses-and function, since each was a place of worship. Near to each other were a Christian house church and a Jewish synagogue, while further down the street was a Mithraeum. 38 Dura-Europos provides a sense not only of the way in which Judaism and Christianity developed together in the context of Greco-Roman practice, but also of the way in which Judaism could portray itself in terms of a Greco-Roman mystery.

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