Friday, 3 April 2015

Christine Muehlenkamp: A World Reigned by Demons. The Construction of a Boundary Between Church and Society in the First Three Centuries

I deal with Christian strategies of defining and maintaining a boundary against pagan society in the pre-constantinian era. My doctoral thesis (Faculty of Catholic Theology, University of Muenster 2007) does not focus on questions of Christian doctrine proper but on the question of what a distinctly Christian way of life is supposed to look like. Despite its different interpretations, the construction of a boundary between church and pagan society is always based on the OT principles of avoiding „Idolatry“ and „Fornication“. In reading Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria as well as early church orders and synodal canons, I encounter different strains of dealing with the challenge of being a Christian in a world that is steeped in traditional religion, cults, and beliefs.

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