Reconceiving Religious Conflict deconstructs instances of religious conflict within the formative centuries of Christianity, the first six centuries CE. It explores the theoretical foundations of religious conflict; the dynamics of religious conflict within the context of persecution and martyrdom; the social and moral intersections that undergird the phenomenon of religious conflict; and the relationship between religious conflict and religious identity. It is unique in that it does not solely focus on religious violence as it is physically manifested, but on religious conflict (and tolerance), looking too at dynamics of religious discourse and practice that often precede and accompany overt religious violence.
"It is imperative that we take contemporary social and religious conflict seriously, while cultivating appropriate insights and skills to navigate our way through the storms. We live in times of superdiversity, supermobility and constant change. In such times, social and religious conflict surface with negotiation of identities and boundaries. The formative centuries of Christianity witnessed similar struggles. In this thought provoking book, leading scholars in the field of early Christianity provide fresh perspectives on theoretical aspects for understanding religious conflict along with new insights to help us proceed with ongoing discernment as the tides of change break upon the shores of our social landscape."
- Jacobus (Kobus) Kok, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven, Belgium
"Reconceiving Religious Conflict is an excellent addition to the growing body of scholarship on religion and violence. The bibliographies that accompany each chapter are exceptional and include ancient writings that have often been overlooked. At the same time, each chapter includes the application of models and methodologies that help to illuminate a more fine-tuned analysis of this literature. … Mayer and de Wet’s collection enhances both our resources and the application of those resources to the study of religion and violence."
- Rebecca I. Denova, University of Pittsburgh, USA
List of abbreviations
1 Re-theorizing religious conflict: early Christianity to late antiquity and beyond
2 Religious violence and its roots: a view from antiquity
Rhetorical and literary trajectories
3 Blindness in early Christianity: tracking the fundamentals of religious conflict
PIETER J. J. BOTHA
4 Religious conflict, radicalism, and sexual exceptionalism in the rhetoric of John Chrysostom
CHRIS L. DE WET
5 Give it up for God: wealth, suffering, and the rhetoric of religious persecution in John of Ephesus’s Church History
6 Epiphanies and religious conflict: the contests over the Hagiasma of Chonai
ALAN H. CADWALLADER
7 Contested domains in the conflicts between the early Christian mission and Diaspora Judaism according to the Book of Acts
8 Christianisation and late antique patronage: conflicts and everyday nuisances
Threats of violence
9 Religious violence in late antique Egypt reconsidered: the cases of Alexandria, Panopolis, and Philae
JITSE H. F. DIJKSTRA
10 "A wise madness": a virtue-based model for crowd behaviour in late antiquity
PETER VAN NUFFELEN
Ancient and modern intersections
11 Collaboration and identity in the aftermath of persecution: religious conflict and its legacy
ELIZABETH DEPALMA DIGESER
12 The usefulness of violent ends: apocalyptic imaginaries in the reconstruction of society
GERHARD VAN DEN HEEVER
Routledge Studies in the Early Christian World offers monographs and edited collections which explore the most cutting-edge research in Early Christianity. Covering all aspects of world of early Christianity, from theology, archaeology and history, to urbanism, class, economics, and sexuality and gender, the series aims to situate these early Christians within the wider context of Late Antiquity.
Comprising both regional studies and broader thematic surveys, this series explores what changed with the advent of Christianity, what remained the same, and how early Christians interacted with, made sense of, and shaped the world around them. Aimed at early Christian scholars, classicists and historians alike, Studies in the Early Christian World is an invaluable resource for anyone researching this fascinating period.