Religious Dissent in the Roman Empire is the third installment in Vasily Rudich’s trilogy on the psychology of discontent in the Roman Empire at the time of Nero. Unlike his earlier books, it deals not with political dissidence, but with religious dissent, especially in its violent form. Against the broad background of Second Temple Judaism and Judaea’s history under Rome’s rule, Rudich discusses various manifestations of religious dissent as distinct from the mainstream beliefs and directed against both the foreign occupier and the priestly establishment. This book offers the methodological framework for the analysis of the religious dissent mindset, which it considers a recurrent historical phenomenon that may play a major role in different periods and cultures. In this respect, its findings are also relevant to the rise of religious violence in the world today and provide further insights into its persistent motives and paradigms. Religious Dissent in the Roman Empire is an important study for people interested in Roman and Jewish history, religious psychology and religious extremism, cultural interaction and the roots of violence.
"While his expertise as a Roman historian certainly provided Rudich with a valuable foundation for the present study, and his earlier examinations of dissident psychology led naturally to this analysis of violent religious dissent, his focus on Roman Judea necessitated a brave plunge into unfamiliar territory - a virtual quagmire of scholarly literature that he admits to having underestimated initially."
- William den Hollander, Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary, in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Rudich's is an extremely ambitious and worthwhile project that has yielded a stimulating and original book … this book will ultimately be of great value to interested lay readers and specialists alike."
- Shushma Malik, University of Queensland, in The Classical Review
Preface Introduction: "The Vibrant Faith" 1. Chapter One: "The Breaking Point" 2. Chapter Two: "The Road Down" 3. Chapter Three: "The First Regime" 4. Chapter Four: "The Policies of Zeal" 5. Chapter Five: "The Dagger Men" 6. Chapter 6: "The End of the Factions" Conclusion