Destroyer of the Gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World

Larry W. Hurtado. Baylor Univ., $29.95 (267p) ISBN 978-1-4813-0473-3
Hurtado, emeritus professor of New Testament language, literature, and theology in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, discusses the history and evolution of ecumenical Christian practices in this elegantly straightforward book. He notes that many characteristics of Christianity that are taken for granted today were considered nothing less than radical, even abhorrent, in the religion's early years: one transcendent god, scriptures to guide the faithful, the democratizing evangelism of Christianity, concern with the ethics of everyday behavior. Not only did these practices become completely normalized, he says, but they also shaped ideas about what "religion" is in a more general sense. Hurtado does an excellent job of walking readers through the processes that brought about such universal assumptions about Christianity, and demonstrates how very odd early Christianity was for its place and time and how it came to overturn and replace ancient systems and beliefs. Hurtado writes with a measured tone and learned authority. Those wishing to know more about early Christianity will find much here. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2016
Release date: 09/15/2016
Genre: Religion
Hardcover - 978-1-4813-0475-7
Hardcover - 978-1-4813-0539-6
Hardcover - 978-1-4813-0538-9
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