Mission and Conversion: Proselytizing in the Religious History of the Roman Empire / Edition 1

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This is a controversial and important new examination of the origins of Christian mission, set against the background of ancient Judaism and the pagan culture of the Roman Empire. The author invites a total reconsideration of the grounds for religious conversion in both Christianity and Judaism. He suggests that mission was not inherent to either early Judaism or Christianity, and was only sporadically practiced in antiquity by these religions. Clear, accessible, and displaying considerable scholarship, this book will provide an important challenge and a stimulus to both theologians and historians.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An extremely valuable contribution to our understanding of important issues in the religious history of the Roman world."--Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"An important and stimulating book on an important subject."--Journal of Jewish Studies

"A fascinating analysis of Jewish missionary attitudes....Raises questions for church historians and theologians about influences which shaped the young Church."--Church Times

"[An] interesting and scholarly book."--Manna

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198263876
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Lexile: 1660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Goodman is Reader in Jewish Studies and Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew Studies.

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Table of Contents

1 The Significance of Proselytizing 1
2 The Diffusion of Cults and Philosophies in the Pagan Roman Empire 20
3 Judaism before 100 CE: Attitudes to Gentile Paganism 38
4 Judaism before 100 CE: Proselytes and Proselytizing 60
5 Mission in the Early Church 91
6 Judaism in the Talmudic Period: Attitudes to Gentile Paganism 109
7 Judaism in the Talmudic Period: Proselytes and Proselytizing 129
8 The Consequences and Origins of Proselytizing 154
Bibliography 175
Index 189
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