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Princeton University Library Catalog
Early Christian attitudes to war, violence and military service / Despina Iosif.
Piscataway, NJ, USA : Gorgias Press, 2013.
ix, 392 pages ; 24 cm.
Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600
Gorgias studies in classical and late antiquity ; 1.
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Gorgias studies in classical and late antiquity ; 1
The traditional view is that early Christians, prior to emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity, were pacifists who stubbornly refused to enlist in the Roman army and engage in warfare, preferring to die rather than betray their beliefs. However, a plethora of literary and archaeological evidence demonstrates that was not usually the case. The majority of early Christians did not find military service or warfare particularly problematic. Christians integrated with the dominant mores of society and that included military service. It is, in fact, possible that Christianity was particularly attractive to those in military service. This study looks to reposition early Christian ethics and the attitude towards war and to bring new understanding to the relationship between military service and Christianity.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Introduction -- Jesus and the Evangelists or Love your enemies -- Positive sources -- The silent sources. From him come the kings and the rulers and the governors -- Dilemmas for those who strive for perfection or To serve or not to serve? or Break off the ties that bind and entangle you in this world -- Negative sources -- Councils or Those who throw away their arms in times of peace should be kept from communion.
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