Dealing with Difference

Christian Patterns of Response to Religious Rivalry in Late Antiquity and Beyond
Edited by Geoffrey D. Dunn and Christine Shepardson

[Umgang mit Unterschieden. Christliche Reaktionsmuster auf religiöse Rivalität in der Spätantike und darüber hinaus.]

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Published in English.
The essays in this volume examine a number of case studies on how and why conflicts arose between groups within Christianity and between Christians and others in its earliest centuries. The spectrum of methods used to address or resolve those conflicts from dialogue and negotiation to violence are also discussed.
Religious rivalry exists where groups of people distinguish themselves from others on the basis of differing beliefs and practices touching identity and life's meaning. These differences were addressed in a variety of ways, depending on levels of tolerance: ranging from violence, which captures most attention, through polemic and debate to compromise and negotiation. While all sought to resolve rivalry, the means chosen could involve either an escalation or de-escalation of the conflict. In the early centuries of its existence, Christianity reacted both to internal differences between members and to external differences with non-Christians. In fresh case studies, the essays in this volume examine not only patterns of escalation of rivalry but also emphasise strategies adopted that sought to de-escalate tensions.
Survey of contents
Geoffrey D. Dunn/Christine Shepardson: Introduction

Part One: Strategies of De-escalation
Silke-Petra Bergjan: From Rivalry to Marginalisation: Tomus ad Antiochenos and the Paulinus Group in Antioch − Maijastina Kahlos: Heresy Test and the Barbarian Other − Jesse A. Hoover: »A City Founded in a Brother's Blood«: Connecting Augustine and the Donatist Church − Geoffrey D. Dunn: Ecclesiastical Rivalry between Rome and Constantinople in the Early Fifth Century: Boniface I's Diplomatic Efforts to De-escalate the Competition and Conflict about Perigenes of Corinth − Wendy Mayer: Using the Past to Reconcile the Present: The Diplomatic Correspondence Presented in Theodore of Trimithous' Vita Iohannis − Chiara Tommasi: Early Christianity in the Celestial Empire: A Foreign Religion between Acceptance and Competition

Part Two: Strategies of Escalation
Chris L. de Wet: Cain's Disease: Murder, Medicine, and Pedagogy in John Chrysostom's Reading of the Cain and Abel Story − Pauline Allen: Post-mortem Polemics: The Literary Persecution of Severus of Antioch (512–18) − Bronwen Neil: Rivalries in Rome: Damnatio memoriae and Forbidden Books in the Letters of Pope Hormisdas (514–23) − Christine Shepardson: Remembering the Saints: John of Ephesus' Commentarii and the Polarisation of the Chalcedonian Conflict − Hajnalka Tamas: Hagiography, Liturgy, and Christian Identity in Aquileia from the Sixth to the Eighth Centuries − Alan H. Cadwallader: The Devil's Rap Sheet: Protean Descriptions in the Story of St Michael of Chonai

Geoffrey D. Dunn Born 1962; 2000 PhD, Australia Catholic University; Fellow of the Australian Humanities Academy; since 2014 Honorary Research Associate, University of Pretoria.

Christine Shepardson Born 1972; 2003 PhD, Duke University; currently Lindsay Young Professor and Head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee.


The following reviews are known:

In: — Journal of Early Christian History (JECH), 12 (2022), pp. 102–105 (Christoph Stenschke)