The Fate of the Dead in Early Third Century North African Christianity 978-3-16-152944-3 - Mohr Siebeck
Theology

Eliezer Gonzalez

The Fate of the Dead in Early Third Century North African Christianity

The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas and Tertullian

[Das Schicksal der Toten im nordafrikanischen Christentum des frühen 3. Jahrhunderts. Die Passion von Perpetua and Felicitas und Tertullian.]

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How did the hope of earliest Christianity shift from a hope principally in a resurrection of the body at the end of the world to the idea of the immediate ascent of the soul at death? Eliezer Gonzalez analyzes how the Passion of Perpetua provides us with early literary evidence of an environment in which the Graeco-Roman and Christian cults of the dead appear to be very much aligned.
The ideology and imagery in the Passion of Perpetua are mediated heavily by traditional Graeco-Roman culture; in particular, by traditional notions of the afterlife and of the ascent of the soul. This context for understanding the Passion of Perpetua aligns well with the available material evidence, and with the writings of Tertullian, with whose ideology the text of Perpetua is in an implicit polemical dialogue.
Eliezer Gonzalez analyzes how the Passion of Perpetua provides us with early literary evidence of an environment in which the Graeco-Roman and Christian cults of the dead, including the cults of the martyrs and saints, appear to be very much aligned. He also shows that the text of the Passion of Perpetua and the writings of Tertullian provide insights into an early stage in the polemic between these two conceptualisations of the afterlife of the righteous.
Authors/Editors

Eliezer Gonzalez Born 1965; 1987 BA, Macquarie; 2009 MA (Th), Avondale; 2009 MA (Early Christian and Jewish Studies), Macquarie; 2013 PhD, Macquarie; currently Honorary Associate, Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University.

Reviews

The following reviews are known:

In: Vigiliae Christianae — 68 (2014), S. 579–580 + 71 (2017), S. 95–98 (Paula Rose)
In: Histos — 9 (2015), S. 30–38 (Linda Wimmer)
In: Augustiniana — 65 (2015), S. 263–264 (Anthony Dupont)