LAMS Lecture by Peter van Nuffelen, What difference did Christianity make?
- Wednesday 16 June 2021
All interested are cordially invited to the next Spring lecture of the Late Antique and Medieval Studies Centre on Zoom, Wednesday 16 June, 4:45 pm Amsterdam time. CET
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Meeting ID: 661 6724 1546
The title of my paper is borrowed from the article of R. MacMullen (1986), arguing that Christianity did not change much in attitudes towards slavery and inhumane punishment. That view has been countered by scholars such as J.-U. Krause and N. Lenski. I intend to question some of the assumptions of this debate, including the foreignness of Christianity to ancient society and a preference for genealogical explanations over synchronic ones. Such approaches risk obscuring broader cultural change that cannot be explained with a single causal factor (Christianity or otherwise). Building on examples of my recent work (coercion, religious universalism), I explore how we can trace cultural change in Late Antiquity in methodologically more circumspect ways.