By Luke Timothy Johnson
The query of Christianity’s relation to the opposite religions of the area is extra pertinent and hard at the present time than ever ahead of. whereas Christianity’s old failure to understand or actively interact Judaism is infamous, Christianity’s much more shoddy list with appreciate to “pagan” religions is much less understood. Christians have inherited an almost unanimous theological culture that thinks of paganism by way of demonic ownership, and of Christian missions as a rescue operation that saves pagans from inherently evil practices.
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Additional resources for Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity
25 Because the conversation about this one religious phenomenon was reduced to claim and counterclaim, little headway could be made on actually understanding the religious significance of glossolalia. Religious studies, in contrast, is able to bring a variety of cross-cultural, social scientific, and literary perspectives to bear on the same phenomenon, not in or der to ask "is this good or bad," or " is it from God or the psyche," or "should we do it or not," but simply in the quest for understanding glossolalia as a human religious activity.
94 3 - A PRELIMINARY PROF ILE OF G RECO- ROMAN RELIGION The more we learn about the ancient Mediterranean world, the more com plex and sprawling the topic of Greco-Roman religion appears. 4 I begin with the aspects of religion that are most visible and obvious, hoping that my broad generalizations will gain some depth and nuance from subsequent chapters. Even this preliminary discussion makes no pretense of comprehensiveness. My selection of topics and the way I discuss them is very much determined by the sort of conversation I want to develop between Greco-Roman religion and Christianity.
6 The promise of votive offerings to such gods and sh ort prayers such as "if God wills it"-found in Judaism only where influenced by Hellenistic piety-were often on the lips? Religion for Greeks and Romans was not something done only with a part of one's time, space, and attention. It demanded attention in virtually every time and space, because every time and space was potentially an opening to a divine presence and power. Greco-Roman religion was, therefore, not simply personal and private but had a genuinely public character.
Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity by Luke Timothy Johnson