The Omphalos and the Cross: Pagans and Christians in Search of a Divine Center

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Mercer University Press, 2003 - Religion - 513 pages
"The Omphalos and the Cross offers a fresh look at the cultural environment of early Christianity. Interdisciplinary in nature, this work establishes a background for Christianity that not only reaches back to the Old Testament but also to the lengthy development of Greco-Roman religious and philosophical traditions that determined part of the path the early church had to follow to stay alive and prosper."--BOOK JACKET.
 

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Contents

The Death of the Redeemer
205
The Disciples in the PostResurrection Era
209
Stephen and His Contributions to the Early Church
211
The Rise of Paul to Supremacy in Christianity
214
The Early Church and Greek Philosophy
223
Celsuss platonistic Logic
228
Christianity and Neoplatonic Philosophy
231
Christians and Pagans in Their Roman Environment
241

Miasma and Catharsis
43
Apollos Ascension to Wisdom
55
The Prophet and the Pythia
69
The Sources of Divination
70
The Blessings of Madness
73
Biblical Prophecy
75
The Pythia and Her God
80
The Pythia and the Prophet
84
The Rise and Fall of the Delphic Oracle
87
The Nature of the Oracle
90
Divine Ambiguity
96
Divine and Human Law in Delphic Perspective
101
Oracular Religion and Chaldaean Oracles
104
Apollonian Oracles in Christian Perspective
112
The Decline of the Oracle
119
The Sibyl and Sybyline Oracles
127
The Pythia the Sibyl and the Sibyllini Libri
131
The Sibylline Books in Roman History
135
Sibylline Oracles in Jewish Religion
146
Sibylline Oracles in Early Christianity
150
The Rise of Christianity
173
The Old and the New in John the Baptist
175
The Coming of the Messiah
180
The Teaching of Jesus
187
The Miracles of the Kingdom
194
Brief Estimate of Roman Religion
244
Christian Faith in Search of a Home in the Roman Empire
258
Christian Refutations of Paganism
267
The Age of Constantine
271
The Age of Julian
283
The Age of Theodosius
306
From Persecution to Religious Freedom
323
Christians and the Calamities of the Empire
325
From Verbal Assault to Physical violence
334
The Kingdom within the Empire
364
The Quest for Tolerance and Religious freedom
376
Classical Culture and Christian Faith
393
Early Christian Perspectives on Classical Culture
396
The Role of Classical Culture in Julians Reform
410
After JulianTowards a Universalization of Culture
420
When the Gods Are Silent
441
Deus Absconditus
444
The Christianization of Paganism and the Paganization of Christianity
453
Religion without Revelation
458
The Transfiguration of the Gods
462
Epilogue
469
Appendixes
473
Bibliography
479
Index
495
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Paul Ciholas, a native of France, served as director of the Institute for Liberal Studies at Kentucky State University. He is retired and resides in Danville, Kentucky.

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