Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor E.M. Wightman
The mutual hatred and prejudice of Christians and pagans in the pre-Decian era (before A.D. 250) is analysed in this study in the context of the function of prejudice in ancient society as a whole. The symbolic expressions, the uses, and the meaning of prejudice in the early pagan-Christian conflict are elucidated from both the social and the historical perspective. Use is made of psycho-logical theories of prejudice, to help define the significance of prejudice in the pre-Decian period.
Once analysed in context, the expression of the Christian prejudice against the pagans suggest that for many of the early Christians the struggle was seen as a battle for possession of this earth, and not solely as a necessary toil in preparation for posthumous celestial felicity. This conclusion is contrary to the generally accepted view, and arguably broadens our insight into the unconscious and conscious motives of early Christians, and their pagan antagonists.
Bottley, Frederick Ronald, "The Conflict for the Earthly Rome: an Aspect of the Early Christian-pagan Struggle" (1983). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1533.