The Consequences and Origins of Proselytizing


in Mission and Conversion

Published in print December 1995 | ISBN: 9780198263876
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682674 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Consequences and Origins of Proselytizing

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This chapter explores the possible origins of proselytizing. The suggestion that approval of universal proselytizing may have arisen among some rabbinic Jews in reaction to the use of the concept within the Church, raises the possibility that such mission may also have been found in other religions of late antiquity affected by Christianity. The investigation examines whether pagans or others proselytized under the influence of Christians and the consequences of the notion of proselytizing mission on religious behaviour in antiquity. Lastly, it investigates some possible explanations for the emergence of the idea of universal proselytizing in the history of the early church.

Keywords: proselytizing origins; Christianity; universal proselytizing; rabbinic Jews

Chapter.  7896 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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