Christians and Animal Sacrifice in the Period up to <span class="smallCaps">ad</span> 200

Maria‐Zoe Petropoulou

in Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780199218547
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191711503 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Christians and Animal Sacrifice in the Period up to ad 200

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The chapter summarizes Christian attitudes toward animal sacrifice in the first two centuries AD, with regard to both Greek and Jewish religion, and with a clear distinction between the period before AD 70 and the period after AD 70. As regards the Christian teaching towards pagan addressees, the preaching against the offering of sacrifices mainly comes to the fore in the Apologetics of the 2nd century. Similarly, the Christian objection to Jewish animal sacrifice is explicitly expressed only in the 2nd century AD, but traces of it are found already in the 1st century. Second-century attestations show Christians abstaining from sacrifices, something which played a role in their being arrested or condemned by the pagan authorities. Special attention is also paid to the issue of sacrificial metaphors as a factor contributory to the alienation of worshipers from the practical aspects of animal sacrifice.

Keywords: abstinence; Apologists; Apologetics; arrest; Christianity; religion; metaphors; pagans

Chapter.  30146 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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