Chapter

What Difference Does Christianity Make?

Peter Van Nuffelen

in Orosius and the Rhetoric of History

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199655274
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191745232 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655274.003.0009

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

What Difference Does Christianity Make?

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The last chapter argues that Augustine and Orosius were much closer to one another, and that their theology of history differed less radically, than often assumed. Both grapple with the same issue, namely, what difference Christianity makes in this world. But the genres in which they frame their responses are different, the one writing history and the other apologetic. Yet, Orosius and Augustine part ways on a fundamental issue: whilst Orosius is optimistic about the positive impact the Church and Christianity have on society and history, Augustine is less so and sees the Church as part of the imperfect civitas terrena. Whereas traditionally it is stated that Augustine and Orosius part ways on the role of the empire, the chapter argues that both differ in their appreciation of the historical role of the Church.

Keywords: Augustine; literary genre; church and society; Roman Empire; theology of history

Chapter.  8900 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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