Of Sons and Slaves

Isabel Moreira

in Heaven's Purge

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736041
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894628 | DOI:
Of Sons and Slaves

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This chapter examines the role of punishment in correction as discussed by early Christian authors and the Roman elite as a way of understanding how punishment became associated with both hell and purgatory. It examines metaphors of paternal power and slavery. It suggests that the idea that the elect, too, must suffer violence in the afterlife arose from discussions about original sin at a time when the Roman elite were increasingly anxious about the erosion of legal immunities that had traditionally protected them from judicial torture. It highlights the ongoing importance of the metaphor of slavery to the way corporeal punishment was described in the afterlife, particularly in the Vision of Paul, and it considers notions of retributive justice and the fear of hell.

Keywords: slavery; punishment; correction; paternal power; legal privileges; legal immunities; judicial torture; Vision of Paul; hell; purgatory

Chapter.  11250 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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