Tag Archives: Paganism

Dante’s Virtuous Pagans

One of the most striking theological innovations (perhaps more so even than the “Neutrals”) in Dante’s Commedia is his inclusion in Limbo of, not just “little children,” but also of formerly pagan “men and women.” The classic doctrine of Limbo — … Continue reading

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“City of God,” Bks. 1-2: Points of Interest

Book One of De civitate Dei opens with the charge that prompted Augustine to write it, namely, that Christianity was responsible for the sack of Rome. As Augustine notes in the Retractationes, the first five books of City aim to … Continue reading

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The Dispensation of Paganism

That’s Newman’s expression for “the dealings of God with those to whom He did not vouchsafe a written revelation” (from Arians of the Fourth Century, in The Genius of Newman, 178). Newman finds a type of this dispensation “in the history of Balaam … Continue reading

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Chesterton’s Genealogy of Modernity

“Pagan antiquity was the age of status; Christian mediaevalism was the age of vows; and skeptical modernity has been the age of contracts; or rather has tried to be, and has failed” (“The Story of the Vow,” in The Superstition … Continue reading

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Jews, Greeks, and Church of God

Paul’s Jewishness notwithstanding, it’s clear that at least by the time of 1 Corinthians, he had come to think of the Church as conceptually distinct from the Jews and from the pagans: ἀπρόσκοποι καὶ Ἰουδαίοις γίνεσθε καὶ Ελλησιν καὶ τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ” (10:32) Christians are, overwhelmingly, Gentile followers of … Continue reading

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