Christian Distinctiveness in the Ancient World

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How did Christianity stand out in the ancient world? What made it different from other religions? In the early 20th century, the dominant theory was that Christianity was just one of many new religions (the Manicheans, the mystery cults, the cult of Mithras, etc) which happened to have better PR and more Machiavellian leadership. That scholarship has been discredited these days, but what then is the truth? Why did Christianity take off in so spectacular–albeit halting–a fashion?

To help answer that question, Larry Hurtado has written the book Destroyer of the Gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World. This book is excellent and well worth your time, as is this interview with the author (the interview is worth your time not because of me, but because of Dr. Hurtado):

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