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Critique and Apologetics

Jews, Christians and Pagans in Antiquity

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Edited By Jörg Ulrich, David Brakke and Anders-Christian Jacobsen

This book contains 13 contributions from an international conference held in 2007. The idea of the conference was to investigate the confrontations and the cultural, philosophical and religious exchange between different religious groups in antiquity and to establish a more comprehensive theory about what apologetics was considered to be both in the context of antiquity and from the perspective of modern scholarship: is it possible to define a literary genre called apologetics? Is it possible to talk about apologetics as a certain kind of discourse which is not limited to a special kind of texts? Which argumentative strategies are implied in apologetic discourses? The essays in this volume present a new approach to these questions.

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Ritus ad solos digitos pertinens (Lact., inst. 5.19,29): A Caricatureof Roman Civic Religion in Lactantius' Institutiones divinae 283

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Ritus ad solos digitos pertinens (Last., inst. 5.19,29): A Caricature of Roman Civic Religion in Lactantius' Institutiones divinae' Maijastina Kahlos Non sunt ad caelum elevandae manus nec exorandus aedituus ut nos ad aurem simulacri, quasi magis exaudiri possimus, admittat: prope est a te deus, tecum est, intus est. There is no need to lift our hands heavenwards, nor to beg admission by the temple-keeper to the ear of a divine likeness in order for our prayer to be heard. God is close to you, with you, within you. Sen., ep. 41.1 Alongside Arnobius, Lactantius has been one of the most neglected Latin apologists in the modern patristic studies.2 However, interest in Lactantius and particularly his Institutiones divinae has revived ' I wish to thank the participants of the conference Jews, Christians and Pagans in Antiquity - Critique and Apologetic in Aarhus in 2007 for the inspiring discussion on my paper and Dr. Marja-Leena Hänninen (University of Helsinki) for her valuable comments on Roman religion. The neglect has been lamented, e.g., by E. DePalma Digeser, The Making of a Chri- stian Empire: Lactantius & Rome, Ithaca 1999, 13f. and M. Edwards, The Flowering of Latin Apologetic: Lactantius and Arnobius, in: M. Edwards / M. Goodman / S. Price / C. Rowland (eds.), Apologetics in the Roman Empire. Pagans, Jews, and Christians, Oxford 1999, 197-221 (197). 284 Maijastina Kahlos since the 1980s and, consequently, he has emerged as an intriguing thinker of an important transition era from Emperor Diocletian to Constantine.3...

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