An Asocial Philosophy of Life.- Translated by Tul'si Bhambry and Agnieszka Waśkiewicz. Editorial work by Tul'si Bhambry.
Chapter 2. Towards the Heavenly Abode
Towards the Heavenly Abode
A Christian in times of trouble
The anonymous late second-century Epistle to Diognetus is a key source text illustrating the social condition of the early Christians. It presents the followers of Christ as living on islands of the new faith surrounded by a sea of paganism. Christians are alien to the world, just as the world is alien to them. Spiritually, the Christian community does not belong to the world.
For Christians are no different from other people in terms of their country, language, or customs. Nowhere do they inhabit cities of their own, use a strange dialect, or live life out of the ordinary. […] They live in their respective countries, but only as resident aliens; they participate in all things as citizens, and they endure all things as foreigners. Every foreign territory is a homeland for them, every homeland foreign territory. […] Christians are spread throughout the cities of the world. The soul lives in the body, but it does not belong to the body; Christians live in the world but do not belong to the world.1
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