Abstract

Through rhetorical analyses of Clement of Alexandria's Protreptikos, Origen's ContraCelsum, and the Shepherd of Hermas, this article demonstrates how some early Christians use ideas about race and ethnicity to make universalizing claims about Christianness by defining Christianity as a race, open to all peoples. In so doing, it challenges prevailing ways of interpreting the meaning and significance of race in early Christian self-definition. Adopting a different approach to reading race and ethnicity in pre-Constantinian Christian texts holds great potential for analyzing the intersecting domains of Christian-imperial, Christian-local, intra-Christian, and Christian-Jewish relations.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3184
Print ISSN
1067-6341
Pages
pp. 429-468
Launched on MUSE
2002-12-16
Open Access
No
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