Early Christian pictorial art arose within a Greco-Roman cultural environment, instinctively adapting the visual vocabulary of the world in which it appeared and developed. Yet, even while surviving examples of identifiably Christian art objects appear to have much in common with those made for polytheists, they also reveal differences that reflect evident and distinctively Christian practices of composing and viewing images. This involved more than transforming earlier pagan models, it signaled an intentional rejection of their form, content, and style. The results also aligned with certain exegetical strategies evident in early Christian sermons, commentaries, and catecheses and reflected the emergence of a characteristically Christian social identity that emphasized shared religious commitments and broadly understood interpretive approaches to biblical narratives.


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pp. 1-26
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