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Bibil Identifier bibil:223411
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Baptism and Cosmic Allegiance: A Brief Observation
Author Hart, David Bentley
Journal Journal of Early Christian Studies (Volume: 20, Issue: 3)
Response article Response to Contributors
Year (Publication) 2012
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2012
Year (Copyright) 2012
Year (Reference) 2012
Language English
Pages 457-465 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract For most of the Christians of the earliest centuries, as Ferguson's book exhaustively illustrates, baptism was understood as nothing less than a personal rebellion against the cosmic, political, and spiritual order of ancient paganism. As pagan culture slowly disappeared and was replaced by a Christian culture, the baptismal rite's explicit transfer of a new Christian's allegiance from the old gods to the risen Lord became less necessary and, ultimately, largely unintelligible. The gradual introduction of infant baptism reflected the transformation of the ancient religious milieu, as the understanding of baptism as renunciation of evil gods and demons gave way to a concern to nurture souls from birth until death within the Christian community. Changes in baptismal meaning and practice in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages suggest that further developments lie ahead, as late modern Christianity confronts a post-Christian future in the developed world.
DOI 10.1353/earl.2012.0023
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Themes : Baptism
Last modification 2017-10-27