Christian Sun Worship and Theurgy in Late Antique Rome
1 online resource (67 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
In Late Antique Rome the worship of the sun penetrated into Christian belief and practice. This is usually explained in terms of a type of syncretism, where the sun god in Roman religion during this time (often seen as being at the apex of the pantheon) was conflated with the Christian god. These ideas are often drawn from an analysis of texts from the time, particularly those of Roman philosophers and the Christian clergy and theologians. By using the methodology of a people’s history – with a focus on reading between the lines of the works produced by the elites who dominated the literature, as well as with special attention to material artifacts – we can begin to look at what the sun worship meant to the actual Christians, and not simply from the perspective of their critics. This methodology allows us to understand that the Christians who were worshipping the sun in Late Antique Rome were not doing so out of a type of syncretism, but rather that they were participating in the popular form of magic known as theurgy, which included the invocation of certain deities (such as the sun) for the sake of the soul’s ascension after death.
Maguire, JoanneMcEachnie, Robert
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2021.
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