How Do We Explain the Quiet Demise of Graeco-Roman Religion? An Essay

@article{Bremmer2021HowDW,
  title={How Do We Explain the Quiet Demise of Graeco-Roman Religion? An Essay},
  author={Jan Bremmer},
  journal={Numen},
  year={2021},
  volume={68},
  pages={230-271}
}
Until now, the relatively quiet transition from traditional Graeco-Roman religion to Christianity has gone unexplained. In dialogue with James Rives and Jörg Rüpke, I argue that Christianity made better use than its religious competition of long-term trends in the Roman Empire, such as expanding literacy, the rejection of sacrifice, the movement toward monotheism, and the closing of the distance between gods and their faithful. The growing skepticism within the city elites regarding the… 
3 Citations
The Demise, Dissolution and Elimination of Religions
While it is generally acknowledged that religions can “die” or go “extinct,” little research has been dedicated to the problem of the demise of religions. This text reviews earlier research on this
A Divisive Intellectualist Leader
Initially, the article concentrates on a major change in ancient Mediterranean religions that can be understood as an “intellectualization of religion.” Focusing on the text-based practices of
Twilights of Greek and Roman Religions— An Introduction
Abstract This introduction sets the scene for the “Twilights of Greek and Roman Religions” special issue of Journal of Early Christian History. “‘Twilights’ is a good way to put the question, since

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 53 REFERENCES
Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World
Destroyer of the gods: early Christian distinctiveness in the Roman world Early Christians and Christianity in the eyes of non-Christians -A novel pattern of religious belief and practice -A
Emperor worship and Roman religion
While Roman religion worshipped a number of gods, one kind in particular aroused the fury of early Christians and the wonder of scholars: the cult of Roman emperors alive or dead. Was the divinity of
Religious ChoiCe and Religious Change in ClassiCal and late antiquity: Models and questions
This paper is an attempt to think broadly about the transformation of religious identity from classical to late antiquity, and the part played in that transformation by conversion. Beginning with a
Worshippers of the Gods: Debating Paganism in the Fourth-Century Roman West
Worshippers of the Gods Worshippers of the Gods tells how the Latin writers who witnessed the political and social rise of Christianity rethought the role of traditional religion in the empire and
The Last Pagans of Rome
Rufinus' vivid account of the battle between the Eastern Emperor Theodosius and the Western usurper Eugenius by the River Frigidus in 394 represents it as the final confrontation between paganism and
Literate Media in Early Christ Groups: The Creation of a Christian Book Culture
The full emergence of Christian book culture in the fourth century was anticipated and prepared for by a series of developments in the second century: by presenting (anachronistically) the early
Religious Violence in Late Antique Egypt Reconsidered: The Cases of Alexandria, Panopolis and Philae
ABSTRACT The period of Late Antiquity has long been perceived, and is still often perceived, through the lens of (Christian) literary works, which tell dramatic stories of violence against temples,
Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire
The Roman empire remains unique. Although Rome claimed to rule the world, it did not. Rather, its uniqueness stems from the culture it created and the loyalty it inspired across an area that
Statistics and the Conversion of the Roman Aristocracy
In a justly famous paper published in 1961, Peter Brown set out a model for understanding the historical process whereby the formerly pagan aristocracy of imperial Rome became overwhelmingly
From Holy Books To Holy Bible: An Itinerary From Ancient Greece To Modern Islam Via Second Temple Judaism And Early Christianity
This chapter traces the origin of the term holy book and investigates when Jews and Christians began to call their authoritative texts holy. The question may seem banal but, strangely enough, none of
...
...