Mandatory retirement: Ideas in the study of Christian origins whose time has come to go

@article{Fredriksen2006MandatoryRI,
  title={Mandatory retirement: Ideas in the study of Christian origins whose time has come to go},
  author={Paula Fredriksen},
  journal={Studies in Religion},
  year={2006},
  volume={35},
  pages={231 - 246}
}
Historians of ancient Christianity routinely describe its social and religious environment by relying on certain common-sense academic terms. In this essay, the author argues that four of these termis—conversion, nationalism, religio licita ("legit cult") and monotheism—in fact import anachronism and distortion into historical descriptions of the cultural context of Christianity and its origins, in the end obscuring precisely the evidence that they are mobilized to illumine. In making the… 
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