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The Book the Christians as the Romans Saw Them by Robert Louis Wilken

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The Book The Christians as the Romans Saw Them by, Robert Louis Wilken is about the religious history of Christianity. The theme of this book is how the Romans viewed Christianity. This book lays out the development of Christianity. I found it interesting to read about how so many "new" arguments against Christianity are actually "old" and initiated in the 1st-5th centuries. Knowledge of the 1st-5th century is not necessary in understanding this book. Wilken presents his argument by explaining the views in the writings of Pliny, Galen, Celsus, Porphry and Julian. Wilken uses a lot of quotes from these literary sources that are translated in his book.

Robert Louis Wilken portrays the development of Christianity from the perspective of the Romans. Wilken uses Roman writings that were written against Christianity. They were written by Romans that were trying to figure out what they believed in. Wilken presents the social background of the Romans in order to increase the understanding of Roman culture. Wilken makes comparisons between the Roman society and Christianity. This book is not just a description of how the Romans viewed the Christians; it shows us how much change has, and how much hasn't happened. For example Wilken writes, "What others thought about Christianity was a factor in shaping how Christians would think about themselves and how they would present themselves to the larger world." (pg. 47). This book allows the reader to question religion and how it was meant to be practiced.

I think Robert Wilken presents a great portrayal of Christianity through literatary evidence from the 1st-5th century. Wilken describes the meaning of these writings as well as their reactions to Christianity. Wilken brings realism to both the Christian movement and the society it was developed in. Christianity was seen as a threat to the social and religious order of the Roman Empire. The Romans were nervous about the development of Christianity. Christianity was seen as a threat to the political and social order.

One of the things I learned from this book is the challenges Christians have faced through the years. Robert Wilken presents the first few centuries of the church's existence. This gives a good historical perspective on the challenges the church faced. One of the most interesting parts of this book for me was the discussions on religion. The Romans considered themselves to be very religious, making the Romans feel, like they were being imposed upon by the Christians. The Romans were religious people, and they felt like the Christians were threatening their religious traditions.

In Rome, the Christians were considered to be atheists, and were considered harmful. Society now is much more open to different religions, but religious persecution, blood shed, and wars still takes place in the world.

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