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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

City of Demons: Violence, Ritual, and Christian Power in Late Antiquity
Kalleres, Dayne S.

Oakland: University of California Press, 2015 pp. xii + 374. 95.00


Description: Although it would appear in studies of late antique ecclesiastical authority and power that scholars have covered everything, an important aspect of the urban bishop has long been neglected: his role as demonologist and exorcist. When the emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the realm, bishops and priests everywhere struggled to “Christianize” the urban spaces still dominated by Greco-Roman monuments and festivals. During this period of upheaval, when congregants seemingly attended everything but their own “orthodox” church, many ecclesiastical leaders began simultaneously to promote aggressive and insidious depictions of the demonic. In City of Demons, Dayna S. Kalleres investigates this developing discourse and the church-sponsored rituals that went along with it, showing how shifting ecclesiastical demonologies and evolving practices of exorcism profoundly shaped Christian life in the fourth century.

Subjects: Greco-Roman Literature, Early Christian Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Greco-Roman Period, Early Church Origins

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Review by Sarah Rollens
Published 1/20/2017
Citation: Sarah Rollens, review of Dayne S. Kalleres, City of Demons: Violence, Ritual, and Christian Power in Late Antiquity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


Review by J. Harold Ellens
Published 1/20/2017
Citation: J. Harold Ellens, review of Dayne S. Kalleres, City of Demons: Violence, Ritual, and Christian Power in Late Antiquity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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