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Religions of the Constantinian Empire$
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Mark Edwards

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687725.001.0001

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The End of Sacrifice

The End of Sacrifice

Chapter:
(p.200) Chapter 10 The End of Sacrifice
Source:
Religions of the Constantinian Empire
Author(s):

Mark Edwards

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687725.003.0010

Chapter 10, without taking a dogmatic view as to whether Constantine abolished sacrifice, reviews the arguments which were advanced in this period both in favour of the practice and against it. Modern schools of thought, represented most prominently in classical studies by Walter Burkert and the Paris School, do not reflect the thinking of those pagan and Christian authors who derided sacrifice as a futile exercise in feeding unreal gods. Iamblichus offers the only sophisticated defence of sacrifice that has come down to us; Arnobius, in the most sustained Christian polemic against it, assumes the more naïve interpretation. The chapter ends with Eusebius’ transmutation of the theory of sacrifice in his treatise on the Eucharist.

Keywords:   polemic, sacrifice, Eucharist, Passover, Arnobius

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