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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

The End of Sacrifice

The End of Sacrifice

(p.200) Chapter 10 The End of Sacrifice
Religions of the Constantinian Empire

Mark Edwards

Oxford University Press

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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