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Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450$
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Maijastina Kahlos

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190067250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190067250.001.0001

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Economics of practices

Economics of practices

(p.158) 11 Economics of practices
Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450

Maijastina Kahlos

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the economic aspects of religious dissidence, such as the confiscation of temples and churches, as well as competing philanthropic practices, civic euergetism, and ecclesiastical charity. In many instances, economic issues carried more weight than the solemn proclamations of emperors and church councils. When the emperor chose a cult or a group as something to support, he recognized that cult or religious group as a receiver of privileges and donations. The emperors’ economic support of Christian communities strengthened the position of the churches. The withdrawal of imperial support hit pagan cults that had traditionally been endowed with land, property, and exemptions from duties. Furthermore, late Roman society saw another great transformation in the economics of practices. The philanthropy of the Christian churches gradually replaced the traditional Graeco-Roman form of civic philanthropy in the fourth and fifth centuries.

Keywords:   philanthropy, euergetism, charity, economics, confiscation, temples and churches, emperors, donations, privileges, property

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