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Moment of Reckoning – Imagined Death and Its Consequences in Late Ancient Christianity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Moment of Reckoning: Imagined Death and Its Consequences in Late Ancient Christianity

Ellen Muehlberger


Late antiquity saw a proliferation of Christian texts dwelling on the emotions and physical sensations of dying—not as a heroic martyr in a public square or a judge’s court but as an individual, at home in a bed or in a private room. In sermons, letters, and ascetic traditions, late ancient Christians imagined the last minutes of life and the events that followed death in elaborate detail. This book traces how, in late ancient Christianity, death came to be thought of as a moment of reckoning: a physical ordeal whose pain is followed by an immediate judgment of one’s actions by angels and demo ... More

Keywords: death, early Christianity, late antiquity, imagination, afterlife, judgment, sermons, ethics, religious ethics, violence

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190459161
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190459161.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ellen Muehlberger, author
Associate Professor of Christianity in Late Antiquity, Departments of Near Eastern Studies and History, University of Michigan