February 1, 2010
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul writes disparagingly of the Greco-Roman pagans who lived at the time of Jesus and his followers. Two millennia later, the idea of a divide between the Christians and the pagans has continued on and strengthened.
But that religious divide may not be as wide as it’s made out to be, says Luke Timothy Johnson, professor at the Candler School of Theology and a Senior Fellow at Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. In his new book “Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity” (Yale University Press, 2009), Johnson argues that early Christianity followed many of the patterns, if not the precepts, of pagan religion.
>> Listen to Johnson talk about the genesis and purpose of the book.