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By Richard E. Payne

Christian groups flourished in the course of past due antiquity in a Zoroastrian political procedure, often called the Iranian Empire, that built-in culturally and geographically disparate territories from Arabia to Afghanistan into its associations and networks. while past experiences have appeared Christians as marginal, insular, and infrequently persecuted individuals during this empire, Richard Payne demonstrates their integration into elite networks, adoption of Iranian political practices and imaginaries, and participation in imperial associations. the increase of Christianity in Iran relied on the Zoroastrian idea and perform of hierarchical, differentiated inclusion, based on which Christians, Jews, and others occupied valid areas in Iranian political tradition in positions subordinate to the imperial faith. Christians, for his or her half, situated themselves in a political tradition no longer in their personal making, with recourse to their very own ideological and institutional assets, starting from the writing of saints’ lives to the judicial arbitration of bishops. In putting the social background of East Syrian Christians on the middle of the Iranian imperial tale, A nation of blend is helping clarify the patience of a culturally varied empire throughout 4 centuries.

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Pelikan observes that one of the best ways to capture the mood of any age is to pay attention to how it portrays Jesus. He illustrates the truth of this observation by noting how Jesus and other biblical characters were adorned and clothed in the art of Renaissance Europe. For example, the guards at the tomb of Jesus are attired in the armor of the Swiss Guard in the Madonna of the Book by Sandro Botticelli (1483). This Florentine painting resembles its society, and Mary in the crucifixion scene wears a brocade Florentine gown.

This stage found its culmination in the magnum opus of A. Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus: Critical Study of Its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede. 8 Jesus 22 JESUS IN TWENTIETH CENTURY LITERATURE, ART, AND MOVIES was Jewish to the core, apocalyptic in orientation, and a prophetic genius who raged against the injustices of his day—totally irrelevant to and unlike modern man. The so-called Lives of Jesus were nothing more than reflections of the faces of those who sought him and were therefore void of any historical validity.

Desjardins (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrin Laurier University Press, 1997), 92. 6. , 92-93. IMAGINING JESUS THEN AND NOW 35 7. , 93. 8. A. Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus: Critical Study of Its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede, trans. W. Montgomery (London: A & C Black, 1910), 274. 9. , 403. 10. R. Bultmann, Jesus and the Word (London: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1958), 14. 11. G. Bornkamm, Jesus of Nazareth, trans. I. McLuskey, F. McLuskey, and J. M. Robinson (New York: Harper & Row, 1960), 13.

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