The Tolerance of Paganism

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 02.26.14

David Bentley Hart, in Atheist Delusions, writes about the kind of religious culture early Christians left behind when they accepted baptism:


“Quite apart from their more revolting ritual observances, however, the religions of the empire were— to a very great degree— contemptible principally for what they did not do, and what in fact they never considered worth doing. Occasional attempts have been made by scholars in recent years to suggest that the paganism of the late empire was marked by a kind of ‘philanthropy’ comparable in kind, or even in scope, to the charity practiced by the Christians, but nothing could be further from the truth (as I discuss below). Pagan cult was never more tolerant than in its tolerance—

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