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Preliminary Material

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the themes discussed in the chapters of this book. The study shows that angeli should be associated with later Roman religion. It presents several case studies that examine the archaeological and literary evidence for angeli in later Roman religion and the manner in which Christian authorities sought to define orthodox Christian conceptions of angeli and establish the proper manner for Christians to call upon, pray to, or invoke an angelus. The study suggests that the prominence of angeli in early Christianity is due to the success of early Christian authorities in defining a system of orthodox Christian beliefs about, and attitudes towards, angeli that were distinct from non-Christian, and other Christian, beliefs about such beings. the book also examines several examples of Christian authorities distinguishing an orthodox Christian conception of angeloi from other Christian and pagan ideas about angeloi.

Keywords:angels; Christianity; Hellenism; orthodox Christian beliefs; pagan; Roman religion



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