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Rescue for the DeadThe Posthumous Salvation of Non-Christians in Early Christianity$
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Jeffrey A. Trumbower

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195140990.001.0001

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Gregory the Great's Prayer for Trajan

Gregory the Great's Prayer for Trajan

(p.141) 8 Gregory the Great's Prayer for Trajan
Rescue for the Dead

Jeffrey A. Trumbower (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The eighth and final chapter briefly surveys the history of posthumous salvation after Augustine. Central is a story told about Pope Gregory the Great (sixth century), who supposedly uttered a prayer for the salvation of the pagan Roman emperor Trajan, who had lived in the second century. In Eastern Orthodoxy, this prayer is often combined with that of Thecla for Falconilla as two examples of God's mercy even upon dead pagans. In the west, because of Augustine's influence, the story is retold to include the resurrection of the body of Trajan, since without physical baptism, no one who lived after Christ can be saved.

Keywords:   baptism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Falconilla, Gregory the Great, pagan, Pope, posthumous salvation, resurrection of the body, Thecla, Trajan

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